More threads by Rich Owings

Rich Owings

Local Search Expert
LocalU Member
Apr 21, 2014
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Hi all,

I've had a couple of clients recently with an interesting issue. Both have well written blogs that attract a lot of organic traffic. But most of that traffic comes from out of the area. So my questions are, what good is it and is it really worth the effort? Here are my current thoughts on it, but I'm looking for new perspectives:
  • They can help build your site's authority.
  • But blog posts aren't as effective as they used to be. Local businesses are better off putting their efforts into long-form content including detailed services pages, and well crafted and unique city landing pages.
  • Having said that, blog posts can be useful and worth the investment when they are leveraged in multiple ways:
    • Being pulled into the home page so Google sees a steady stream of fresh content on the home page
    • Used for social media
    • Used for email newsletters
    • Used for Google Posts
Do you agree? What am I overlooking?

I welcome this debate, even though we have had it a few times before. It's a good debate.

I think the blog articles that you describe (strictly traffic, no business value), have almost no SEO value whatsoever. If you get a stray linkback to the article, then maybe, but, the odds of that are exceedingly low (I have blog articles with 10's of thousands of visits, and not a single link back).

"steady content on the home page" I'm skeptical of the value of "freshness". I mean, maybe it helps if you put some anchor links into key areas of the site (in the blog article), but, I just don't put much stock in "QDF" as a ranking/strategy. Though, I don't have much evidence.

The repurposing of the articles is good. I think the value of creating an article like that lies solely in the non-seo channels.
My landscape design blog would basically fit that description, but I have found (through much trial and error) that certain kinds of posts can still draw local traffic, and even lead to conversions.

For example, I have a post on artificial turf that gets tons of traffic- most of it out of area. On the other hand I have posts recommending nurseries, arborists, deck builders, even other landscape designers and contractors. These get lots of local traffic, the contact forms on those pages get used, and potential clients often reference them.

My feeling is that a blog that gets organic traffic must have some level of trust from G, so it is just a matter of leveraging that. My important SERPS are dominated by directory pages from Yelp, Houzz, etc so I created my own version of those and have found some success. YMMV

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