The regularity of blogging will differ from one business to the next, but one thing's for certain, when it comes to content, it takes quality AND quantity.
In life, the only certainties are birth, death, taxes... and unpredictable search-engine algorithms. Google rarely specifies exactly what its changes mean, which makes it tricky to adapt.
However, we do know blogs are the key to optimising your site for search engines. This is because of five universal truths:
If you’re looking for the ‘Avengers movie’, you’re most likely wanting to know about the newest one. Therefore, Google prioritises the newest, buzziest content.
The most important thing for SEO success is blog regularity. If you blog once an hour or once a week, be consistent. Google likes to know you’re legit, and that your customers can expect certain behaviour from you.
If you have some older blog posts that are still relevant, go back and tidy them up. Update them with new information. Add more details. Although Google loves new content, a regularly updated page with great traffic can still outperform a newer article.
As of May 2023, 328.3 quintillion bytes of data are created every day. Compare that to 2021 when estimates were ‘only’ 2.5 quintillion – that’s over 100 times more data a day than two years ago. And here’s the really mind-blowing bit: 90% of the world’s data was created just in the last two years.
While some industries (like tech) may struggle to create truly evergreen content, the trick is to find your cornerstone – the subject at the core of your business that you are the expert on. 81% of people trust advice from blogs, making evergreen content a great way to gain trust from potential customers.
If something is rocketing to the top of trending lists, such as a company releasing a new product, or a glitzy red-carpet event, Google will favour this content – for a while. Review it, talk about it, keep it helpful and topical. It’ll fade quickly from the Google ratings, but it burns bright initially, which is when people will be searching for it. If you cover it well, that content will lead your readers to your other evergreen info.
The regularity of blogging will differ from one business to the next. While Mark Manson and Brian Dean get millions of visits with low posting frequency, Buzzfeed posts about 700 chunks of content a day.
So, for you, the answer lies somewhere between 12 and 300,000 blogs a year.
Follow these steps to figure out how often you need to blog.
• Where are you in terms of Google search results and what are you aiming for?
• How often do your competitors post blogs? Do you need to surpass them?
• Do you want another outcome from your blogs – such as driving sales or newsletter sign-ups?
• Who is your audience and what do they want from you?
How many posts do you already have? There is a correlation between how many blog posts you have and how much traffic your site gets. For instance, Hubspot found that sites with 400+ blog posts had twice as much traffic as those with 300-400 blogs.
While you can’t add 400 pieces of content overnight, if you already have a good back-catalogue of articles, you can plan for lower posting frequency. If you need to pump up your blog volume, you might want to aim for several posts per week to build your library.
Where is most of your current traffic coming from? A post on Facebook has a lifespan of about 14 hours before it’s lost in the sands of time. For Twitter, it’s just four hours. This is why Buzzfeed or Upworthy post a gazillion articles a day—because they need social media to get the traffic.
However, search engines will keep on throwing up your blog for two or three years. If you want Google to be your main source of visitors and keep bringing you new readers, then you don’t need 100 blogs a day. Phew.
There are only so many hours in the day and you have a finite budget and staffing level. You can’t create 700 blog posts a day; in fact, it’s unlikely you have the resources to do seven a day. And even when you do manage to churn out seven blogs a day, do they provide real value to your target audience?
Look at it from your customers’ point of view. Do they have time to read seven articles a day? HubSpot found that when it increased the number of posts per week, it lost a bunch of subscribers. What are your customers’ appetites when it comes to your content? Are they going to be overwhelmed by three blogs a week?
Every major site runs blog frequency experiments. HubSpot, Neil Patel, Moz…. they all played around to find their optimal posting rate. While they have bigger resources, it’s worth conducting the same experiment on a smaller scale. For instance, CoSchedule found its average social shares dropped when it went from two posts a week to three.
Change your schedule of posting, then check on:
• Unique visitors to your site in that period
• Pages per visit
• Bounce rate and the time spent on site
• How traffic from all sources changed (e.g. traffic from Facebook)
• Visitor to outcome ratio (e.g. did they subscribe to your newsletter?)
You’ll probably find a happy medium at a rate of two to four blogs a week. This level will create traffic and build a solid base of content, but it’s not going to burn you out.
However, if you don’t have the resources for this, then one blog a week, as long as it’s regular, is most effective. It allows you to create consistent, high-quality work .
You can also get some easy wins by updating old content to make it more relevant and creating awesome evergreen blogs that will rank on Google for years.
Focus on creating high-quality blogs that provide value for your customers, and build up a back catalogue. This takes time – it won’t happen overnight, but it will happen. And at the very least, take heart that you don’t have to write 300,000 blogs a year.
If you don’t have the time to blog, it’s okay – we do. Get in touch today.