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When we relaunched at the end of June, we decided it was time to start publishing content on a more regular basis. As long-time readers know, I have been a sporadic blogger at best since my early glory days of daily blogging. Now that we have more hands & brains on deck, hopefully we have more to say. We started out with a bang with the publishing of our monster Local SEO Ranking Factors study and I thought it would be interesting to illustrate how this may have affected this site’s SEO. Perhaps it will inspire SEO clients that when their consultants recommend they think like media companies and publish, they really mean it. At least many people say they mean it, or so I’ve heard…

So here’s some data for y’all:

Sad Organic Traffic Screenshot

Since the end of February, organic traffic to the top 20 blog posts on the site have been gradually sliding. By mid-June they were down about 32%. Not good.

On June 19th, we relaunched the site and on June 22nd we released our Factors post (great work Dan!) and since then we have published nine more posts (I know, I know, but that is on fire for us).

According to Majestic, the Factors post has earned 406 backlinks from 76 domains. Ahrefs shows similar numbers so the amount of links is likely higher if we dedupe and total them.  According to Ahrefs the site as a whole has links from 240 new domains since mid-June. Many people are saying backlinks help with SEO. Let’s see if they are right:

Happy Organic Traffic ScreenshotWhile the traffic to these pages has not completely recovered, you can see from the above chart that it is on its way.

If you don’t publish, nothing you can do for your SEO, folks…Although the Link Building people — maybe there is. I don’t know.

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6 Response Comments

  • Casey  August 12, 2016 at 9:51 am

    I noticed in the graph you’re looking at organic traffic around the time dark traffic started to become a thing. How was the direct traffic reporting during this period?

    • Andrew Shotland  August 12, 2016 at 10:25 am

      Direct had pretty much the same trend

  • Valerie Marbach  August 13, 2016 at 8:44 am

    I’d like to see what happens over time, if you could? I also am working with a client who is now doing lots of content (new blog almost weekly) and traffic is increasing quite a bit. Im also doing my off site strategy but am starting to think that their onsite blogs are making a big difference.

    • Andrew Shotland  August 13, 2016 at 8:56 am

      I am relatively confident that if we publish one post per month that attracts a decent amount of links and fill in the calendar with smaller performing posts, this trend will continue. That’s kind of the way it has worked over several years. Weekly blogging for a client can do great things for their traffic over time. Of course conversions is a whole other thing.

  • Marcus  August 15, 2016 at 5:01 am

    Hey Andrew, loved the big local SEO ranking factors study and not surprised this worked from a link building perspective. It’s kind of cool how this brings traffic itself but also makes existing content work that bit better again.

    The main problem with content from an SEO perspective is it has to be good. You can publish everyday and if you are saying nothing it won’t do a great deal.

    Folks have to factor in writing something people want or need. Find a hole and fill it. Then promote it. Promote the hell out of it.

    I think it’s really important to make this distinction as we see way too many folks with this checklist approach to SEO wondering why it is not working.

    Here’s looking forward to your next big piece. 🙂


    • Andrew Shotland  August 15, 2016 at 8:08 am

      Hey Marcus, to add a bit of complexity to your comment, I’d say that a good portion of the top performing posts on this site are actually not that “good”. We clearly found a SEO hole and filled it, but these posts are pretty much riding on the existing authority of this domain and are fairly generic. According to GSC, only four of the top 20 posts are in the top 100 most linked-to pages on the site. So I agree with your premise, but at the same time once you have built up some trust in Google, you have a fair amount of latitude.