Internet marketers will often talk about how important content is to an SEO campaign, and plenty of tomes have been written about content quality, topicality, and structure. Inevitably, though, marketers tend to breeze past the content part and focus more the marketing part of content marketing.
But we wanted to know: how far, exactly, can content take your local SEO campaign? How much will Google reward fresh content with organic traffic? Could we create a feedback cycle without ever actively marketing our content?
Target: Jacksonville SERPs & Google Map
For this project, we were promoting a small start-up in the Jacksonville area. Specifically, it was a metal fabricator and welder with mobile services available. For the sake of the client’s privacy and confidentiality, we won’t name them here. It’s not like they need the additional exposure – they’re still ranking within the top 2 spots of both the SERP and Google map position now, three years after we last worked on their site.
The first step was to start off with a domain name that accurately describes our users’ intent. This is a keyword rich domain that matches what the company’s customers are looking for. While the very best domain name might not be available, we can always use a little bit of creativity to find one that works for the client’s goals.
The next step was to build a website out of WordPress. The front page was a simple image gallery with approximately 20 high definition photos set to auto-scroll, and then the rest of the website was set up as a blog with a single category. The site was hosted on our own lightning-fast VPS, and we were able to optimize the code so that each URL loaded in under a second from a Jacksonville-area broadband connection.
From there, we created content: More content than anyone else in the niche had. Every single post include multiple images of jobs being done as well as the finished product. Several of the pages also feature videos of the work in progress. Every job completed was another post to publish, and every post included multiple media embeds. This did require us to spend some time in the field working as photographers, but that’s all in a day’s work for an SEO.
A single backlink…
We did seek out exactly one backlink for the website, the one from our Google business page. That’s right: that was the only active marketing we did for the entire domain. We set up an account for the site, confirmed the address with Google, and set up a profile with short web page. The profile included another dozen high quality pictures that weren’t already posted to the site, and that was it.
Looking back, we have picked up some additional backlinks since then. In addition to the one we solicited from our Google profile, Ahrefs is reporting that we’ve gained 23 more. That’s not a whole lot of banklinks, but it is more than enough to generate traffic that converts in to business. It doesn’t really matter if the client’s next competitors have twice – or even four times – as many.
It only matters that client’s our website is ranking above theirs in the search results.
It only matters that the customers are calling our client.
Then, more content
For months, we posted and posted. We ignored the spammers and “high authority” sites that outranked us. We just kept making more content. More pictures. More videos. More blog posts.
Eventually the client literally had more business than they could keep up with. The capital costs of equipment to set up a second truck would require some savings that they’re still working on, but otherwise their business has been booming.
Content can take you all the way to the top
With the right framing and technical support, good content is all it takes to get to the top of the SERPs. Here’s a recap of our recipe for a content-only marketing plan that absolutely dominates for Jacksonville area businesses:
- Keyword friendly domain
- SEO optimized website
- Unique, media-driven content
- Fast servers
Why pay for active marketing and run the risk of associating with SEO firms that just care about spamming backlinks that can hurt you in the long run? Let the content take you there – it can take you pretty far!
Don’t worry – we do marketing, too
Just because content alone can be sufficient to rank a local business at the top of the organic search engine results doesn’t mean we have to stop there!
JacksonvilleSEO.net is a full service digital marketing firm. We know that media mentions, social media, and domain authority are all great ways to increase business – and we never forget that that’s the ultimate goal of any marketing campaign.
And for companies that are targeting a larger audience than just the local market, content alone might not be enough to reach their goals. A combination of tactics and resources will always be the most efficient and effective way to increase your organic traffic and brand awareness. But please… don’t forget the content!