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Duplicate content? Invest in new website copy

Audit your site for duplicate content

Is your website suffering from an abundance of duplicate content? Perhaps you’ve been struggling with keeping website copy fresh and decided to take the easy route, lifting text from elsewhere and pasting it onto your webpages. You wouldn’t be alone.

Even in an era where digital agencies spring up right, left and centre, and where everyone is an expert in SEO and web marketing, the amount of duplicate content on websites is staggering. But it’s not just the (very harsh) penalties dished out by Google that arise from duplicate content discovery. In fact, with many recognised brands seeing a significant proportion of website traffic coming from direct referrals (and thus mitigating – but by no means negating – a fall in search engine positions), you should be concerned about the effect duplicate content has on your relationship with your customers.

Duplicate content and your users

As a writer, research pays an integral part in my day-to-day work. Finding sources of information that are reliable and informative, and which can be supported by secondary sources elsewhere, is essential to any piece of content created. So, imagine the frustration when, after finding one page that answers my question, the next ten results in the search engine say the exact same thing, word for word, error for error. In such an instance, it often pays to scrap what’s been found and start again, if only for peace of mind.

But it is not just as a writer that such frustrations arise. Consumers looking to purchase an item online want to know all they possibly can before they buy, so reviews which have been lifted from elsewhere add nothing to the shopping experience. I, for one, have been put off a purchase after being unable to find any ‘real’ reviews. The inability of resellers to develop unique content that educated and informed cost them a sale. I like to think that many other discerning shoppers decided the same.

Ensuring your site is free from duplicate content is essential, therefore, to developing a relationship with your customers that is built on trust and value. Customers will want to know that you have put the hard work in to offer something more than your competitors, dedicated time to crafting content that answers their questions, and will offer real value for money through going the extra mile.

How to avoid duplicate content

Avoiding the pitfalls of duplicate content is easy: simple put in the hard work. Ensuring that each page you create is truly unique and valuable in its own right guarantees that you will soon have a website that is valued among your clients. Regular content audits to maintain the absence of duplicate content are a must, especially if a large number of users have publishing rights on your website.

Creating page after page of website copy may seem daunting, by cutting corners and utilising duplicate content should be avoided at all costs. If you really don’t fancy preparing content yourself, you could always employ experienced writers that have the ability to write copy that is unique and compelling every time.

As shameless plugs go, we couldn’t be subtler…

How to write an article


There is no real secret to how to write an article, yet constructing a successful formula is something asked by budding writers, new website owners, small businesses, junior journalists and more on a regular basis. Many factors influence how to write an article, from the subject matter to the audience, the platform on which it’s hosted to the research material available.

This guide on how to write an article will provide a basis from which to begin, focusing on targeting an online audience. Beware, however, that challenging the conventions of how to write an article may prove the most effective means of gaining a loyal following or attracting attention. Like all pieces of art, writing should be challenging and prompt a response from its audience. Taking a risk and creating website copy that is unique and interesting could well prove the route to success.

Identify your audience

Knowing how to write an article is as much about knowing your audience as it is about good grammar, accurate spelling and interesting content. You may write a fantastic article about birthday cakes, but if your audience is interested in music festivals, your article will sink like a stone.

Research what your target audience is interested in: what search terms are they using; are they male or female; what language do they use; what are they sharing? Social networks and such tools as Google Analytics have made it easier than ever to capture details on web users. Knowing your audience and its likes/dislikes will make it simple to select a subject matter when looking at writing an article.

Select a topic

The topic for your article will largely be dictated by the nature of the website. If your website deals with DVD sales, you will be able to think of a number of topics involving movie reviews, actor biographies, etc. Even for a niche subject matter, you will be able to ascertain a particular angle for your article by carrying out the next step in our guide of how to write an article.

It’s worth remembering, however, that once you’ve selected a topic, you do all you can to avoid deviating from the subject matter. It’s all too easy to head off on a tangent and lose focus – and the interest of your readers.

Research thoroughly

Knowing the subject you’re writing about is essential. Knowing it better than anyone else a bonus. By carrying out extensive research on the topic of your choice, you will soon become an authority on the subject and will have readers turning to you for more. This not only ensures a loyal following, but your website will benefit from increased links and regular traffic. In fact, if you know your subject matter so well, you’ll soon be writing your own ‘how to write an article on…’ article!

