Understanding Traffic From Blog Articles. Is it helping Locally?

bczubiak

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Aug 6, 2013
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38
We write one blog article per month for our dental clients. These articles generate more traffic than the 'Services' section on our website. When reporting Analytics data to our clients, we show the graph of how traffic is increasing but is it truly helping with local search? Is all the traffic we are receiving from around the country contributing to ranking locally?
 

JoshuaMackens

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Sep 12, 2012
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We've talked about this at length on the forum a few times. The short version is no, it doesn't. Hopefully someone will come and post some links to those discussions.

When you report to your clients, I would report with a segment that nails down the region to state level (if it's a big state like TX or CA use the city level). That will show even local traffic from the blogs and is a more meaningful report.
 

Yan Gilbert

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Oct 15, 2016
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If the posts are ranking well enough to get traffic, then it is possible that they are attracting backlinks, which would help the site.

Have you set contact goals/events in Analytics? You can see if that traffic is generating any conversions.
 

bczubiak

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Aug 6, 2013
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I haven't tried to set contact goals/events. 99% of my dental clients never ask for reports and surprising enough, my average clients last about 4 years. For the growth of our agency, I do need to learn more about GA beyond their basic reporting. I will attempt to implement contact goals this week. Thanks!
 

Cherie Dickey

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I would say that adding quality content is always a good thing overall. In the case of a dentist, I'm of the opinion that it helps show EAT as well, which does contribute to ranking - especially if that content is linked to and referenced as a resource.
 

bczubiak

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I was also thinking about a dental client I just lost to a competitor 2 months ago. The competitor built a new site and didn't bother importing 5 years worth of blog articles we wrote. I was checking out my old client's analytics (They haven't removed me yet) and saw a dramatic decrease in traffic to the new website. I couldn't believe they would just abandon all that content that was driving traffic.
 

JoshuaMackens

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I would say that adding quality content is always a good thing overall. In the case of a dentist, I'm of the opinion that it helps show EAT as well, which does contribute to ranking - especially if that content is linked to and referenced as a resource.
I believe Marie Haynes was saying something to the effect that if you're not updating your blogs for a YMYL website on a consistent basis (not adding new blog, updating old ones) that it could be an issue for your site down the road. @Marie Haynes can you chime in on this?
 

Ampere

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Feb 9, 2018
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I was also thinking about a dental client I just lost to a competitor 2 months ago. The competitor built a new site and didn't bother importing 5 years worth of blog articles we wrote. I was checking out my old client's analytics (They haven't removed me yet) and saw a dramatic decrease in traffic to the new website. I couldn't believe they would just abandon all that content that was driving traffic.
Has the dentist had a decrease in calls?

I am a small electrical contractor, I get a lot of hits to my blog articles, Way more than to any other part of my website. But none of those people reading can use my service since they are in different states or even countries. So I always question whether the articles actually help.
 

JoshuaMackens

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The easiest thing to do is set up a segment in Google Analytic for traffic just for your state (GA calls them a "region") and then set up a conversion goal that triggers every time someone goes to the "contact" page. You can tell if these blog posts are triggering any type of intent this simple way.

You can of course get more granular than that but this is any easy way just to get started.
 

HoosierBuff

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Dec 12, 2013
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268
I think a relevant question is, assuming a blog article has no backlinks:

Does a site with a corpus of blog articles (with no backlinks) rank better for generic search terms "dentist near me".

I can't imagine that the blog articles help that much.
 

JoshuaMackens

Local Search Expert
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Sep 12, 2012
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1,833
I think a relevant question is, assuming a blog article has no backlinks:

Does a site with a corpus of blog articles (with no backlinks) rank better for generic search terms "dentist near me".

I can't imagine that the blog articles help that much.
It's possible it could help a thin content site but I agree, past that, I'm not sure it helps onpage.
 

Eric Rohrback

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Oct 3, 2012
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Ranking pages that get traffic and links would help with internal linking. A blog post could link to a pillar/cornerstone piece about the subject in more detail or could go to a service page.

Does the blog page help locally? That depends if they're helping main service pages rank better for your geo. Blog posts themselves may not get a ton of local traffic, but if they become stronger from backlinks/mentions/etc. then with good internal linking they could help other pages rank better locally and drive more traffic with the intent to buy to service pages.
 

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