Cookie Cutter Sites

There are a lot of website companies that focus on one area, and they build a single website that works for that area.  Then they take that single website and sell it a thousand times to everyone they can find in that field.


Cookie Cutter Sites Might Not Hurt, But They Do Not Help


I have several clients that have sites that are cookie-cutter sites like this, and they all have the same problems.


The biggest problem is that the content is old.  The websites have been static and virtually unchanged for more than five years.  Since the content is five years old, it was written to conform to the best practices for websites at least five years ago.  Even though I have seen these sites for the last five years, they have been in production for quite a bit longer than that.  In some cases, these websites can be upwards of ten years old.


Many of these sites are on such old platforms that they do not even have decent social sharing buttons.  For one client, his website can only share to Facebook and Twitter through the built-in social sharing buttons.  I asked the designer if he can share to Instagram, and I was informed that he does not have that capability, and he is not going to add it.  This person built a site about ten years ago, and he is now milking it for all its worth.  He had absolutely no interest in improving the site as long as the money was still rolling in.  And incredibly, it was to the detriment of all of his clients.


Old Content and Limited Capabilities


These sites are also antiquated since the blogging capability is limited if you can add a blog to it at all.  The same guy who won't add Instagram to his site also has no blogging capability on his site.  Without a blog, you a missing out on one of the essential parts of your online presence. 


Another issue with a ten-year-old site, even if the back end of the site is updated, is that the content sounds like it was written ten years ago.  These sites use old-school SEO language that reads and sounds awkward.  People are smarter about research, so they read your website.  If your content is hard to read or sounds like it was written to check the boxes on some old SEO checklist, then you are not going to gain anyone's trust.


Newletters that Give you No SEO Benefits At All


The biggest issue with these cookie-cutter sites is that you get no benefit other than having a website.  When your website is a copy of hundreds of other sites with the same content, Google just ignores it.  Old and repeated content is not going to do well with any of the search engines.  This makes it harder to find you when people are even looking specifically for you.

Many times the selling point of these sites is their newsletter.  They update the newsletter monthly, so you think you are getting new content.  The problem is all those other hundreds of people are getting the same newsletter, so again, you are dealing with duplicate content that is being ignored by Google.


There is a company that specializes in accounting websites that is guilty of this.  I search for accounting related content and keywords every day.  In five years of working with accountants and checking these keywords, this company's newsletter has never come up in search.  Never.  Not a single time.  I have gone as far as to put in my client's name, and keywords that I knew were part of the current newsletter, and it still did not come up.  As far as I know, they might even be flagging the newsletter as no-index, which is a flag you can use on a website to tell the search engines to ignore the page.  If they do not have that flag set, they might as well.


Your Website Should Match Who You Are


Our websites are created specifically for our clients.  No two people are the same.  Through business networking, I have met ten different accountants, and they all have different personalities.  If I were to create sites for them, they would all be different based on personality alone.


If you want to be just one of the crowd, buy a website that is just one of the crowd.  If you want to stand out and have a website that works for you, then give us a call.