We have good SEO rankings and the content marketing efforts we've done since 2012 have been bringing us a good amount of traffic and a lot of qualified leads.
However, the blog post that sees the most traffic doesn't bring the right audience or quality leads. It also uses bandwidth and therefore costs money monthly (we're with wpengine).
If I take the blog post offline, should I expect a backlash in terms of SEO for the whole website? Or none at all?
Can you alter the post to bring in better traffic? Can you add a form to better qualify traffic and maybe capture email addresses?
Could you add ads to that one post and get some revenue?
If there are a ton of links to that post it could impact your overall rankings - not by much, but it is possible. I alway say there is no such thing as bad traffic, so why not try to turn this into a net positive. I'm happy to discuss further in a call. Best of luck!
I would be careful with removing such a blog post. If a post is receiving a lot of traffic it is because likely people have linked to it. Removing such a blog post will result in your back-links being removed and the link juice will be lost. If there are enough external links pointing to your post your entire domain may suffer. If you really want to remove such a post you would first have to do some back link analytics to see who is pointing to your post and whether the links are follow or no follow. Removing a page which has only external no-follow links will not result in a penalty. If you want more info let me know.
I would suggest tweaking the blog post so that it can bring in more targeted traffic, or does a better job of converting the traffic into potential customers. Provide something of value for those visitors that might lend them toward learning more about your company, your products or your services.
Another option is to put a noindex tag on the post to try and get the search engines to remove it with you having to delete it. That will allow you to keep all the "value" of the page while reducing the traffic. If that doesn't work then 301 redirect the page so the link value passes to another. Eventually the search engines will drop it from the index.