Duplicate content can put your website at risk

A ring of keys where the top key says "do not duplicate"

Building your website can feel like a Herculean task sometimes. You need to determine the style, the right images, the tone, and the right content to put on your site. Every element can take time and have an impact on your site’s performance.

As a result, some firms (or their website developers) choose to take shortcuts. It can seem easier just to find the perfect content somewhere else. With a quick copy and paste, it can become another site’s content with minimal effort.

This duplication, however, can put the performance of both sites at risk, especially the copycat site. It is important that your law firm site has original content that is customized to your firm.

What is duplicate content?

Duplicate content is content that appears in more than one place on the internet. In other words, it is content that appears on more than one URL. This means that you can have duplication of content across one site or appearing on multiple domains.

Additionally, the word “content” does not just apply to words on the page. Content includes images and videos.

Duplicate content can impact site performance

Search engines like Google want to give users a list of results that match their needs. As a result, when they scan content, they are looking to give higher rank to more useful and relevant content.

But what happens if there are different pages or sites serving up the same content? Google and other search engines may not know which page to show to the user. These duplicate pages are competing against each other, and they both may drop in the search rankings as a result. This can make it difficult for potential clients to find your website.

Duplicate content and copyright

You may think it strange that a lawyer would violate another attorney’s copyright by taking their content and trying to pass it off as their own. However, it does happen. In our years of making law firm websites at FindLaw, we have seen it happen countless times to blog posts, practice area pages, and even testimonials.

When someone takes your content and tries to pass it off as their own, you may have a copyright infringement claim on your hands, and you can take action to protect your original works.

Likewise, it is important to take care to avoid accidentally violating another individual’s copyright. In particular, images can cause problems and open you up to potential claims. Be sure you and the website development company you work with have the proper permissions to use the images and text that appear on your website.

The key to avoiding duplicate content

The best way to avoid duplicate content is to have content that is specifically customized to your firm. Every word on your site should be geared toward your particular market and speak to your unique experience. You can accomplish this by using case results and testimonials throughout your content. This can help to market your brand and make the content specific to only you.

Additionally, you should use images of you and your law firm throughout the website. Not only does this help protect you from accidentally having an issue with a stock photo, but it also helps your users connect with you. This can help turn a reader of your site’s content into a client.

Duplicate content is a risk, but it is avoidable and fixable. To learn more and get advice about your website’s content, schedule a free consultation with a marketing expert near you.

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