If your website is lacking in content it could be damaging your rankings, traffic and/or conversion rates. Keep on reading to find out how thin content could effect your website and most importantly how can you fix it in order to increase ranking and sales.
At a time of year when many people are trying to reduce their waist size before heading off in search of some summer sun, a common problem with websites is the opposite – they suffer from thin content and this has consequences that can be problematic in a number of ways.
So what is thin content?
It is content that has little or no value on a website. It lacks sufficient depth and quality and as such solves nothing for the user reading the page. Most of it probably isn’t relevant to the user or an adequate answer to what originally brought them to that particular page. With so much content being thrown onto websites via an abundance of £10 an article copywriters that lack sufficient insight and long term strategy, it is becoming a big problem in current digital marketing.
Using thin content across your site can harm your reputation, your search engine positions and your conversions. It can also diminish the changes of user engagements and conversions to sale or enquiries from users. Thin content provides little to no value to the user, and typically exists on pages that have:
Any of the above examples of thin content can cause your website’s search engine positions to drop.
What can be done to improve thin content?
The first step is to assess your website and review the site manually before applying some technical checks.
You can use a Google search string which is “site:www.yourwebsite.com”. Putting this into Google with your own website will return all the pages that Google is currently indexing. You will be able to see how many pages Google is indexing and look at the titles and web address details of each page. You may spot some pages you didn’t realise existed or are being generated unintentionally.
The next step is to read the content on the site with a focus on the articles quality and relevancy to the page title and subject matter. The amount of text content is not as important as the quality of the content. If your page addresses the subject matter succinctly but covers all the main points, that is better than a meandering bloated article. There is a good chance you will highlight a number of pages which need additional time spent on them to put right.
There are also a number of technical checks you can do to look for thin content. The first is using an online tool such as copyscape.com. This will help you to recognise any potential instances of duplicate content. Simply enter the url of the webpage you wish to check and it will let you know if other pages appear online with content similar to yours. It is also a good way to check if other sites are using your content.
Besides actual content creation, there are some technical checks that can be made to ensure you are not highlighting thin content to Google.
www vs. non-www URLs
There should be only one preferred address for your website. Use redirect-checker.org to make sure the non www version of your site e.g https://yoursite.com is forwarding to https://www.yoursite.com
HTTP vs. HTTPS
The above also applies to http and https secure pages. A lot of sites were moved to https last year but many didn’t put in the correct redirects to tell Google that the https is the correct and only version of the site to be indexed.
Thin Category Pages
Some product-based websites have hundreds of category pages, and some may only feature a few items which may appear like thin or duplicate content to search engines. You can either remove the category entirely, or add a “noindex” rule to it which tells Google to ignore it.
Thin content is a huge problem online and if your site can be in the select few sites that are not affected you will be in a strong position. We’ve seen it cause some major problems for search engine rankings and traffic even on smaller sites with fewer pages through to large ecommerce stores with thousands of products. Working through the weaker content on the site should help your traffic volumes as well as improving your overall conversion rate through the site.