A Good blog post does not just "get links"

HoosierBuff

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Observation:
I've wrote some really cool blog posts that have done some cool things for clients and drove some neat traffic numbers. however. . . these things have NEVER received any links on their own. Not one.

You would think with thousands and thousands of views of these things, it would get at least one link, but, no, not a single one.

I think it kind of works like this:
1 out 200 people will legitimately comment on an article they read
1 out of 100,000 people will pick up your article and link to it.

(I guess that is why you have to promote your stuff, and ask for a link).
 

JoshuaMackens

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Observation:
I've wrote some really cool blog posts that have done some cool things for clients and drove some neat traffic numbers. however. . . these things have NEVER received any links on their own. Not one.

You would think with thousands and thousands of views of these things, it would get at least one link, but, no, not a single one.

I think it kind of works like this:
1 out 200 people will legitimately comment on an article they read
1 out of 100,000 people will pick up your article and link to it.

(I guess that is why you have to promote your stuff, and ask for a link).
Local blogs probably won't get a lot of links. That's why I always scratch my head when people talk about blogging for a local business as a good linkbuilding strategy for an agency.

Good local blog posts can't be written at scale. They take individual time and attention, not to mention outreach. And even then, the links you will get are probably few and far between.

I imagine someone has mastered it and I would love to hear from them.

But we abandoned local blogging as a linkbuilding strategy a long time ago.
 
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Without an outreach strategy, it's not likely to get many links (if any). Without any outreach the best links I got to posts I've written in the past are links on Reddit. Buried in subreddits though, so they could still be better.
 

Ampere

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Local blogs probably won't get a lot of links. That's why I always scratch my head when people talk about blogging for a local business as a good linkbuilding strategy for an agency.

Good local blog posts can't be written at scale. They take individual time and attention, not to mention outreach. And even then, the links you will get are probably few and far between.

I imagine someone has mastered it and I would love to hear from them.

But we abandoned local blogging as a linkbuilding strategy a long time ago.
Do you still use blogs on websites for local businesses?

I put blog posts on my company's website hoping it would help with SEO.

The only people that read my blogs are out of state. I barely get someone from in state reading them. The people in state who come to my website are looking for an electrician, not an article on electrical stuff- and that's what I want! :D
 

JoshuaMackens

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Do you still use blogs on websites for local businesses?

I put blog posts on my company's website hoping it would help with SEO.

The only people that read my blogs are out of state. I barely get someone from in state reading them. The people in state who come to my website are looking for an electrician, not an article on electrical stuff- and that's what I want! :D
Yes, here's the problem right here and I totally agree with you.

Blogging is either for two things (or both):

1. Meaningful traffic
2. Backlinks

It can also be done to build authority and thus conversions ("Wow, I visited this electrician's website because I needed one in my area and I checked out his blog. Man! He really knows his stuff! That's why I hired him.") but I don't know how often this happens honestly.

So, let's just focus on "Meaningful traffic" and "Backlinks".

The only blog posts (in my opinion) that are going to drive meaningful traffic in your local area would be blog posts on your secondary services. But why would you use a blog post for that? Just use a regular web page and make it a services page.

The thing about Local SEO is that the "high intent" keywords don't really vary much. If someone is looks for an electrician they will more than likely type in "Electrician" and not "How do I change my circuits?" (forgive me, I know how bad of an example that is, I'm a Local SEO, not an electrician :), more job security for you). And even if they did type that in, Google isn't going to show them a local guy who wrote a blog post about that. Google thinks they want to do this themselves so they will show an article from a much higher authoritative website that breaks this down very well. I guess you could write a blog post about something in your local area, like things to do, etc. but that's not meaningful traffic really. You need traffic that will convert, not traffic wanting to plan fun activities (unless you're a fun activity destination in which this really would work).

Honestly, there are probably a few instances I'm missing (like if you're a "thing to do" in your city like I just mentioned above, yeah, write an article about that and include yourself). But as a whole, I think local blogging for meaningful traffic just isn't a viable strategy for most local businesses. There are exceptions but I think this is a general rule.

To be honest, I would love someone to prove me wrong.

Now let's talk about Backlinks.

Yes, you can probably write a really good local article that has local impact and gain local backlinks through an outreach campaign.

