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Mythbusting: Yes, Original Content Matters

original contentWhen creating website content, it can feel like there’s a laundry list of factors to consider. Outside of the usual best practices for writing, writing for websites has its own set of standards, which take things like mobile users and SEO into consideration. Included in this is original content – but why?

Google’s goal is to provide users with the best answer to their question. If you were searching and came up with the same answer over, and over, and over again in your search, would you find that as valuable as if your search brought up several different answers to choose from?

For this reason, Google filters search results so that only the original source is listed. You may also hear this referred to as a penalization, but in reality, it just means that if your site contains content that is the same as or very similar to another source, also known as duplicate content.

Google filters duplicate content out of searches in favor of the original source. It’s certainly not a slap on the wrist; it’s just an attempt to show the most relevant answer to the query, improving user experience. While it’s not an outright penalization, having duplicate content still may impact your site ranking, which, of course, isn’t favorable.

So, how do you create original content?

Over the years, we’ve noticed trends in the most commonly trafficked pages for our clients. These include:

  • Who are you?
  • Where are you?
  • What do you do?
  • How do I reach you?

Notice a trend here? From a content perspective, this is great news, because all of this information is personalized, and unique to your business.

Keeping it real

While all of our new clients work with writers, many of our clients add new content that they’ve written themselves to their sites as time goes on. Businesses add services, veterinarians need to update specialties or credentials; things are ever-changing, so it only makes sense that your website will undergo some changes, too. If you find yourself in the writing chair, here are some helpful hints to keep things original.

  1. Weave in taglines, mottos, vision statements, or other branding that is uniquely you.
  2. Focus on what separates you from competitors. Certainly, there’s some overlap in veterinary services offered from hospital to hospital, but each business has its nuances. For some, this may be a specialty service that you can highlight. For others, this might be an aspect of a wellness visit that you take pride in (belly rubs!)
  3. Don’t panic! Writing for veterinary websites has taken a turn for the succinct, both because of mobile users and the use of search engines. Think about what site visitors will need to know, versus what information you’ll be supplying them when they visit you at the hospital. Likewise, educational content is best suited for blog posts or brochures, not your site’s content itself.
  4. Think about the way you speak to patients on a day-to-day basis and echo that in your content. Natural language and easy-to-read material will do wonders in both reflecting your personality, and making things easily accessible for all users.

Alternatively, if you’ve found your content duplicated somewhere on the web, you can report it at: https://support.google.com/legal/answer/1120734

Original content is essential. Not only can it impact your search rankings, but also, it provides you with the opportunity to personalize and control the messaging your site visitors encounter.

If you’re unsure if your site contains duplicate content, you can conduct a quick test.