Why Unique Content is so Important in SEO
It’s no debate that unique content is of significant importance to SEO.
Great content makes almost everything else in SEO easier. Yet, it is where most people fail and don’t get the expected traffic results.
An important thing to clarify is: What is meant exactly by “unique content”?
For SEO, unique content is more than content that is plagiarism free, it’s content that has unique information not found anywhere else, or has a unique point of view. It comes as a result of understanding search intent, in-depth research, and having access to unique expertise.
Everybody can spend a couple of hours researching and summarizing content from the top results on Google. But creating something truly outstanding takes time and effort.” Source
As you’ll see in this article, spending the time to create unique content has multiple benefits beyond SEO.
1. Unique content increases engagement
If your content is high-quality, it will be reflected in user-engagement metrics.
Despite Google being unclear as to how they use engagement signals, it is clear that their algorithm uses them in one way or the other.
The great thing about engagement metrics is that they can be measured and improved over time.
The most important is the click-through rate (as reported in Search Console). It is influenced by your title tag, meta description, and sometimes rich snippets. In other words, the article title is the most critical part of the content.
In Google Analytics 4, Engagement Time is one of the engagement metrics that help judge your content quality. Google Analytics metrics are not ranking factors, but they are good indicators of user satisfaction.
Increased engagement usually leads to more conversions as well, so it goes beyond SEO.
2. Unique content increases natural links
A natural link means a link that was placed organically, without you asking or paying for it. They are the best kind of links since they’re free and you don’t risk being penalized by Google for paying for links.
Quality content increases your credibility and naturally attracts links. The more authoritative the sites linking to you are, the more they will benefit your SEO.
Once your content ranks, it tends to attract even more backlinks as more people find it.
3. Unique content tends to rank longer
High-quality unique content is hard to do, but it’s also hard to replicate.
If you choose evergreen content subjects and put the bar high, you can sometimes rank for years without touching it.
Contrary to other channels like paid ads, your content assets compound. And one of the biggest determinants of durability is the uniqueness and quality of your content.
Eventually, you’ll need to go back and optimize your content. To avoid pressuring your writer too much, a good practice is to re-optimize your content in increments every 6 to 12 months.
4. Unique content increases branded search
When users like your content, they search for it with your brand, product, or service names.
A high search volume for brand-related terms is beneficial to SEO.
For example, because an estimated 4.4k people search for “rei duffel bag” every month, it benefits REI SEO for non-branded related terms like “duffel bag”.
And you don’t need to have thousands of brand-related searches to get the SEO benefits. Even 50 brand-related searches per month can be beneficial.
How to check if your content is unique
Keeping in mind that plagiarism-free content is not necessarily unique content, it is still a good practice to use a tool to check for duplicate content.
There are several plagiarism tools available. I personally use Grammarly with their paid plan. But there are several free options like Copyscape or Plagiarism Detector.
Is duplicate content always bad?
Duplicate content is not always a bad thing. For example, quotes from other articles with links to sources are totally fine.
For long-tail keywords, it’s sometimes okay to use the same content on several of your pages, changing only the variable that differentiates these pages.
But in general, you should aim to have a low percentage of duplicate content on your site.
Producing truly unique content is hard, but when done right, it will get you more traffic and more conversions.
In addition, it’s much more satisfying for a writer to produce than rehash existing content.
Keep in mind that it’s a process and the more you do the better you will get. With patience and consistency, you’ll most likely find out that it’s well worth the effort.