Easy Solutions to Your Duplicate Content Problem
Don’t worry, intrepid marketers. Just because you have piles of duplicate content on your site doesn’t mean that you can’t work together to solve the problem. Here’s how!
Create 301 Redirects to Preferred Pages
The fastest and easiest way to solve your duplicate content problem is to simply create a 301 redirect. A 301 redirect is the process of forwarding a user who clicks on a link to your preferred page.
So, again, in our hypothetical mentioned above, rather than just deleting the blog, which will lead to a 404 error (not a great move from an SEO or user experience perspective), you can create a 301 redirect. This way, when users click on the blog, they’ll be immediately forwarded to your services page. They’ll still receive the same helpful information but on a page that is more likely to lead to further engagement. They likely will never know the difference, and everybody wins!
If only part of the page contains duplicate content, simply consolidate the original material and point your users to a single page.
Point Toward Original Content Using Rel=Canonicals
Similar to a 301 redirect, a rel=canonical is a great way to alert search engines to your preferred page, even if the content is “appreciably similar.” Essentially, using a rel=canonical classification tells the search engine that all pages with duplicate content are basically copies of the original URL and that all the link juice associated with these pages should be attributed to that original URL.
Placing a rel=canonical is a fairly simple process. All you have to do is add the attribute to the HTML of all subsidiary pages and add the URL of your preferred page. This will tell the search engines everything they need to know and, like a 301 redirect, will also pass along all link equity to the original URL.
Put Pen to Paper and Rewrite Your Content
Throughout this blog, I’ve been careful to draw a distinction between “repurposing” content and “duplicating” content. Duplicate content is reusing content verbatim, whereas repurposing content is reusing that content in new and innovative ways with fresh copy that explores the subject from a slightly different angle or perspective — or by using a slightly different voice or tone.
Great content is great content and should be repurposed whenever possible. But your copywriters need to understand your different audiences and how they engage on your different channels (web, social, email, etc.) to achieve best results. This will require a periodic review of your buyer personas and industries and that your writing staff is able to create content for each audience using appropriate messaging for each segment.
At Act-On, we always follow the “Rule of 4,” which states that “for every piece of content, there should be four ways” to use it. For instance, if you write an eBook, you could then use that content to:
- Write a blog series supporting each section of the eBook and designate your primary call-to-action (CTA) to direct to the eBook landing page
- Promote the eBook on all social media platforms and encourage employees and colleagues to share it through your shared social media module
- Include the eBook (and related blogs) in your newsletter
- Identify previous blogs that are generating good traffic and update the CTA to direct the user to the eBook landing page
- Create a pop-up or featured content section on your home page (and related product or service pages) that links to the eBook landing page
- Host a webinar built around the content of the eBook
- Rewrite the content for different audiences and industries, making subtle but impactful changes along the way to ensure maximum engagement
- Create an infographic highlighting the key points, statistics, and quotes in the eBook that you can use digitally and as part of your events marketing strategy
The list could go on and on, but the important thing to understand is that content assets should never live in a vacuum. Re-use to your heart’s content but do so with purposeful intentions, fresh copy, and a creative outlook!