If Hamlet were alive today, his existential angst would apply well to content marketing — timing matters, and whether or when to post is important to editorial marketing strategy.
For one thing, content creators need to balance quality and quantity. When you’re on a roll, and the online traffic starts to flow, it can feel like any content will perform well. But that’s an illusion. Well-crafted content takes time and care to create, and posting schedules need to reflect that.
Then again, we know that regular posting is essential to building a blog’s audience. Loyal readers expect a quota of posts every week and can easily migrate to other information sources if posting rates drop.
Finding a happy medium is one of the keys to strong SEO blog performance. So how can you create a schedule which works for your content marketing needs?
You won’t be surprised to learn that the SEO eggheads have crunched the numbers regarding blogging and have come up with some data about how often you should post.
HubSpot keeps track of the relationship between blog posting and traffic volume, and they are pretty clear: bloggers who post more frequently attract higher traffic volumes.
The same relationship holds for inbound leads. In fact, Hubspot’s figures suggest that companies which post over 400 blogs per year attract three times as many inbound leads as those which post under 200 times per year.
However, there’s an obvious problem here. How can small companies maintain such a punishing publishing schedule? It’s fine for outlets like the Huffington Post, who publish a blog every few seconds. But for small fry, writing a couple of high-quality pieces every week is a major undertaking.
Nonetheless, the figures suggest that it’s worth your while. Hubspot also broke its analysis down to consider the size of companies, and it came up with some striking results.
It turns out that for small companies (with one to ten employees), increasing publishing rates can have dramatic benefits. Small companies publishing over 11 blogs per month saw almost twice as much inbound traffic as those publishing six to ten blogs.
Interestingly, there’s not a huge amount of difference between small companies which publish one or two blog posts and those which publish six to ten. The big leap occurs when posts become even more frequent.
This might be because readers start to rely on the blogs as regular information sources. Or, it could be because companies which post more become more skilful at writing and promoting their content. Either way, it’s an important finding.
We know that posting often generally boosts SEO, but what are the best ways to ensure that your great content is published at exactly the right time? Here are some tips and tricks for marketers to keep in mind.
1. Don’t aim too high, but aim to be consistent – At first, be realistic about how often you’ll be posting. Remember, it’s much more important to publish quality than quantity. But it’s even better to blend the two as much as possible. Publishing one to two posts per week is essential to building an audience, but maintaining a consistent pace is just as important, as audiences can quickly slip away.
2. Find ways to write concise, high-quality content – Mixing up lengthy expert articles with shorter texts is one way to square the circle between quantity and quality. News round-ups and listicles have their place, as do articles which build on previous posts or that respond to comments from readers.
3. Bring in expert writing assistance if needed – If you want to increase the pace of blog publishing but don’t have the resources within your team, there’s always scope to bring in freelancers and agencies. High-quality content creation agencies like greatcontent offer editorial E-commerce solutions that are tailored to marketers. They can easily fill gaps in your schedule with content that is on-point, well-written, and the perfect length for your needs.
4. Don’t be afraid to go back to old content – While timing new posts well matters, you should also always write content with an eye to the future. If your posts have an evergreen side to them, that’s a massive bonus as this content will be more enduring. So, create a routine to revisit old blogs to update them. You’ll see a traffic boost as regular readers discover them, and an SEO boost, too, as Google up-rates content that it had previously classified as obsolete.
Blogging is one of the most powerful inbound marketing tools, but there’s an art to planning when and what to publish. As we’ve seen, publishing from two to five posts per week can have huge dividends in terms of traffic, while well-written regular blogs also offer a huge SEO boost.
Sourcing blog content and maintaining a steady publishing schedule isn’t easy, though. So, create a plan, build a schedule of posts, and seek expert blogging skills if you need some assistance.
Text: Sam Urquhart