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I would maybe challenge you to test building a page about that topic that's very optimized for a location you WOULD service, connect it well via internal linking to your services/product pages and make sure it's very easy for the user to convert.

Measure the results and see which does better for you. I have a guess, but will reserve judgement :)
This is why I was thinking about adapting the blog articles into my existing services pages and town based landing pages. Then 301 redirecting the blog article URL's to the corresponding page.
 

CarrieHill

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CarrieHill

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I have to admit, I am very scared to do it. I would hate to spend the time doing it just to find that it made my website rank worse.
What do you lose? 1082 visitors that weren't relevant to what you do to make money? Put the post into draft mode and add the 301, watch it for a few days, and if your rankings are okay - you're golden, if you see something drastic happen - delete the 301 and republish the page. It's a hiccup of a few days. My suspicion is that you'll lose irrelevant traffic but not relevant leads.
 

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What do you lose? 1082 visitors that weren't relevant to what you do to make money? Put the post into draft mode and add the 301, watch it for a few days, and if your rankings are okay - you're golden, if you see something drastic happen - delete the 301 and republish the page. It's a hiccup of a few days. My suspicion is that you'll lose irrelevant traffic but not relevant leads.
I'm not worried about the traffic to the blog posts, I'm worried about losing the current local traffic to the services pages or town based landing pages that I would be incorporating the blog posts into. What do you think? No issue?
 

CarrieHill

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I'm not worried about the traffic to the blog posts, I'm worried about losing the current local traffic to the services pages or town based landing pages that I would be incorporating the blog posts into. What do you think? No issue?
Very minimal impact IMO - but watch it close and undo it if you see a dip.
 

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My original idea was to put the blog article content into the services or town based landing page and then 301 redirect it. Are you saying to just remove the blog article and 301 redirect that URL without pasting the article into the services or town based landing page?
 

CarrieHill

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My original idea was to put the blog article content into the services or town based landing page and then 301 redirect it. Are you saying to just remove the blog article and 301 redirect that URL without pasting the article into the services or town based landing page?
I think that's a good plan - you can always revert to previous version if you have to undo everything - just don't delete the original blog page - put it to draft so you can republish it if you want to undo everything.
 

Greg Gifford

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just read through this whole thing... seem to me the issue is that, in most cases, people are taking things out of context. Blogging just to add blog posts, or blogging just to talk about the local area, isn't a good idea and won't be effective.

But, as part of a cohesive strategy, where you're targeting longer tail keywords, targeting other areas, linking internally the right way, and using posts as linkbuilding opportunities - they can be really effective. Clearly, it's going to work better for some verticals, but if done correctly, it can work for anyone
 

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To be fair, it ultimately boils down to the business and the resources they have available. If they're doing well enough to hire someone full-time to manage SEO and content, then I could see a blog being useful for driving links and increasing the rankings of the site as a whole.
 

Greg Gifford

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To be fair, it ultimately boils down to the business and the resources they have available. If they're doing well enough to hire someone full-time to manage SEO and content, then I could see a blog being useful for driving links and increasing the rankings of the site as a whole.
Marty has a great point. I'd 100% agree that if a business doesn't have the ability/resources to have someone handle their SEO/digital marketing, blogging would be a really low priority in terms of "if we're doing things ourselves, what can we do to really move the needle?"
 

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just read through this whole thing... seem to me the issue is that, in most cases, people are taking things out of context. Blogging just to add blog posts, or blogging just to talk about the local area, isn't a good idea and won't be effective.

But, as part of a cohesive strategy, where you're targeting longer tail keywords, targeting other areas, linking internally the right way, and using posts as linkbuilding opportunities - they can be really effective. Clearly, it's going to work better for some verticals, but if done correctly, it can work for anyone
Your post brings up two questions for me.

Can you please explain what you mean about linking internally “the right way“? I have a feeling that my internal linking is most likely not the right way, so any help on how to do it right would be greatly appreciated.

Second question is about the linkbuilding opportunities you mentioned. Let’s say that a plumber put up a great blog article about unclogging a toilet, and various higher authority websites from around the country linked to it. Would the links to that article page on the plumbers website (and any subsequent links from that blog page to the services page on the plumbers website) lead to the plumbers website getting a boost in rankings for local people looking for a plumber?
 

Greg Gifford

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linking internally - let's say there's a page about toilet repair, and on that page, you'd link to the "how to unclog a toilet" blog post, and other blog posts about unclogging a toilet (and potentially, from other service pages that might be related... and on the individual blog post, you'd also link to the toilet repair page, cause you'd want to potentially convert any local customers who see the post and decide they don't want to do it themselves. It's all about the technical thematic cluster...Instead of just throwing up a random blog post about unclogging a toilet and doing nothing with it

for link building - google ranks pages, not sites - so it's more about getting that page to rank better if it receives inbound links... but there's a secondary benefit of (if internal link structure is correctly implemented) potentially boosting the other pages that the blog post links to (not pages that link to the blog post)

and in local, we're much more worried about getting links from local sites/entities - if you're only chasing high authority links, you're gonna have a much harder time. There are literally thousands of pages/posts about unclogging a toilet, so it's highly unlikely that "higher authority sites from around the country" would find it unique/useful enough to link to it. But a local case study type post could totally get links from other local sites
 

Rich Owings

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linking internally - let's say there's a page about toilet repair, and on that page, you'd link to the "how to unclog a toilet" blog post, and other blog posts about unclogging a toilet (and potentially, from other service pages that might be related... and on the individual blog post, you'd also link to the toilet repair page
So you would link both directions? From the blog posts to the service page, as well as from the service page to the blog posts?
 

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