The Home Page Test to See if Your Content Sucks

Welcome back to another episode of Local Search Tuesdays. This week, we’re continuing with the website content topic and we’ve got a killer tip to share with you to help you test your content.

Your website content is a vital factor in how you show up in online searches. At a basic level, if you want to show up for searches for a particular topic, you need a page on your site about that concept.

For example, if you’re a car dealer and you want to show up for “oil change” searches, you need a page about oil changes on your website.

You’ve probably heard that duplicate content is bad, but most people don’t realize that there’s no such thing as a duplicate content penalty. Google doesn’t penalize duplicate content, it rewards unique content. So if you’ve got duplicate content on your site, it’s not hurting you, but it’s not helping you either.

To perform well in search results, you need unique, informative content that’s relevant to the intent of the search query. It needs to be conversational content that truly helps answer the question.

Far too often, we see incredibly generic content on websites. You pull up a website and see generic boilerplate content that barely references what the company does. It’s short and boring, and doesn’t tell you anything about the business. While it might be unique, it’s definitely not going to help that site perform well in searches.

So this week, I’m sharing a simple test that you can use to check your website content. Our team uses this test all the time when we’re talking to potential clients, and it quickly shows if your website content needs some help.

So here’s what you do. Look at the content on your home page or even your “about us” page. Take off your business owner or marketer blinders and read the content slowly. Pay attention to mentions of the business name and location.

As you look at the content, think … if you were to change the business name and the city name, and then you took that content and put it on the website of a similar business in another city, would the content still work?

If the answer is yes, then your content sucks. It’s that simple.

If your content is truly unique … where it’s really about your business, who you are as a company, why people should buy from you, and why you’re awesome … and it’s truly localized … where it’s clearly about a business in your local area … then the content wouldn’t work on another site in another city if you change the business name and city.

So, now you know how to test your website content and see if you need help. Whether you write your own content or use a digital marketing agency, this tip will quickly show whether you need some additional work to have a better shot at showing up in local searches.

Greg Gifford is the Vice President of Search at SearchLab, a boutique marketing agency that provides Local SEO and PPC to SMBs all over the US and Canada. He's got over 17 years of online marketing and web design experience, and he’s one of the most in-demand conference speakers at digital marketing conferences all over the world. He graduated from Southern Methodist University with a BA in Cinema and Communications, and has an obscure movie quote for just about any situation.