DontBiteUrNails

Member
Top Poster Of Month
Joined
Jan 24, 2020
Messages
114
Hey guys, I’m wondering how you feel today about the value of putting blog articles on a contractor’s website and how that affects Local SEO. I’m talking about companies like plumbers and locksmiths. Do you think that blogs help them?

I’ve noticed with my own site that it is incredibly rare for me to get someone in one of the towns that I serve to ind my website via one of the blog articles. Most of the people who directly find my blog articles on Google are from around the country.

The people in my local area who find my website through local landing pages don’t go to the blog very often either.

So what do you pros do for your contractor customers?
 

PKLilikoi

Member
Joined
Sep 17, 2020
Messages
38
Hey guys, I’m wondering how you feel today about the value of putting blog articles on a contractor’s website and how that affects Local SEO. I’m talking about companies like plumbers and locksmiths. Do you think that blogs help them?

I’ve noticed with my own site that it is incredibly rare for me to get someone in one of the towns that I serve to ind my website via one of the blog articles. Most of the people who directly find my blog articles on Google are from around the country.

The people in my local area who find my website through local landing pages don’t go to the blog very often either.

So what do you pros do for your contractor customers?
To be honest, I like to do 1 blog post per month minimum no matter the industry. The reason why is because it is fresh content thats posted to the site and has the opportunity to pop up for certain phrases, questions, or even the answer box.

For a contractor such as a plumber or locksmith, I would suggest doing a blog post on questions people ask. For example, Top 3 questions to ask your local plumber in Los Angeles or What Questions to ask your local plumber, etc.

Blogs have value. Just depends on how you tackle it.
 

djbaxter

Administrator
Administrator
Moderator
Joined
Jun 28, 2012
Messages
3,368
Even a blog about do-it-yourself minor repairs or emergency stop-gap repairs while waiting for a professional would help, not only for search visibility but also for branding. If one of your posts helps someone for free, it will elevate your reputation as an "expert" who is trustworthy and who gives back to the community.

The difficulty is to get the contractors to write anything so you'll likely have to do it yourself or contract that task out to a content writer.

I would also note that you never know what is going to attract traffic. Out of frustration, I wrote a blog post back in June 2018 titled "When Windows 10 won't open links from your email in your browser". This was born out of my own frustration with Microsoft Office, specifically Outlook, and the difficulty I had finding a solution to a repeated problem that had plagued Outlook over several versions. There was no lack of "solutions" from Microsoft, MS MVPs, and others; the problem was that they didn't work or didn't last. When I finally found something that did work, I wrote the blog post. I certainly never expected it to become a top post for my site but it has become my most popular post month after month. It doesn't have anything directly to do with services I offer but I think it does illustrate something about my troubleshooting and problem-solving skills and it does bring my business and my website to the attention of people who might become clients and customers and who might otherwise not have found my site.

Anything that adds visibility to your site is helpful and blog posts are an inexpensive way of doing that. And they don't disappear after a week like GMB posts.
 

DontBiteUrNails

Member
Top Poster Of Month
Joined
Jan 24, 2020
Messages
114
Thanks for the replies.

The main reason why I was questioning the effectiveness of blogs for local SEO is because in my own experiences the articles are being read by people from all over the country or the world. A tiny fraction of a percent of the readers of my blog articles are actually in the few towns that my business serves.
 

djbaxter

Administrator
Administrator
Moderator
Joined
Jun 28, 2012
Messages
3,368
But you're still enhancing the overall visibility of the business with minimal; effort and expense. I look at the long-term and don't underestimate the power of word of mouth on social media. Keep the big picture in mind and don't get hyperfocused om only those factors that may seem directly linked to local foot traffic. Think long tail rather than primary search terms.
 

DontBiteUrNails

Member
Top Poster Of Month
Joined
Jan 24, 2020
Messages
114
Thanks again for the info.

I actually like writing articles about my trade and some of mine have done surprisingly well. It's just that I can't capitalize on any of those readers since I am a local business. I also noticed that a lot of websites for high ranking contractors around the country don't seem to have blogs anymore, so I was wondering if SEO Pro's were moving away from that.

For me, I'll keep it and keep writing if it helps even the slightest.
 

dynasty

Member
Joined
Sep 30, 2020
Messages
5
I've been trying to find data about the amount of local traffic blogs can bring to a local business (particularly contractors). I can't find anything that narrows the data down to traffic area. Our clients don't care about people visiting them from three states away. If we did want to commission research on this topic, does anyone have any good resources for us?
 

dynasty

Member
Joined
Sep 30, 2020
Messages
5
My question is if there is any research out there on the subject in the title post. What percentage of blog traffic typically comes from local searchers? Is the local ROI worth a contractor in Pennsylvania spending the money to attract people in New York? I mean a blog is cheap in the short term but over a year can easily cost a contractor thousands of dollars.

Would they (on average) get a better ROI spending on local initiatives like radio ads or community contests?

Reading through the above, I notice it's mostly people saying blogs are valuable for SEO and relevancy. As a freelance writer, I'm well aware of that.
 

Andy

Member
Joined
Jun 17, 2014
Messages
42
I cannot answer whether a blog is a better investment than local contests and ads. I surmise that would be dependent on the local company, the city etc...

The approach I would take is to write blog posts optimized around keyword + geo-modifier - so for instance "periodontist mid-town Los Angeles"

I have used Ahrefs for this and every time there was some decent traffic for these KW+geo combinations then I went for a blog post.