You should also set aside time to research what internet users are searching for around your topic. Keyword analysis is simple to carry out and effective in identifying what search terms are popular, as well as alerting you to any gaps in the market.

Edit effectively

Google set in motion a huge change in content production with the Panda and Penguin updates. The focus now is on high-quality content. This means you can no longer simply publish copy that has been put together in a rush, is full of errors, and is, in the eyes of users, irrelevant.

Take the time to edit your work; leave it for a few hours and return with fresh eyes; or perhaps get a colleague to read through it to sanity check the contents. The best option is to write a detailed brief which you can pass to experienced copywriters. Quality writing is a skill that comes about through hard work and dedication to the craft, so there’s no shame in outsourcing the work to someone with the right background.

Review and publish

Once your article is online and – hopefully – attracting healthy viewing figures, you should take the time to review your work. Take a look at the number of visits, comments, shares, bounce rate, time on page, etc. If your article has performed poorly, revisit the stages of production and look for where you went wrong; if it performed well, repeat the process and look to establish goals for each piece of work. Whatever you do, don’t give up on your content. You may well strike gold next time around.

Knowing how to write an article is a skill in itself. Invest time for preparation and production, and you could soon see your website copy performing better than you ever hoped.

Website copy considerations

Below is an infographic we prepared for a short presentation last year. It’s purpose was to raise a few points of consideration for marketers and clients before investing in content.

What we’re essentially saying is relatively straightforward: who, what, where, when and why? While it’s only a very basic checklist of what to be aware of, it is a good starting point for analysing the purpose of why you may be considering website copy, press releases, blog posts and more.

If you can’t answers the questions confidently, think again the strategy behind your content investment.

Traditional marketing and content marketing

How does content marketing compare with traditional forms of marketing and advertising? The infographic below tries to encapsulate the differences in a manner that is easily digested. While it offers only a (very) simple comparison between the two forms, it makes a fantastic entry point for discussion.

Whether you’re opening negotiations with a client, or are looking for an effective slide to present to internal stakeholders, this ‘Traditional Publicity VS Content Marketing’ infographic will prove invaluable.

Take a look at the differences below and let us know in the comments any other contrasts between the two.

Traditional publicity vs content marketing

Traditional Publicity VS Content Marketing

Personas for website copy

Fact: creating effective website copy isn’t easy. While certain people believe that stringing together a few words is something we’ve all been doing since childhood, the simple fact is that producing website copy that sells is exceptionally challenging. In fact, creating effective copy demands significant investment in time, consideration and research. There is also a need to invest heavily in preparation. One of the first steps to the creation of compelling website copy comes through establishing customer personas.

Identify your audience

If, like many businesses, your desire is to reach as broad a base of customers as possible, you need to be aware of the detrimental effect this can have on your content. Your audience is made up of flesh and blood humans, with their own likes and dislikes; what connects with one may isolate another. There is no tone of voice that will reach to every sector of your audience, so you will need to focus attention onto each market area separately.

Begin by carrying out some market research into your customer base, your industry, your existing website. Age, sex, occupation, location, interests, etc. will help you see exactly who you are talking to. Collating this information means you can establish a customer persona that is representative of your audience. You will know the type of person with which to communicate, the type of content it needs and likes, and where to reach them. Once you have all this information, you can create website copy to suit your target.

Put yourself in their shoes

With your customer persona created, you should look to put yourself in its shoes. By relating to its interests and turn offs, you can establish a tone of voice that connects, and identify the type of content it wants to see.

For example, if your customer persona is a male aged between 19-24 using an iPhone for web browsing, you can discount the need to prepare ten pages of articles in excess of 500 words; instead, bite-size pieces of information and imagery that prompts a response (be it sharing, downloading, demand for more, etc.) will prove far more effective. Only through knowing who you are talking to can you create effective website copy that they will want to see.

Keep it simple

Too often, brands and businesses try to convey myriad messages when one should suffice. Knowing your audience and identifying your goal are essential for the creation of website copy. Keep the message you’re sending simple and pointing towards your target; there’s no harm in leaving your audience wanting more, so long as you can provide it to them a step later.

The importance of establishing a customer persona cannot be overstated. Making sure you know your audience and its interests and needs will prove essential to your website’s success.

