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          Search engine optimization (SEO) helps businesses drive visits to their website through organic search traffic. Given that the top organic search results receive a third of the clicks, a decline in ranking could be detrimental for your business. Implementing SEO best practices on your website will help to ensure that your web content is seen by as many potential customers as possible. The more visitors you have, the better your chances are of converting those visits into sales!

          Local search engine optimization (SEO) helps local businesses gain visibility by optimizing their local business listings for local search. A business that leverages local SEO will include its address, phone number, local opening times, and exact location in the form of a local citation. The goal is to rank for local searches which are usually performed by people in a specific geographical region looking for a business near them.

          We typically see results within the first 30 to 60 days, but when it comes to SEO, there are many factors at play. It's important to remember that SEO is a long-term strategy and results may not come as fast at you wish.

        • FAQs

          Digital advertising uses the internet to send advertisements to customers who are online through different websites and social media platforms like Google, Bing, LinkedIn and Facebook.

          The price for Google Ads management depends on the monthly ad spend. For accounts with $1,000 in monthly ad spend, the price is $550/month. Between $1,000 and $5,000 a month in ad spend, the price is $950/month. For $5,000 to $10,000 a month in ad spend, the price is $2,000/month. For more than $10,000 a month in ad spend, the price is $4,500/month.

          The price for Social Media Ads management depends on the monthly ad spend. For accounts with $1,000 in monthly ad spend, the price is $550/month. Between $1,000 and $5,000 a month in ad spend, the price is $950/month. For $5,000 to $10,000 a month in ad spend, the price is $2,000/month. For more than $10,000 a month in ad spend, the price is $4,500/month.

        • FAQs

          This depends on the complexity and size of a redesign and if eCommerce is needed. On average, it takes around 14-18 weeks from the web design intensive stage to launch.

          If your website experiences the following issues: it’s not responsive on all devices, has a slow loading speed, the design appears old and tired, users don’t spend long on the site, sales are stagnant, or your business is going through a rebranding - your website needs a redesign to boost your brand awareness and sales.

          Sometimes there’s no need to rebuild a website. Minor edits, refreshing page content and images, or restructuring page layout for SEO best practices can boost traffic and sales.

        • FAQs

          Semantic search launched in 2013 with the release of Google's Hummingbird update. Since then, Google's search engine has become more complex. The integration of machine learning, with RankBrain, and NLP, with BERT, has enabled the search engine to better understand the context of a query and deliver more personalized and targeted results. Semantic SEO is the process of creating machine-readable content using structured data and linked open data to help search engines better understand your content.

          On-page SEO is the practice of optimizing individual web pages in order to rank higher and earn more relevant traffic in search engines. On-page SEO refers to both the content and HTML source code of a page that can be optimized, as opposed to off-page SEO which refers to links and other external signals. From meta tags to page content, website structure, and HTML, on-page optimization services are focused on making your website more visible to search engines.

          Structured data refers to any organized data that conforms to a certain format, such as information in a relational database. When information is highly structured and predictable, search engines can more easily organize and display it in creative ways. Structured data involves using a piece of code that is laid out in a specific format easily understood by search engines. The search engines read the code and use it to display search results in a more dynamic way.

        • FAQs

          An SEO agency has experts in different areas of search engine optimization that may be out of the realm of your marketing team's abilities. SEO can be very complex and time-consuming. Furthermore, as search engine algorithms change it can be difficult to stay current on the latest ranking factors and strategies for improving online visibility. You will likely see a greater return on investment and better results from using a professional SEO agency than you would from tackling this on your own.

          As a digital marketing agency, SMA Marketing provides products and services in four areas: SEO, Local SEO, Digital Advertising, and Web Design

          We focus on building authentic, long-lasting relationships with our clients. We’re goal oriented and results driven and believe in doing good and making a difference in the world.

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Duplicate Content: More Isn’t Better for SEO

Duplicate content is identified in two ways. First, it’s recognized as content that is repeated from one site to another, or multiple pages on the same site have large sections of information that say the same thing. Either way, publishing duplicate content on your website can negatively impact your Google ranking, even if it’s unintentional.

As the internet expands, search engines must prioritize how information is ranked in order to deliver the most relevant results to people searching for answers. The rapid pace that content is published, read, and indexed into categories for future queries is impressive, but it’s not perfect.

Google defines the amount of time and resources devoted to crawling a site as a crawl budget. It’s important to realize that Google doesn’t index everything on your website, even if they read it. The AI bots identify which pages to index. Google explains, “each page must be evaluated, consolidated, and assessed to determine whether it will be indexed after it has been crawled.”

There are a host of factors that impact whether website URLs are indexed or if they earn SERPs. Different link metrics also affect overall search visibility in search for the organic keywords you earn and search engine rankings and impressions.

