mborgelt

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Throughout my journey as a local search professional no subject is covered less than content marketing. As I float around the forums, blogs, etc I find exceedingly that most problems could be solved via effective content marketing. Here is an article that aptly explains the overlap and the necessity of both strategies to be successful in SEO.

Why SEO is Actually All About Content Marketing
 

JoshuaMackens

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Because content marketing in SEO, for Local SEO agencies, has two issues:

1. It is hard to scale and you need to be able to scale to be efficient and effective as an agency.
2. Your audience is smaller on a local level so this means less relevant traffic and less backlinks per effort of content marketing. Almost negligible in my opinion.

Content marketing is SEO for the national level. I absolutely agree. We've seen the fruits of it inside our own marketing for our agency.

However, on the local level, it seems to me to have vastly diminished returns.

I could be wrong and would love to hear dissenting opinions with some evidence of successful content marketing campaigns as they apply to Local SEO that can be scaled on a local level.
 
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Honestly, that's why I mostly work with wedding photographers or wedding vendors. You've got a whole industry of local business owners producing quality work, and a whole industry of editors wanting to feature said work on bridal inspiration blogs and so on. National exposure, high quality links, the content's already been created even, they just need someone to connect the dots. It's great.

With normal industries though, Joshua's right. Unless you're Public Storage, trying to build links for a self storage company is going to have far, far more to do with this kind of work than trying to build link-worthy content relating to your niche. That kind of custom backlink work is still not very scalable of course, but at least you're going to get something for your effort.

All of that is just looking at content marketing as a tool for generating backlinks though. You might also comment on how content creation for relevant secondary keywords can be a useful way to cast a wider net. That's true, to a point. For local markets though, your secondary keywords are going to be mostly local landing page type keywords, to try and pick up customers in other nearby cities and suburbs. General industry related keywords you might try to rank for are going to be national, not local.

Have you personally been able to move the needle for a client using a heavy focus on content production? What kinds of industries have you done that in?
 

mborgelt

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Hmm I haven't had scaling problems thus far and the biggest success has come in the employment and home improvement industries.

Scaling this stuff is 100x easier when you build relationships first. I feel that's where a lot of CM goes wrong.

I think content marketing is equally important at the local level because of the tribe factor. Let's face it, nepotism exists and it isn't going anywhere so the more "in-touch" you are with the community the more you find arms opening.

Links are a healthy by-product of content marketing but you get SO much from it I couldn't possibly cover it here.

I like the LVS deal that is super helpful if you have a need for speed but I feel that content marketing not only helps the stuff we are in day and out but it helps businesses offline in a way that traditional SEO can't touch. (Thinking of an roof repair guy who leveraged CM to the point where his local news station interviews him for ice dam advice. Respect.)

I could have chosen a better article, true, but I feel like the lens is too tight in some areas and not even capturing other avenues of opportunity and this served to make that point.

Ahh that's the rub, James. We spend more time promoting content than creating it and that's what gets us results and that's why I believe a solid content marketing strategy is the BEST way to ensure longevity as a business.

Just trying to encourage a little outside of the box thought for those who feel pigeon-holed, static or starved by the typical chatter.
 
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If you've been able to help clients get in local media even to share their expertise, that's gold. CM can definitely do that I'm sure, but that's not something I've heavily explored... sounds like you've figured out how to offer that to your clients in a predictable way, that puts you way ahead of a lot of other companies selling local SEO. I don't even know if I'd call that the same thing at that point, it's much PR and community building. Either way, I'm sure it can be done for local, it's just not something I see often, and not something I've explored myself. Thanks for sharing. I found my own way around it by picking an unusual industry, but for others, I could see that being something very worth exploring.
 

JoshuaMackens

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Hmm I haven't had scaling problems thus far and the biggest success has come in the employment and home improvement industries.

Scaling this stuff is 100x easier when you build relationships first. I feel that's where a lot of CM goes wrong.

I think content marketing is equally important at the local level because of the tribe factor. Let's face it, nepotism exists and it isn't going anywhere so the more "in-touch" you are with the community the more you find arms opening.

Links are a healthy by-product of content marketing but you get SO much from it I couldn't possibly cover it here.

I like the LVS deal that is super helpful if you have a need for speed but I feel that content marketing not only helps the stuff we are in day and out but it helps businesses offline in a way that traditional SEO can't touch. (Thinking of an roof repair guy who leveraged CM to the point where his local news station interviews him for ice dam advice. Respect.)

I could have chosen a better article, true, but I feel like the lens is too tight in some areas and not even capturing other avenues of opportunity and this served to make that point.

Ahh that's the rub, James. We spend more time promoting content than creating it and that's what gets us results and that's why I believe a solid content marketing strategy is the BEST way to ensure longevity as a business.

Just trying to encourage a little outside of the box thought for those who feel pigeon-holed, static or starved by the typical chatter.

I think your original post was asking why more agencies don't do CM for SEO. I totally agree that CM is its own reason for doing CM. I was just commenting on CM being effective in terms of SEO for local businesses and wondering if you or anyone else had any evidence of it having a positive impact at scale.

But yes, it wouldn't surprise me that CM is its own reward.

In Local SEO though, I just don't see it being viable for backlinks and traffic the way it is nationally. And thus, I don't see it being helpful for Local SEO for agencies.

But again, CM being its own reward makes total sense to me.
 
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Most of my clients are local and sometimes they rank well for one local search term but not well for another that they would expect to rank for. In those circumstances I cannot think of any strategy that works better than content marketing, perhaps backed up by some Schema Markup. I would be interested to know if anyone has a better strategy as it could save me a lot of work!
 
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