Building websites that perform well on search engines means creating dynamic and compelling content. And one of the challenges for some first-time website owners is avoiding duplicate content.
Copying and pasting one paragraph of content from one page to another can harm your SEO immensely. That’s because search engines flag it and see it as a poor-quality website. We’ll explain what you need to know about duplicate pages and content in WordPress and guide you in avoiding this problem.
What is a Duplicate WordPress Page?
A duplicate page in WordPress is when you create a copy of another page but keep the core content. Maybe you change a few words here or there but the general content is the same.
Sometimes businesses do this when a landing page performs well for one purpose. So they repurpose that content for another campaign with some minor tweaks. But search engines are smart and can see past minor tweaks to flag duplicate content.
Another scenario when this happens is when businesses want to use a page as a framework, but leave a copy of it published while developing content. Even if the page is only temporary, search engines will flag both pages and it could hurt your SEO.
Instead, be sure to change the content before publishing or leave the page in draft mode while you develop the new content.
How to Remove Duplicate WordPress Pages
Once you’ve identified that you have duplicate pages in WordPress, you can remove them pretty easily. You have two options.
- Remove the content on the page but keep the framework and design that has performed well for you. Just switch out the content to freshen it up and avoid duplication.
- Trash the duplicate page. Maybe it was an error or you didn’t realize that the duplicate page would harm your SEO at the time you created it. Either way, you can go to the edit or quick edit buttons for that page in WordPress and click trash.
Before deleting a page, even if it’s duplicate content, be sure to set up redirects to avoid having broken links or 404 errors on your website.
Duplicate Content in Meta Descriptions and Page Titles
Page content is not the only thing that you need to ensure you aren’t duplicating to avoid SEO penalties. Meta descriptions and page titles all need to be unique as well.
Sometimes page titles are identical if a company offers both residential and commercial work. So for example, if you’re a construction company, you might have a roofing page for residential and a roofing page for commercial.
You cannot duplicate the meta description or page title for these pages. You’ll need to make each unique, which really shouldn’t be that hard. More often than not, companies accidentally duplicate their content unknowingly. That’s where having an SEO expert monitoring reports and checking for duplicate content can help avoid these situations.
New Light Digital knows the implications of duplicate content on both the customer experience and SEO. We help you build your online presence strategically and maintain it over time. Request a free quote to learn more about our services.