SEO best practices will positively impact your ability to rank higher in search and black hat SEO, or choosing bad tactics will negatively impact your chances of ranking high in search, if at all. And this brings us back to duplicate content.

Is There a Duplicate Content Penalty?

Google states they don’t punish websites for having duplicate content, but they also have a disclaimer saying otherwise. If your duplicate content was not the result of intentional manipulations of search results or spamming practices, then you shouldn’t be penalized for having duplicate content. If it is, you may.

Google states, “In the rare cases in which Google perceives that duplicate content may be shown with intent to manipulate our rankings and deceive our users, we’ll also make appropriate adjustments in the indexing and ranking of the sites involved. As a result, the site’s ranking may suffer, or the site might be removed entirely from the Google index, in which case it will no longer appear in search results.”

3 Duplicate Content SEO Issues You Want to Avoid

Search engines want to provide the best user experience by showing various original content rather than multiple pages containing the same content. Let’s look at duplicate content and how it impacts SEO negatively.

Duplicate Content Impacts Link Equity

“Link equity” refers to how certain links transfer authority and value from one webpage to another.

The number of external links your page earns matters. According to Backlinko, the top result in Google has 3.8 times more backlinks than positions two to ten. If your site has duplicate content, external websites might link to a duplicate version of your preferred URL instead of your preferred URL. Duplicate content harms your link-building campaigns by reducing the opportunities for each individual link to earn external links.

Identical Content Wastes Your Crawl Budget

If numerous web pages contain duplicate content and you want one indexed, crawlers will crawl all duplicate variants, taking time away from them crawling other important pages.

Your Blog Post Won’t Index

There are two types of duplicate content: internal and external.

Internal duplicate content occurs when one site creates duplicate content through multiple URLs on the same site. External duplicates occur when two or more different websites have the same page copied. External and internal duplicates can occur as exact- or near-duplicate pages.

As I’ve already addressed, Google doesn’t index everything on your website. However, in Search Console, in the Index Report under the Coverage section, you can see which pieces of content are not indexed.

Among the reasons pages Google excludes content they list:

  • Pages with redirects
  • Pages with no index tags
  • Duplicate pages without user-selected canonical tags
  • Pages that were indexed, not submitted in the site map

As you can see, duplication issues are one of the core reasons content isn’t indexed. It is a waste of time and money to focus on SEO content creation if your pages aren’t going to appear in an organic search, so it’s vital your web pages are indexable.

Common Causes of Duplicate Content

There are many unintentional reasons your website will have duplicate content, including:

  • Faceted/filtered navigation
  • Tracking parameters
  • Session IDs
  • HTTPS vs. HTTP, and non-www vs. www
  • Case-sensitive URLs
  • Trailing slashes vs. non-trailing-slashes
  • Print-friendly URLs
  • Mobile-friendly URLs
  • AMP URLs
  • Tag and category pages
  • Attachment image URLs
  • Paginated Comments
  • Localization
  • Search results pages
  • Staging environment

How Much Duplicate Content is Acceptable?

While it’s likely unintentional, website owners create duplicate content. Moz reports that some experts estimate up to 29% of the web is actually duplicate content! While some duplicate content may be acceptable, when blog articles repeat the same information multiple times, you run the risk of keyword cannibalization.

What is Keyword Cannibalization?

Keyword cannibalization is when you have various blog posts on your site that can each rank for the same search term in Google. Cannibalization is a common duplicate content SEO issue that happens when blocks of content are repeated within the post or because you’ve already optimized another article for the same keyword.

Optimizing posts and articles for similar keywords will compete with each other for search engine visibility. Usually, Google will display only one or two results from the same site in the search results for any given query. However, if you’re an authoritative domain, you might get three.

When you have cannibalized content, your own URLs compete in search queries for first-page positions. For example, this could be the difference between one link in the 5th or 6th position and two links in the 21st and 22nd positions. Which would you prefer?

You can avoid keyword cannibalization by using a duplicate content checker and by ensuring that each type of content you publish uses SEO best practices for quality content. Using a topic-based search strategy and organizing your blog posts into topic clusters is a great way to prevent cannibalizing your content.

Do You Need Help Updating or Removing Duplicate Content?

Removing duplicate content is part of an SEO-focused content strategy. One way to fix duplicate content SEO issues is to update competing blog posts and optimize them for different keywords. Check out our Guide to Updating Old Blog Posts to learn how to update cannibalized content.

If you need more help, the content team at SMA Marketing has a comprehensive strategy for identifying duplicate content. We consider each URL independently, taking a holistic approach to update, optimize, and remove content. Give us a call!

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