As digital marketers, we have long since theorized the value of onsite blogging as an SEO ranking factor. Coming to such a theory was easy as Google has made such a big emphasis on content. It also helped that Google liked fresh content as well. For many local businesses, the way to add content and keep your website fresh was to write a blog post whenever possible.
For local businesses, writing a blog post can be difficult. Many of your local business owners don’t consider themselves the best of writers and really can’t afford to hire someone specifically for that task. This led to many business owners writing blog posts of different ways to view or purchase their product. For a local HVAC contractor, you can only write so many blog posts on the importance of homeowners changing their air filter.
I am a huge fan of onsite blogging, especially when done right. If you want to know more about how onsite blogging can be done right, check out this Booster Seat episode on Onsite Blogging. In short, onsite blogging should be high quality and not specific to your products. The blogs can mention your products or services, but shouldn’t actually try and sell users on your products (you have product/service pages for that). Onsite blogging done right helps solve for the topic issues local businesses have and also sets your business aside as an industry level expert.
The Case Study
The theory that onsite blogging is good for SEO is a good theory, but not a GREAT theory. I wanted to quantify the value of onsite blogging as it relates to keyword ranking and make this theory turn to a GREAT fact. How does one quantify the value of onsite blogging? Most websites that are active in their onsite blogging are also doing some other SEO work as well. This could muddy the water of anyone trying to show the value of just onsite blogging.
I created the below case study of 300 local businesses all spending around the same in SEO. A small subset of these businesses took part in onsite blogging while the others did not. Below is the criteria I used in creating the case study:
- Boostability customers that are similar in spend (within $500/mo of each other)
- A good variety of verticals exists within both groups with a majority fitting within the Health & Medical and Construction and Contractor; these verticals are the most popular with local businesses
- Each local business started around the same time and have a thirteen months worth of data for us to track
- Each business had an average of 14 keywords being tracked
- 300 total local business were reviewed. 240 businesses did not do onsite blogging and 60 did do onsite blogging
- We reviewed the Average Keyword Rank over a period of time for two groups, has onsite blogging, does not have onsite blogging
- Each business receive anywhere from 5-7 onsite blogs over the course of 7-9 months.
- We introduced onsite blogging in month 4. Before month 4 you can see that the average keyword rank for both groups is very similar with no clear leader.
- There is a difference of 7.8 positions (on average) between the two groups. Remember, the lower the average the better.
- Onsite Blogging really helped the average keyword rank after around month 8. This could denote that website owners should be consistent with their blogging for 4-6 months before seeing a noticeable effect in keyword ranking
All in all, onsite blogging is a great product and has an SEO impact on keyword rankings. Remember, this isn’t just any type of onsite blogging, it is onsite blogging done right.