Are You Skating on Thin Content?

 If you are a business owner, or even just someone who works in marketing, it is absolutely vital to be aware of just how important having quality content on your webpage is. Having “thin” content will harm your business in both the short and long term by not having it display as prominently when people search for it on Google. We will now take a few moments to delve into what thin content is, why it is important to not have it, and how to avoid it.

What is Thin Content?

Thin content can best be defined as content that does not answer the question the user was trying to search for in the first place. It is often poorly written, contains few or no keywords at all relating to the topic at hand, and does not allow the reader to learn any more about the topic at hand after they are finished with the piece.

Google’s success has been based entirely on their ability to quickly answer a person’s question. If they did not continually screen for thin content, they would not be successful in doing their jobs.

Why is it Important Not to Have Thin Content?

Despite a lot of the technical content that is involved with SEO and content writing, this is actually a very simple concept to explain. If Google determines that your page has thin content, it will not rank you as highly, or at all, when users search for content that is related to your business. That means fewer leads and income generated in the short term, and a lot of missed opportunities for new clients in the long run.

How Can You Avoid Having Thin Content?

In order to avoid having thin content, you need to work with an SEO agency that not only knows what to look for on your page, but how to fix the copy where it needs to be improved by working with quality content writers. At Digital 1, we work with experienced content professionals who have been writing web copy for years and know how to not have your page simply turn into digital clutter.

Understanding why the Link Between PPC and SEO Is Important

Implementing a Synergistic Strategy

Often times, within the marketing department of any given company, the department will be roughly divided into two different teams: those who deal with PPC, or pay-per-click advertising, and those who deal with SEO, or search engine optimization. The conventional wisdom in the field states that these two things should be kept apart, but this reasoning actually falls apart under even a basic logical analysis – if the two teams are working towards the same goal, shouldn’t they be working in tandem with one another?

Google Has Changed and Marketers Need to Take Note of That

Many people are not aware of this, because the implementation has been very subtle, but Google has quietly changed the way it displays search engine result pages, or SERP’s. Before, it would be very obvious that you were looking at an ad due to the fact that the background was colored differently and that the word “ad” would be prominently displayed near it.

This is no longer the case – all of the visual cues that you were looking at a paid advertisement have more or less been removed. This means that Google has been actively working to narrow the gap between PPC and SEO generated results, which means that it is now more difficult to tell which channel is actually driving user behavior.

Paid Results Can Be Used to Enhance Organic Results

In previously conducted studies on this exact topic, it has been determined that when conducting a search for a product or service, if a potential customer clicks on an ad, they will click on organic results from that same exact website. In other words, an ad can lead someone to an organic link, and an organic link can lead someone to an ad – the two don’t have to be mutually exclusive.

SEO Can be Used to Boost Your Ad’s Quality Score

Based on how well your landing page is designed, Google will give the ad that you use to lead people there a “Quality Score.” Having effective SEO means that your landing page will be optimized, which means that your ad’s score will be higher. One system working as it should, in this instance, can actually improve the effectiveness of the other.

In summary, PPC and SEO teams should be working together towards a common goal: to drive not only more views to a company’s website, but to generate conversions as well. Isn’t it worth putting the entire strength of your marketing team behind one common goal instead of dividing them up?

ADA Compliance

Understanding ADA Website Compliance in 2019

When you think of ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act), you may think about a department store, restaurant, a hotel or even public housing, such as a condo or apartment building. What you may not be aware of is the fact that the internet is now being included as a place of public accommodation based on Title III of the Americans with Disabilities Act.

What This Means for Your Website

If the website has components which are seen as significantly inaccessible, it can be considered discriminatory and be deemed to be in violation of Title III of the act. No excuse is allowed for the violations even though there is no current legal prescription to determine web accessibility.

New standards for accessibility to the web have been published. At the same time, attorneys are filing lawsuits based on the ADA against websites that are noncompliant. To prevent this from happening to you, it’s important to make sure your website is compliant.

Defining Compliance

Website accessibility can be confusing for the average site owner. It can mean two separate but related things. First, it may mean that all content and functions of the site are accessible to those with a disability. Secondly, it may mean how accessible the site itself is, which is the technical aspect of the issue.

Website owners must be concerned with the legal side of this issue, but they can’t forget about the technical side either. They not only need to be compliant but accessible.

The Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 2.0 Level AA is considered the standard for accessibility by the court system and the Department of Justice (DOJ). This guideline includes 38 requirements.

What Should You Do?

If you’re like a lot of website owners, just the mention of a lawsuit has you in panic. However, you don’t have to worry about meeting all 38 requirements in the next 24 hours. The best place to start is with your images. Make sure you have alt text to each image. Begin working on the Homepage and the most trafficked pages of your site.

The WCAG 2.0 is rather complicated to understand and it’s a long document that makes you feel lost the more you read. There is also the Web Accessibility Standards from Accessible.org, which provides information in bullet points.