Website copy that sells

Investing in quality website copy is essential for the success of your online presence. Worryingly, however, website copy is often overlooked and/or left until the last minute before being written. Perhaps even more worrying is the tendency for this last-minute rush of content writing to be carried out by less than capable copywriters. So what are website owners to do?

Sourcing experienced writers

The world of digital marketing is awash with varied job titles which can often be misleading. That said, the role of a copywriter has changed little since before the web even came into existence. Copy will always need to be written, and an experienced copywriter should be the person to turn to. Being able to create content that is effective, high-quality, and search engine friendly will lay the foundations for a successful website. You will seldom see any major organisation sacrifice the quality of their written content, so why should you do the same?

Judge value not by price

Knowing how and where to invest your marketing spend in website copy isn’t straightforward, and it’s easy to fall into the trap of purchasing quantity over quality. In years past, websites hosting thousands upon thousands of pages would perform well in the search engines, securing steady traffic through a ‘catch-all’ approach. Thankfully, the Panda and Penguin algorithm updates from Google have managed to penalise these content farms, placing relevant, high-quality writing above keyword-stuffed, over-optimised content.

But where does this leave you? In terms of investing in website copy, you can take solace in the fact that less is more. Paying a little bit extra for website copy written by experienced, capable copywriters will pay dividends in the future performance of your site. What’s more, many experienced writers – such as Minerva Copywriting – will ensure pages are ready for the search engines, featuring just the right amount of optimisation without sacrificing on quality.

Keep website copy fresh

Keeping website copy fresh and up to date is often overlooked, yet is hugely significant. Be certain that you carry out regular audits of your site content to ensure it maintains its relevance to your audience. Failure to successfully maintain the standard across your site will soon prove detrimental to all the initial hard work of launching your online presence.

Minerva Copywriting has a team of experienced copywriters which can offer advice and assistance in the production of your website copy. Contact Minerva Copywriting today for details.

Content marketing: why and how

In a new infographic focusing on content marketing, Demand Metric has undertaken research to analyse the current state of content marketing, the reasons why to invest in content marketing, and the process involved in successful deployment.

The research, detailed in full below, is not wholly revelatory, but more reaffirms many of the messages that content writers and genuine SEO practitioners have been aware of for some time. For example, are we really surprised that content marketing keeps reader attention and improves brand loyalty?

Of course, that’s not to denigrate the research. Far from it. This kind of attention is making a huge difference with how content marketing is being addressed by companies and practitioners alike. And, in the end, don’t we all just want more users to embrace investment in quality content?

How to launch a website

When looking at how to launch a website, it is surprising how often content is overlooked. Time and again we’ve witnessed companies face a mad dash to populate their stylish new site with compelling, quality content… and failing. Why the failure? Quite simply, like any piece of art, quality copywriting and exceptional content take time to develop and produce.

Naming no names

Now, it would be churlish to point the finger and apportion blame for an oversight in the production of web content; with the design and technical aspects of a modern site becoming more and more complex, it’s perhaps no surprise that website copy often falls down the pecking order. That said, the content on your site is your direct line of communication to internet customers, so failing to place suitable importance on the discipline will mean you will be playing catch up once your site goes live.

This is where forward planning and a content strategy comes into play. The early stages of how to launch a website will doubtless include preparation of a sitemap and website specification. These will be the blueprint from which your site is constructed and should act as the starting point for preparing content for your website.

How to launch a website: content checklist

  • Prepare an editorial schedule from the sitemap/website specification
  • Research the relevant keywords for each individual page
  • Formulate your internal linking structure
  • Ensure you prepare relevant meta descriptions, headers, alt tags and page titles
  • Invest in professional copywriters to write and edit content
  • Proofread all content before uploading
  • Carry out an audit on content before launch and ‘fill any gaps’

Copywriting is an integral role in any website development. It is the means by which your message is communicated to your existing – and potential – customers. Investing in the preparation and professional writers will ensure the quality of your site is as high as possible, and will serve to engender trust between you and your customer base.

Content marketing

Once you’ve carried out all the necessary measures for the production of your website content, and your site is launched, you will be ready to turn your attention to the next piece of work: content marketing – a subject we’ll cover separately.

For the time being, if you find yourself asking ‘how to launch a website’, don’t forget the importance of the content.


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