Duplicate Content, Thin Content Or No Content

One of the challenges that a website designer has, despite all of the technical and coding issues, is the lack of quality and unique content from the client.  This hurts the client in several ways, including:

  • reducing the odds of having good search engine rankings for relevant keyword phrases which are competitive from an online perspective
  • lowering the odds of converting a first-time visitor into a lead
  • lowering the amount of content which could be shared by others via social media or e-mail to their friends/followers, thus reducing referral traffic to the website


When it comes to content, there are three main challenges:

  • Duplicate content
  • Thin content
  • No content


We will give an example of each and their respective possible solutions to help grow the client’s business.

Duplicate Content

There is a CPA on the border of Frisco/McKinney who uses a website host which specifically targets CPA’s across the United States.  They offer “cookie cutter” content in terms of newsletters, website structure, and a set number of “skins” (look and feel) for the end visitor to see.  Since this service targets hundreds of accountants across the country, many of their articles and web page wording is exactly the same.  This is deemed by the search engines to be “Duplicate Content”.

How does one counter this in order to make the phone ring, especially through the search engines and in nearby towns that are not featured via the primary office address?

What he did is the following:

  • Optimized each page with unique tags
  • Contacted the web host service and received permission to add unique content pages specific to his business
  • Developed other web properties which link to his website, including YouTube and LinkedIn.  He also developed Yelp, AngiesList, and city-specific directory pages
  • Embedded videos on his website where appropriate
  • Received reviews in his Google Plus page listing which links to his home page
  • Made other customized content on the “cookie cutter” pages plus linked to those pages, like the shared newsletter, from city-specific websites reaching those wanting to know more information about taxes, deductions, etc.


Ultimately this has helped him achieve top 3 organic search rankings for his desired keywords, even though his site has duplicate content.  These rankings have helped to make his phone ring with brand new clients for the past few years.


Thin Content

A hairstylist down the street from the CPA only had a cookie-cutter page which many hair salons use to schedule appointments with local customers.  She ultimately decided to create her own website.  On it she emphasized specific services for men, women and teenagers & kids.  While those in the area likely know where to get a basic haircut, specialty services may be a bit tougher to find such as Ombre hair or fashion styles or bridal hair styles.

A basic website was all that is needed, although she likely will want to change up the look of her website in order to match the trends and any logo/branding changes she makes in the ensuing years.  This is the long way of working around thin content, since many of her customers come from Facebook, Yelp or local online forums.

By contrast, a company which has a website already promoting web hosting and email hosting services across Texas only had thin content originally.  They don’t want to invest much money or time in content creation, yet they still want to increase their search engine rankings AND increase their on-page conversion rate.  We have decided on simply creating an optimized YouTube video for each topic, and then embedding the videos (after being uploaded to YouTube) on the respective pages.

Doing this will help both elements since embedded YouTube videos (properly optimized in YouTube) which match the content of the page on which the videos are embedded tend to be very sound principles for their objectives.  From there, basic link building such as citations, Texas-oriented directories and niche directories which are “authoritative” should help them get exposure in the major Texas cities and suburbs including Dallas Fort Worth.


No Content

One guy has no website, but has several mentions of his name on multiple web pages.  He wants those to appear first in the search engines when you look up his name including his Facebook page.   What to do here is to create several profiles on the high-authority social media properties.  From there, you would add content relevant to that person and his/her industry or company.  There are additional techniques such as link building to the social media property pages, issuing press releases with the person’s name in the title of the release and any keyword tags field, and then creating videos (or other multimedia content which can be indexed by the search engines) with the person’s name in the title.

Doing all of this bypasses the need for creating a website, but it still can accomplish most of the objectives set forth.


Hopefully these solutions give you some ideas on what to do if you are in any similar situations.  Feel free to contact us with your thoughts or questions.