There are a few problems with this though:

1) If you're a local business owner, this is probably outside of your scope. You're talking about running a high level SEO campaign here. You would need to research until you found a good topic that is strategically feasible (has the potential to get a lot of good backlinks), execute the writing of it so that it will garner backlinks (not easy), and then execute an outreach campaign (the most difficult of all). This is a high level SEO practice. I think you would be wasting your time doing this and by the time you are done, if you are successful at it, you should probably look at changing careers because you're able to do what a lot of other high level SEO's cannot. The learning curve is just too much in my opinion for the regular business owner. Just take that time, make more money, and hire an SEO professional.

2) If you're an SEO company, why waste so much time and effort on this when there are seriously much lower hanging fruit backlink building strategies? You still have to go through the process I outlined above, takes a ton of time, etc. The only way I could see myself ever doing this is if I could hire the process out, it would relatively inexpensive, and I knew it would take me to the top of rankings and I wouldn't need to build another backlink. That's a tall order.

Instead, what we do, is invest in backlink building tactics that scale. Meaning they are able to be carbon copied from any SEO campaign into another.

This is just my theory.

Again, I would love to hear from someone to prove me wrong and show me the way. I need as many backlink building strategies as I can get.

For what it's worth, Brian Dean teaches something along these lines in a course he has and he says it's feasible with Local SEO. I have bought the course (not for Local SEO) and haven't gone through it yet. But color me skeptical.
 

Ampere

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Thanks for the excellent reply.

I was thinking it might help a little bit with just plain old authority.

Let's say you have 5 electrical contractor websites that are all neck and neck. Let's say one of them had a blog that got 500 views per month from around the country. Would that help the main page or any landing page on the site in any way (if they were all linked well)?
 

JoshuaMackens

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Thanks for the excellent reply.

I was thinking it might help a little bit with just plain old authority.

Let's say you have 5 electrical contractor websites that are all neck and neck. Let's say one of them had a blog that got 500 views per month from around the country. Would that help the main page or any landing page on the site in any way (if they were all linked well)?
It absolutely could.

We did it for just this purpose when we were doing blogs. We did it for years.

But we never really saw a positive result that we could correlate with the blogs. We even removed all of the blogs from one of our local business's sites. Didn't see a drop that we could correlate with it either.

It's hard to tell honestly.
 
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Here's a question to your question... If you're only getting views from around the country, then what are you doing to promote the blog post in the targeted area?

Spend $100 on Facebook ads if you run out of promotion ideas. At some point, if you don't want to be an authority on the subject and just want to serve a local audience, either the promotion tactics need to change or the article topics.
 

Georgi

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Welcome to the real world. Most of the pages don't get any links.

Many online marketing "gurus" have been repeating "Just create good content and wait for the links to come naturally!" And many people do so! They, wait and wait and wait... and nothing happens. I guess those "gurus" say that because two reasons:

1) They're like the professors of Business subjects at the universities who teach students Business disciplines but they never had a business. The ''gurus'' never ranked a single page. They have 0 practical experience.

2) Because of the Google propaganda that wants to stop you building links. The ''gurus'' just read too much of sites like SEJ, SEP which are famous of publishing Google's propaganda.

You should be Seth Godin, or Brian Dean in your industry to have the luxury to publish a new blog post and lean back expecting some natural links to come to the page.

Your first job should be to create a really good and detailed blog post and do the internal linking. Think about different ways of building links. Then, wait a few days and start promoting it.

First use the easy methods to get the word out about your new post:

  • All social media platforms that you use.
  • Email outreach (your own list or researched of relevant bloggers)
  • Publish it at content curation sites such as scoop.it and list.ly
  • Build 2-3 super web 2.0 links to it. See how Nathan Gotch does that.
  • Answer forum threads or Q&A threads (like Quora) and put your links there if it's appropriate and relevant.
Then, try some more advanced methods. Actually, the advanced methods are those that help you to rank on the first page. If the first methods that I mentioned above do the job and rank you, it means that your competitors suck big time.

More advanced methods:

  • Links from guest posts
  • Skyscraper method
  • Infographic outreach
  • Get links from Testimonials
Or just interview a bunch of experts in your niche and publish it as a guest post. I am using that tactic and it works sometimes. Here is an example of my round up post on SEMrush. It's getting links from media pages of experts I've interviewed in the roundup post.
Some of the bloggers I know also are doing good with publishing roundup posts. Here is what Mario Peshev from Devrix says: ''Roundups and interviews are insanely successful. Once you feature micro influencers or other industry experts, you’re not only gaining some traction on mobile, but land a few backlinks along the way – from industry-related blogs and sites.''

Think if you have the time to build links to your content. It's often impossible even for people who have a lot of experience because they don't have time for it.
 

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