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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?
 

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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.
 

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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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A client has a decently high ranking generic blog post from 2018 pulling 500 hits a month. The next 7 most popular total about half that. It's the standard, uninspired outsourced stuff you can imagine with plain text paragraphs and a single stock photo.

I'm hoping to extract some value from it, though. I was planning on adding share buttons for the hell of it, but they're all hovering at 90% BR, so that's unlikely to work. Not willing to put any work into them since the ROI isn't there, but any ideas beyond editing internal links in there?
 

Tyson Downs

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Probably the best thing you could do is to login to GSC and see what keywords is bringing people to the blog post. Then, if at anyway related to the services your client offers, I'd update the post to make it more relevant to the clients industries. You could use something like Frase.io (we love that tool) to get more ideas of content to incorporate into the post, then update the post based on your data.

Continue to add internal links to other pages on the site as appropriate. Seeing as Google thinks that that particular page is a relevant result, it obviously has 'some authority'. You may as well see if you can pass some of that authority on to your other pages using internal linking.

There's no silver bullet, we have some client like this, and I wonder what in the world their previous SEO company was thinking when they added those blog posts that are completely irrelevant and imo useless. Just a waste of time and money for everybody.
 

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I have a PI attorney for whom we have done very little blogging. Not long after we started, he decided he wanted to run PPC ads instead to get immediate results. So we pulled the plug on blogging because he didn't want to put more into his budget. We did a site rebuild a year later when I did more on-site optimization but other than that and other minor optimization to existing pages as Joy recommends, we haven't done a whole lot for SEO. Meanwhile, over the year, the heat was turning up on the blogs we did do. Two in particular kept bringing in more and more traffic. One was for a civil litigation timeline, the other for something only very indirectly related to personal injury. It was a topic that was of interest across the U.S. He now gets more traffic on that blog than anything else. We chose the topic because it was a problem that is of interest to his city, so if anything, it would be good to build brand awareness.

There was a part of me that was thinking what a waste because these readers never convert. But as the traffic and engagement signals went up on those two articles, so did his rank on the holy grail keyword "personal injury attorney + city." He is now on the 1st page, having moved from page 15. There seems to be a direct correlation (or it is causation?) because it all happened at the same time. I wish I had more data to confirm causation or correlation, but I don't. I'd love to hear if others have had the same experience.

I will add that I'm very particular and there is nothing I do that doesn't have a purpose and isn't the best it can be. So when we write a blog, it's informative and or entertaining or both, and always engaging if I've captured the right audience. It always serves a purpose.

I say that because I don't want you thinking that just writing a blog, any blog, is all you have to do. That's not what we did.

Ok, anyone else have this experience?
 

AidanSEO

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This topic actually crossed my mind yesterday. Yes, I do believe blogs are helpful to contractors and small businesses in general. A blog allows the company to demonstrate their mastery of the topic, as well as provide their target audience with relevant and helpful information that their primary services don't cover. I'll use plumbers as an example while I demonstrate my reasoning.

For example, a plumbing company may publish a blog article about "How to fix a leaky faucet". Fixing a leaky faucet itself is not the bread and butter for a plumbing company, however by providing this information they can get their company into the minds of people for when they do have a plumbing issue that needs a professional touch like water heater repair. So, the next time they have a water heater issue, or an emergency plumbing situation, they may think of that company directly "I'll search for that company I found out how to fix my leaky faucet from", or may search directly for "plumbers near me" and recognize the name in the search results.

I've published a more in-depth article covering this topic, hope this has been helpful!
6 Reasons Why Your Small Business Website Needs A Blog | Aidan SEO
 

AidanSEO

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I have a PI attorney for whom we have done very little blogging. Not long after we started, he decided he wanted to run PPC ads instead to get immediate results. So we pulled the plug on blogging because he didn't want to put more into his budget. We did a site rebuild a year later when I did more on-site optimization but other than that and other minor optimization to existing pages as Joy recommends, we haven't done a whole lot for SEO. Meanwhile, over the year, the heat was turning up on the blogs we did do. Two in particular kept bringing in more and more traffic. One was for a civil litigation timeline, the other for something only very indirectly related to personal injury. It was a topic that was of interest across the U.S. He now gets more traffic on that blog than anything else. We chose the topic because it was a problem that is of interest to his city, so if anything, it would be good to build brand awareness.

There was a part of me that was thinking what a waste because these readers never convert. But as the traffic and engagement signals went up on those two articles, so did his rank on the holy grail keyword "personal injury attorney + city." He is now on the 1st page, having moved from page 15. There seems to be a direct correlation (or it is causation?) because it all happened at the same time. I wish I had more data to confirm causation or correlation, but I don't. I'd love to hear if others have had the same experience.

I will add that I'm very particular and there is nothing I do that doesn't have a purpose and isn't the best it can be. So when we write a blog, it's informative and or entertaining or both, and always engaging if I've captured the right audience. It always serves a purpose.

I say that because I don't want you thinking that just writing a blog, any blog, is all you have to do. That's not what we did.

Ok, anyone else have this experience?

Does the homepage of your client display a list of "recently published blogs"? If yes, then the blog activity would update the "last modified date" of the homepage. Additionally, a blog builds the total content base around the topic your client focuses on, which would therefor make it a greater "authority on the topic" in the eyes of Google.
 
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