Our local service-based SEO client wanted to dominate the West Michigan area for several of their services.
We went through our SEO process and identified that there are a lot of informational queries (searches or keywords) for the services they offer. Informational searches are those that are question-based, comparison-based, how-to-based, etc.
They are keywords or queries that do not signal the intention to work with a local company. We base this strongly on the fact that no map pack shows up when you search for those informational queries.
Informational keywords don’t often show local businesses on the search engine results page and therefore don’t tend to lead to more local traffic and conversions. However, it is important to offer great content to your target audience all the way through their buying journey even if you are just a local service provider looking for local leads.
Keep reading to learn why.
101 Style Blog Posts
We determined that this client (like many of our clients) was a great fit for our “101” style blog posts, as we call them internally. These are essentially deep dives where we “take you to school” on a particular topic.
For example, another one of our clients offers hydroseeding (view our hydroseeding case study). We have a “Hydroseeding 101” blog post that covers the topic of hydroseeding at a high level. This post is not intended to convert local traffic into leads but is intended to help anyone answer any of their burning hydroseeding questions regardless of whether they are researching or ready to buy. These articles:
are fact-based, not opinion-based.
developed after thorough keyword research on a given topic.
are organized logically and hierarchically.
never sales-oriented or promotional.
They are first put together by creating a content template. Once the content template is created (based on search engine evidence) we write the content to best fulfill the intentions of the searcher for each of our targeted keywords within the content template.
Our goal is to offer the best information the internet has to offer for each keyword and the possible intentions the searcher has for that keyword.
Below is a screenshot of the number of referring domains (unique websites that link to our client’s website) over time.
We started working with the client in the Fall of 2018 when they had 44 referring domains:
We have continuously been creating 101 style blog posts on relevant topics and now they have 307 referring domains:
The majority of these referring domains are linking to our 101 style blog posts and we didn’t do any outreach to obtain these links. As in, we didn’t ask for them, people just started linking to them.
And these links helped contribute to a significant overall increase in organic traffic over the last few years. Of course, it wasn’t backlinks alone. Here is a screenshot of the domain, which ranks for over 5,000 keywords and brings in over 11,000 visitors per month.
Why Do People Link to These Articles?
These are linkable assets because they are informational and not promotional. People will naturally use an asset like this in order to support their own digital content creation. Pay attention to any blog post you read. You will often see references to other links that take you to other sites.
When other people across the internet write blog content sites they often use search engines to identify statistics, phrases, definitions, answers, and so on that will support their article. 101 style blog posts are great supporting resources for these other content creators.
We are creating this content, not just for our client’s target customer, but for those that need good content to support their own content needs. We do this so that:
Google and other search engines see these referring domains (backlinks) as votes of confidence that our content is trustworthy.
This in turn lifts the local authority of our clients for the local keywords related to the topic (low funnel, ready-to-buy search queries that often trigger the local pack).
Great content is an asset that compounds over time.
Are you developing content for the sake of developing content or developing assets that build momentum?