content marketing

While we know that word count is not a ranking factor in Google Search, creating content is key to showing up in the search engine result pages (SERPs). But, how much is too much? Is it possible to create too much content? Where’s that sweet spot where you’re making the absolute best use of your resources?

Many marketers and SEO experts question just how much content they need and how often they should be publishing. You’re not alone. So, let’s take a look at the issues surrounding the content length and volume and put these questions to an end.

How often should you publish new content?

Publishing content regularly is essential to create a foundation of valuable resources on your site, grow your audience, and build your brand’s authority. It takes a good deal of content to connect with prospects throughout the customer journey. However, it’s important to remember quality over quantity when creating your content marketing strategy and budget.

Martin Splitt, a Developer Advocate at Google, notes that it’s important not to create content just to create content, especially if you have a specific product or service where there is only so much to say.

There is a difference between what larger companies need to do as opposed to local businesses. The same can be said for brands and their individual location pages. With the consistent update and overflow of information, larger companies and industry blogs can regularly create content since they have more updates and information to discuss.

As for local businesses and individual location pages, it’s more important to utilize social media and Google Posts to keep their customer base updated and engaged with important information such as updates, events, promotions, and discounts. When drafting copy, selecting specific topics, and making sure each piece of content is thought out and well-written can go a long way in reaching your target audiences.

Does having a blog or producing new content help your performance on Google?

As stated above, frequently producing new content is not directly a Google ranking factor. Still, it is valuable to update existing content and create new pieces based on industry news and brand information. The more often you can answer your target market or general consumer’s potential inquiries on Google and deliver relevant content, the more you can improve your rankings, visibility, and trust in your brand.

When is creating more content better?

The amount of content produced daily is massive. Around 2.5 quintillion bytes of content and about 3.5 billion questions are processed by Google daily. There is an overwhelming amount of content, but that doesn’t mean it all ranks highly on Google.

With that said, new blogs can use tactics like publishing often throughout the week to establish an audience and create more engagement on their site. Frequent content gives their audience more to view and share throughout the week, both extending and maintaining their growing audience.

Increasing publishing volume can also help content marketers and SEOs increase traffic to the business’s website. Creating more content also gives a business more content to share across the brand’s social media sites. This can help pull leads back to the business’s website from the blog content and the blog promotions on social media.

Where should I start with creating content?

Initially, it’s recommended to have 10 to 15 blog posts on your site and then create a routine cadence based on your business goals, incoming industry and brand information, and your target market’s needs for content frequency.

Next, it’s essential to regularly review how well your blog posts are performing to check that you are producing quality content that brings leads and website traffic. Consistent self-auditing should be an integral part of your content strategy to gauge how many blog posts a month is the most efficient. Tools, like Google Analytics, can allow you to see:

  • Time spent on a web page
  • Pageviews
  • Bounce rate
  • New vs returning visitors
  • A user’s average search depth
  • And more
Google Analytics Example

Screenshot of Google Analytics Dashboard

With the growing number of online users and content producers, the need to create valuable content will only increase. However, the goal is not to publish content for the sake of having more content. The goal rather should be to publish unique, well-researched, and helpful content – then promote it in search and social media platforms to get it in front of your targeted audience.

How long is “good” content?

The goal isn’t necessarily to hit a specific word count with each piece of original content. Some topics can be efficiently explained, including enough keywords, to give your audience an understanding of a particular topic in a short-form blog. Adding words just to add words may even take away from your content’s value in the end.

Although for your online content pieces, if you can generate long-form (2,000-2,400 words) content that is both valuable and insightful with important backlinks and keywords, you’ll increase the chance for it to rank higher. Generally speaking, long-form content ranks higher on SERPs, according to the research.

While you may be quick to start writing long-form content, Google doesn’t choose articles solely on word count. There are other important factors to consider such as content quality, quality backlinks, focused keywords, and other SEO elements.

Suppose you’ve consistently produced content and want to reevaluate your content strategy. In that case, it’s essential to look at the formats, methods, and topics you want to discuss before choosing how long you want your blog posts to be.

Is it better to create new or update existing content?

When evaluating your current content, look to see whether the statistics and information in the content need updating. If the topic has changed or evolved substantially, you can create new content with a fresh perspective.