Ahrefs does not have all possible combinations (you need to be Google for that), though you can infer that if a given combination works (eg, Los Angeles) then it will probably work in another one (eg New York) even if you don't have any data in Ahrefs
 

Andy

Member
Joined
Jun 17, 2014
Messages
42
Consider also what Joy says during the The State of Local Search in 2020 [Webinar Recap]

"Once again, this differs by vertical, but according to Joy, “It doesn’t make sense for most SMBs to have a blog.”

For example, in the dental industry, it may be hard to come up with valuable content, whereas “With lawyers, you could have hundreds of pages because there are so many legal questions that people ask on Google."
 

dynasty

Member
Joined
Sep 30, 2020
Messages
5
I cannot answer whether a blog is a better investment than local contests and ads. I surmise that would be dependent on the local company, the city etc...

The approach I would take is to write blog posts optimized around keyword + geo-modifier - so for instance "periodontist mid-town Los Angeles"

I have used Ahrefs for this and every time there was some decent traffic for these KW+geo combinations then I went for a blog post.

Ahrefs does not have all possible combinations (you need to be Google for that), though you can infer that if a given combination works (eg, Los Angeles) then it will probably work in another one (eg New York) even if you don't have any data in Ahrefs
So, there's been no specific research done on traffic v.s. non-local traffic to local-dependent businesses? I smell a research project in our company's future.

Thank you for the feedback. We're already working on localized city pages and FAQs, which I think will cover the geo-modified terms like the above.
 

DontBiteUrNails

Member
Top Poster Of Month
Joined
Jan 24, 2020
Messages
114
Consider also what Joy says during the The State of Local Search in 2020 [Webinar Recap]

"Once again, this differs by vertical, but according to Joy, “It doesn’t make sense for most SMBs to have a blog.”

For example, in the dental industry, it may be hard to come up with valuable content, whereas “With lawyers, you could have hundreds of pages because there are so many legal questions that people ask on Google."
Would the fact that blog articles on a lawyer's website are getting thousands of views from around the country help boost that website in local rankings?
 

Yan Gilbert

Administrator
Moderator
Local Search Expert
LocalU Faculty
Joined
Oct 15, 2016
Messages
431
Blog posts also provide extra opportunity to create more keyword rich inlinking throughout the site. If structured properly it will help visibility overall, which should translate into higher local rankings.
 

JoshuaMackens

Local Search Expert
Joined
Sep 12, 2012
Messages
1,922
I'll dissent and say I don't think it's worth it.

We would write 2 blog posts a month for our client. Did it for 2-3 years. I was skeptical of the impact. We stopped and I removed all the blog posts to see what would happen. Nothing happened. No ranking shift up or down.

For national companies who serve customers all over, blogs make a lot of sense. As you mentioned, you can't capitalize on national traffic. National companies can. But a local blog answering a question about your industry will not have any better chance to show up for a local searcher that is searching a national query than if you weren't local. For questions Google does not prioritize location, unless the question itself is inherently local. Which for local business blog content is almost never the case. A good case being someone Google's "should I get a divorce lawyer". The divorce lawyer down the street from this searcher has no better chance to show up for this query than the divorce lawyer 1,000 miles away. Google does not prioritize location here. They prioritize EAT, which will almost never be in a local business's favor vs national sites that invest heavy in their EAT to answer these type of questions.

Blogs can drive backlinks, which is another reason for a blog. But there's a catch 22 there. Blogs that drive backlinks (really high quality articles) are not scalable for most agencies (you should always be scalable) and usually have to be written by the local business themselves. That rarely happens. And even if it does, they don't know how to do the SEO or the backlink outreach. So, those that can shouldn't (agencies) and those that can't, possibly should (local business owners).

Local blogs also do not drive local traffic in most cases. However, they can help with conversion. They can make you look like the expert, etc.

If you had a really thin site then maybe you could do it for quality. But I've seen sites with 10 pages ranking incredibly well. Google knows local businesses don't really have a lot to say typically, so I don't concern myself with thin content unless it's a YMYL site. And even then, I don't know that I would go with a blog and even if you do, it needs to be done really carefully.

Honestly, every time I see another marketing company writing blogs consistently for their local clients I kind of shake my head. Still waiting for someone to prove me wrong but hasn't happened yet.
 

DontBiteUrNails

Member
Top Poster Of Month
Joined
Jan 24, 2020
Messages
114
Joshua, you bring up a very interesting point. So a person who searched for "How do I unclog my drain?" will not see a local plumber's blog article ranking higher than all the rest of the plumber's blogs from around the country.

Now Google might give that person questioning "How do I unclog my drain?" some options for local plumbers, but that will be because of their local SEO and not their blogs.
 

JoshuaMackens

Local Search Expert
Joined
Sep 12, 2012
Messages
1,922
Joshua, you bring up a very interesting point. So a person who searched for "How do I unclog my drain?" will not see a local plumber's blog article ranking higher than all the rest of the plumber's blogs from around the country.

Now Google might give that person questioning "How do I unclog my drain?" some options for local plumbers, but that will be because of their local SEO and not their blogs.

Correct. But I don't think they would bring up SERP's for local plumbers either. Could be wrong.
 

Login / Register

Already a member?   LOG IN
Not a member yet?   REGISTER

Trending: Most Viewed

  Promoted Posts

New advertising option: A review of your product or service posted by a Sterling Sky employee. This will also be shared on the Sterling Sky & LSF Twitter accounts, our Facebook group, LinkedIn, and both newsletters. More...

  LocalU.org

Google Product Exert


Top Bottom