Remember that old saying that our parents and teachers told us in grade school – Cheaters Never Prosper – well, the same holds true for Search Engine Optimization. What I mean is that when you are creating a website, don’t cheat your business and take the time to build it with YOU in it.
Know, Like & Trust
Remember that folks do business with whom they Know, Like and Trust. They can’t begin to get there unless they get to know you and they can get to know you through your branding.
So, two sides of that, if you cheat people, they won’t do business with you and your business could fail. Secondly, when writing your content, YOU write your content and from your voice. Sure, you may check out other similar industry pages to “see” how they are doing things and mirror some of their ways. After all, if they are doing well, why reinvent the wheel, get some ideas from them, but don’t copy them – make the real you come out in your content.
Will the Real You Stand Up
A top social media influencer of mine, whether she knows it or not, Kim Garst recently released her book – Will the Real You Please Stand Up. I just started getting into it so can’t tell you about it right yet, but check it out for yourself, it will surely provide value. Anyways, people want to get to know you and have a connection plus, you want them to also, so they can Know, Like and Trust you. Win-Win, right?
My main point is that when you copy other folks content, it doesn’t benefit you. Sure, you maybe have great keyword rich content on your website, but think of it another way – from Google’s standpoint. So, Google, or any search engine has indexed your website, cached it and is made ready to provide to the appropriate search query. When someone types in that keyword phrase and Google searches its cache and up pop 50 sites with duplicate or largely similar content – which is going to show up do you think? Google isn’t stupid and is capable of telling which is the original source of that content and returns the original one on the search results, discarding the rest. Getting the point here?
Where is it Safe to Copy?
Don’t panic if you have some content, from another website and maybe you have even cited their page for reference. This isn’t going to get your “dinged” by the Google gods because, as noted above, Google will just return the original page in the search results. My point here, it’s okay to copy content, usually with reference but always a good idea to use your own content instead. (Don’t forget, when you are linking to a website other than your own, have the link open in a new tab.)
Why wouldn’t you want to provide valuable content to your consumers AND have the search engine gods bow down to you? Okay, maybe not bow down, but I’d love to be recognized by the search engines for better chances of more consumers getting to me from the search engines.
Duplicating your Own Content
Consider one more scenario, where you may be duplicating your own content via articles or whatnot. While typically only one of these would show up in search, I still think that creating variations of your content would be better served for two reasons:
- When you have two of the same version of a blog, for example, hosted on two different websites, Google will notice the two versions and may split the value of authority which isn’t good for you.
- Having two different versions can potentially provide now two opportunities to be found in search results, which is better for you
Create original and value providing content on your website. Should you review other industry giants, utilize their past efforts to help you grow by mirroring what they do, but not copying. And heck, feel free to give them credit where credit is due.
Make your brand speak like you, it makes you look human, unless you aren’t LOL and people like dealing with people, building relationships. Again, remember, folks do business with those they Know, Like and Trust.