The Problem: Websites That Rank Poorly

Recently, I have had to consult with several new clients about their website and what they can do to help them perform better. All of these clients were in a large service industry. Some were in the medical field, the financial industry or provided legal services and others were in similar areas of service.

While each of these clients contacted us because they were spending a lot of money each month on a website and online marketing, none of their sites seemed to be ranking well in search engines. When we get this type of complaint from a potential client, we naturally do a website audit to see where the problems lie. Generally, the problems arise from one of a few issues or a combination of those issues.

Either their site has little to no on-page Search Engine Optimization (SEO), overly aggressive on-page SEO or is a cookie cutter site that contains lots of content that is being used on several websites. While a few of the recent sites we have seen in this category have had more than one of these issues, the last issue is the one that has been most prevalent.


The Trouble With Duplicate Content

Since Google’s algorithm has been updated over the last few years to rank sites with fresh content higher than sites with duplicate content, it is not hard to understand why these sites were not ranking as well as they could be. There is a lot of talk about whether Google “penalizes” a site for having duplicate content. It certainly does not help a site rank better. Whether it is a “penalty” or not, your site is not ranking as high as another site with original content. You can decide what to call it for yourself.

So now that we have identified this problem, let’s look at the reason this is happening.


Why Is My Site Full of Duplicate Content?

The clients we mentioned at the beginning of this post never had any idea that their site contained the same content as lots of other sites. It only came to light while we were doing the SEO audit.

Since these clients were in large, competitive industries, there were lots of Digital Marketing agencies who cater to these specific industries. This seems like a great idea at first. Since these agencies are focused on that particular industry, they know the ins and outs of marketing for that industry, right?

The answer to this is yes, BUT… The problem is not that they do not know their industry. The problem is, that in an effort to streamline their workflow, they generate content that is then distributed to many or all of their client sites. Much of this content is just fluff, designed to fill in space and create volume.

The customer see that they are getting new content on their site at a regular interval, so they are happy. Until…

This is the point where they call someone like us to figure out what is going wrong.


What Should I Do?

There are lots of factors that can help your content marketing efforts. The case we are discussing here is about duplicate content, and we will cover the overall topic of content marketing in a future post.

In this instance, however, here are some things to help your content be helpful to your web presence.

  1. Create original content.
  2. Create valuable content, not fluff.
  3. Consider your target audience when creating content.
  4. Be consistent in your posting. It doesn’t have to be every day or every week, but if you post regularly, you will see results over time.
  5. Use multiple media for content. Blog posts, video tutorials, photography, etc.
  6. Cross promote your content on other sites and social media.
  7. Build an internal linking strategy to link posts of similar information together.

We will go into more detail on these topics in our next post, so be sure to check back for that information.



There is nothing wrong with using an agency that specializes in your particular field of work or service. Just be sure they are using custom content for your site and not reusing the same content over and over on numerous sites.

Better yet, contact us and let us show you how we can create a custom digital marketing plan just for your business or organization. After all, that is what we do best!