If the data and insights have not changed that much, then simply updating the blog post is the route to take. Republish and give it a fresh push to your social and email channels. Social shares are not a ranking factor, either, but driving more visibility to your content is an important goal. Having this fresh, high-quality content keeps your brand a relevant part of that conversation and ensures that what consumers are finding on your website is credible, accurate, and up to date, as well.

4 Tips for planning more purposeful, successful content

A detailed and well-thought-out content marketing strategy is essential to rank higher on search engines, build your online audience, and create long-term customers. There are numerous factors to consider when planning for content creation, and we will break down the top four.

Check out these simple steps to boost your content marketing strategy and ensure you have the best return on investment for the time and money you put into your plan.

1. Identify Your Why

When it comes to creating content, the first thing to consider is the intention of the content piece. Is it to inform, educate, or engage with your target audience? Since the variety of content needs to focus on quality over quantity, selecting the intention for each piece is valuable. Understanding the topics you want to discuss and thoroughly researching them will help you create higher quality content to make your business thrive and grow its’ audience.

Growing an audience and building trust is essential for any business, and the best way to rank on SERPs is to produce new unique content based on thorough market research. High-quality content includes content that’s spell and grammar checked, has diverse quality sources, includes relevant keywords naturally, and is a value-add to the reader. In addition, content can have many intentions, such as answering queries, promoting new services or products, and creating fun engagement to help build brand authority and trust.

Whether you have a decent amount of existing content or are starting new, it’s essential to find the balance with the content topic, testing different content types (such as infographics, longer-form content, etc.) and frequency.

2. Define Your Content Marketing Goals

Now that you’ve brainstormed some relevant brand topics you’d like to create content about, it’s important to evaluate your content marketing goal before producing content. For example, are you trying to get new leads? Do you want to grow your audience? Is your goal to increase site traffic or perhaps create engagement across social media?

It’s also valuable to consider the budget, milestones, and the overall timeline for these goals so you can accurately measure how your campaign is doing and adjust accordingly if it’s not meeting the mark. Generally, content marketing campaigns’ goals are to lead viewers back to your website to sign up for a newsletter, email list, demo, or a free trial. This is a way to turn interested readers into eventual customers and slowly build a relationship with them.

3. Research and Understand Your Audience

Now that you’ve defined the content marketing strategy’s goal, it’s time to get to know your target audience. Try to create a persona of what your ideal customer would look like and what they might be interested to read about or watch. Get as detailed as possible so you can produce content that intrigues them.

What questions would your target market have about your product or service? What’s not common knowledge about your brand or industry that you can educate them about? What would get them excited to engage with your brand or want to contact you?

Taking the time to understand what will connect best with your target market or create a positive emotional response to your brand can not only leave you with long-lasting, loyal customers but save you money in the long run.

4. Plan Different Content Formats

You’ll probably need to consider both long-form and shorter content, depending on the topic for a given content piece. It’s valuable to incorporate different content forms throughout your content marketing strategy. On top of that, you’ll want to create various formats to meet your audience where they are most likely to see it.

When creating a piece of content, consider what type of content will best meet their needs. For example, perhaps a stat-heavy piece can be better presented as an infographic rather than a traditional blog post.

You can start by evaluating what your competitors are producing and how the related keywords are applied to see the different content formats best for your marketing campaign. Then, after researching what formats and topics for content have the most views, you can create unique content on similar topics.

When should you create shorter-form content?

Now that we’ve talked quite a bit about long-form content let’s discuss when it’s best to keep it brief. Short-form content can help in several situations:

  •   Repurpose low performing longer content
  •   Quickly and concisely communicate a point to your audience
  •   Summary of long-form blog posts that are coming
  •   Boost click-through rates and website traffic

Search engines are trying to surface the best answer for each new consumer query. Depending on the searcher’s intent, shorter pieces might perform better.  On the other hand, there are topics where a deeper dive and more comprehensive content are warranted. Why not do both and interlink them to give your audience options?

The bottom line for content creation

Whether you’re considering long-form or short-form content, it’s valuable to do your research to meet your target audience and invest in quality content over quantity.

At the end of the day, producing quality content at scale shouldn’t be solely based on creating as many pieces of content as your team can handle, nor is it about having all possible types of content and every possible topic covered. Bottom line: showcase your subject matter experts, create fresh content, and strive to be the best answer in search – whatever that word count looks like.

Want more content tips? Download our free e-book “Local Content Marketing Strategy for Enterprise & Multi-location Brands“.

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