What Insurance Agents Should Know About Duplicate Content
One thing that can harm the performance of your website, which is something you don’t need as an insurance agent, is the creation of duplicate content. There are three main types of duplicate content. These include new pages that communicate basically (or identically) the same thing as a previous page but parade as new; duplication of ideas; and technical duplication. You’ll want to properly manage each one if you’re bootstrapping your website. Here’s how to do it.
This is a relatively easy one to avoid. Simply communicate new ideas each time you write or post content. Review what you’ve previously done to make sure that you’re not wholesale-lifting a similarly constructed page while leaving out any new value. Sometimes it’s fine to go back to an old topic and repeat some of the same old ideas as long as you’re bringing something new to the table. But there must be something new, or else you run the risk of creating a duplicate.
Duplication of ideas.
This form of duplicate may occur when you regurgitate the same basic article as before with different examples and wording but similar structure. It typically won’t get your ranking in as much trouble as an exact duplicate parading as new, and even in those cases, it generally has to be an extreme circumstance. Case in point: one new company was launching their site with a press release, but that press release was simply a copy and paste of their home page. They sent the PRs out to tons of submission services, and in one day, all that duplicate content hit Google and got an almost instantaneous blacklist notice. Still, whether it’s a direct rip or a regurgitation of something similar in the not-too-distant past, you may wish to avoid.
This may occur outside your direct knowledge. It happens when your site has multiple links that are exactly the same in content and title with one or two small exceptions in the URL (i.e. capitalization of one, two, or three letters, etc.). What happens is that without what is known as a rel=“canonical” tag at the end of the URL, Google or [insert search engine here] will index each page as unique although they clearly are not. By adding the rel=“canonical” tag, you are essentially pointing those duplicate links back to the original and saying, “These are all the same page; index them as such.”
Except for the one rare example we shared above, duplicate content doesn’t necessarily do irreparable damage (or any at all). Still, it’s something to be mindful of because little problems kept in check too long can become big problems before you know it. It’s also something that can contribute to a culture of laziness around your online identity. And with the vast majority of insurance leads looking for their next coverage online, you can’t afford to have a shoddy presentation. Good luck in your insurance marketing efforts online.