While the determination of website compliance with ADA hasn’t been settled in court, Stephen E. Boyd, the Assistance Attorney General, has stated that most sites have some flexibility for how they can comply with accessibility.

Some of the things covered in WAS include the following:

  • Website presentation, including uniform labels, clean code, descriptive text and nested headings
  • Website appearance, including color contrast and having a consistent layout and navigation
  • Content Alternatives, including no images of text, closed captioning, table data and text transcripts
  • User Control, including no automatic pop-ups or video, no unexpected changes, and the ability to adjust time limits
  • Website Usability, which includes only the keyboard, the ability to skip navigation and the search function

Accessibility is a Continual Process

Getting your website to be compliant isn’t a one-time thing. It is impacted every time you create new content and upload media. There is already a set of legal best practices to maintain compliance, which includes creating a web page which explains your accessibility policy, training on compliance, and hiring a consultant and an accessibility coordinator.

An independent consultant won’t do much to help you. They will tell you what’s wrong, but they won’t do the job of fixing your website. Don’t rely on automated scans because they will only tell you part of what’s wrong with your site.

If you decide you need an audit, make sure it’s a manual one. It takes hours of time, but it’s the only way to know if your entire site is compliant. However, the best option is to work with a web development company to make the necessary changes for compliance.

If you want to make changes immediately, make sure all your images have alt text and your videos include closed captioning. These are two changes which are simple and effective for your website going forward.

Since the lawsuits involve the ADA, it means there are no excuses for noncompliance. You can’t say things like:

  • I never heard about this issue
  • I just hired a developer to fix the problem
  • Part of my site is compliant
  • I only missed a couple of things

It doesn’t matter whether you’re a big Fortune 500 company or a Mom and Pop store. Anyone can be hit with a lawsuit. Now is the time to act before you get dragged into court. Digital 1 can not only let you know if your website is in compliance today, but we can also fix the issues so you don’t have to worry tomorrow.

To learn more email sales@digital1group.com or call 424.452.8484.

 

Worried About Duplicate Content

Are You Worried About Duplicate Content for Your Dealership Website? You Should Be.

If you’re hoping to rank well for your website, you need to know the dangers that exist to prevent you from reaching that goal. One of the worst culprits and most common is duplicate content. In fact, some experts estimate that almost 30 percent of the content on the internet is duplicated. To stand out from the crowd, you need original content that grabs Google’s attention and that of your audience.

What is Duplicate Content?

Duplicate content is a serious problem for website owners who want to rank well with Google in searches and rankings. It’s important to understand what it is so you can identify it and take care of the problem.

The definition of duplicate content is content that shows up on more than one page online. The most common reference is content that has been copied or plagiarized, but it most often happens unintentionally in several ways. If you have an e-commerce site and use the manufacturer’s description for the items you sell, your content will match what other sellers have for the same items.

Another way duplicate content happens is when you create multiple URLs for the same site, such as WWW. pages and non-WWW pages or Http and https. If the content is the same for both sites, it’s listed as duplicated even though you own both sites. If you have a print version of a page, it’s also a copy. These are prime examples of how duplicate content can be created.

Consequences of Duplicate Content

So, you’ve discovered you have duplicate content on your website. What’s the big deal? How will it impact the site? Content that has been copied can cause serious consequences.

When Google detects multiple pages with the same content, it must decide which one to prioritize. Only one can be the authority, and it must choose which one appears to be the best. Another issue with ranking is the importance of linking. With multiple pages saying the same thing, links on the topic may be spread out instead of all going to one page. This causes the pages to cancel each other out instead of improving rank.

If too many pages on a site are duplicated, it will reduce the authority of the entire site. In fact, in rare cases, Google can even ban the domain from its index. At the very least, it won’t index the duplicated pages so they won’t rank in searches at all.

Example of Duplicate Content on Dealer Websites

The following excerpt is from a dealer’s “about us” page. It’s a decent paragraph.

 

However, when you search in Google for that exact sentence, you see that there are a total of seven dealership websites with the exact same words on them:

What is Digital 1’s Solution?

Now that you understand what duplicate content is and how it can impact SEO and website ranking, your next concern is probably how you can fix it. Digital 1 can help you with this issue. First, we’ll identify all content that is duplicated from your dealer’s website. We will remove it so that the pages aren’t penalized and replace it with new content.

Before we add new content to your site, we will evaluate your competitor’s site and the strengths and weaknesses of their keywords to know what to target. We will create original content that is focused on location and utilizes the keyword weaknesses of your competition. You can rest assured that our content follows Google’s guidelines. Instead of focusing on search engines and trying to rank through a formula, content is written for people. This means it has value to readers and will organically contain the information necessary to rank well.

We continue to promote this new, original content by driving high-quality backlinks to the site. As Google indexes the pages, they will rank higher and be seen as the authority.

If you are worried about duplicate content or not ranking well and want to implement these SEO strategies to create fresh, authoritative content that Google likes, contact Digital 1.