When you start a small business, one of the most important things in becoming successful is differentiating yourself from your competitors. You want your potential customers to know that you have something different to offer than everyone else. From your mission statement, to the service you provide, to how your employees interact with customers, your business is living its identity as an original. Your small business website deserves the same attention to detail that your store front or service trucks receive. Aesthetics are important, but what you have to say will make you stand out to your customers and to search engines as well.
The content on your website is the foundation of a strong web presence.
What’s Wrong with Copying Content from Someone Else
Typically when you create a new site, someone within your business creates content for the main pages of your website. As time goes on and business responsibilities build up, it can sometimes become much easier to look at another website in your niche and say, “Hey, that sounds great. I’ll just use what they said for our site!” However, following this strategy for building out the content on your website can pose to be problematic.
The first problem with copying content from another business’s website is that it is plagiarism. According to Wikipedia, plagiarism occurs when there is “wrongful appropriation of another author’s ideas, language, or thoughts.” Copying a paragraph or two might seem innocent to you, but it is considered by most to be ethically wrong. Depending on what and how much content is copied, you could find yourself in legal trouble as well, especially without proper citations.
The second problem is that Google, the largest search engine in the world, knows whether or not your content is original. If your moral compass is off, Google will be sure to give you a lesson in ethics by penalizing your website for identical content. When you use someone else’s content over your own, you are missing out on a major opportunity for your business. Original content, that is well written, will actually help optimize your website for search engines. When the content is relative to each page and provides value to humans beings searching, your website can move up the search engine rankings. If you’re a small business owner, I know how much it means for you to show up in Google results. The content on your website is the foundation of a strong web presence.
The Do’s of Creating Original Content
Creating original content for your website will do wonders for your overall web presence. When done properly, your site should experience more relevant traffic and higher rankings in search engines for a variety of keywords. Getting it right the first time around is extremely important.
At TrustWorkz®, we create original content for small businesses with weekly blog posts. Every blog post is intentional, and always has a goal in mind for helping our clients grow their business online. Here are a few points we consider when creating original website content:
- We always want to add value to the business’s customers, so we always try to answer a question that needs to be answered. If your customers are anything like us, then they go to the internet and search for valuable information. By solving common problems or answering questions, your web presence builds authority and trust with your customers and search engines.
- Creating headlines that grab a user’s attention is also very important. If your headlines are informative and laid out well, users can find information that is important to them. This is something that Google is also noticing about your small business website.
- Always make accuracy a priority when creating content. If you’re reporting facts or analysis, make sure that you cite where you found the information. This helps you back your content, as well as give credit where credit is due. Quoting a thought leader in your niche is perfectly fine, but it’s important to cite their thoughts as you would if you were writing a book.
- Review your grammar and spelling for errors before publishing content. Potential customers reviewing your website could take one look at a few misspellings and head back to Google to look for someone who takes the time to review their content. It might sound silly, but the majority of us will turn away when we see spelling errors on websites.
The main pages of your website deserve close attention to be sure that your message is being delivered clearly and accurately. Consider it similar to creating ad copy, which will be used to attract new customers and convince them to contact you for more information.
If you have questions about your website or content marketing for your business, contact TrustWorkz® for more information about managing your web presence.
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