I was on a coaching call about two weeks ago with a real estate agent. She already had a lot of content, but the challenge she faced was that she was falling in the rankings, and fast. She was looking for a content provider who could churn out more content for less. I could immediately see the problem. She was targeting several geographic neighbourhoods on one site, and her content was “all over the map.”
Banging out a higher volume of thin content on the cheap was certainly not going to help. In fact, it would most likely dilute the rankings she'd already earned with somewhat higher quality content. Casting a wider net, to cover even more cities would be SEO suicide. Her content needed focus, not further dilution.
The problem — when you cast your net that wide — is you inevitably catch the small fish you don't want to catch.
- Edward Felten
I explained what content siloing is and how it would help her organize her content more effectively. This would improve the user experience while also helping Google better understand the content hierarchy of her website. I urged her to settle on only 2 or 3 cities... not 10.
Her first question was, “Can you show me case studies of other real estate sites in my area where this is working?” I explained that I believe it is a conflict of interest to represent more than one client, from the same industry, in the same geographic area because they’re direct competitors. But what I could show her at that time was a local website of a roofing contractor in which the very strategy I was proposing had helped the client gain solid rankings for each of the geographic regions we targeted in the content silo strategy. [Postscript: I have since built 3 real estate websites, in different geographic areas, each successfully targeting multiple cities with this strategy... works exactly as predicted.]
She responded with, “Roofing has nothing to do with real estate. What, you can’t show me 20 or 30 real estate websites around here where what you are proposing is working? Then maybe I would consider it.”
If we need the validation of a lot of local case studies, we make the decision to become a timid and distant follower; not a leader. The last adopters always eat the scraps. All things being equal, we succeed in our marketing to the degree we differentiate ourselves from our competitors.
Cole Wiebe helps brands and professionals grow their influence and value online; so they can “out content”™ their competition. Cole is a content strategist, content writer, conversion copywriter and online marketing coach.