How Often Should You Blog for Optimum SEO Results?
Plenty of research by some very knowledgeable people has already been done on the effects of blogging frequency on SEO results, and we’ll share those key findings with you as long as you promise to take them with a grain of salt.
What’s that grain of salt? Never substitute someone else’s experience for your own. No research in the world is ever going to take the place of personal knowledge, gained by first-hand experimentation and tracked results, of what will work best in your own particular situation.
Ideally your blog is addressing a particular topic, and is written for a specific niche or industry. By doing your own research and compiling your own statistics of what’s working and not working for your blog, you may well find instances where a bad idea according to the research of others is actually working very well for you. Or that what should be a good blogging practice just doesn’t seem to apply in your particular case. These are things that you’ll never know unless you do your own research.
Later in this article we’ll look at some ideas for conducting your own research to help you optimize your blogging efforts for maximum results. For now, let’s see what others have found to be working for their blogs.
What’s the Lifespan of a Blog Post?
The sensible way to start a discussion of how often you should be blogging is to understand how long the average blog post is going to stay fresh and relevant, which means how long it will continue to attract readers and be shared across other blogs and various social channels.
- On average, blog posts have a lifespan of 2 to 3 years. In some cases, it could be even longer. Compare this with an average life of 3 hours for a Facebook post, and 2 hours for the average Twitter tweet. The lesson here is simple: if you only have a limited amount of free time to work with, spend it on something that will do you the most good for the longest time. This means blogging.
- Many of the longest-lived blog posts are written about “evergreen” topics. Evergreen simply refers to content that never goes out of style or becomes outdated. As long as your content remains relevant to the search term, Google may continue to rank your post indefinitely.
- Even non-evergreen content can get a new lease on life by recycling your post with updated information and fresh, up-to-the-minute statistics and the latest developments.
In Blogging, Consistency is Even More Important Than Frequency
Number one on the agenda for your blog should be your commitment to make regular posts on a consistent basis no matter what it takes. This is critical because many of your regular blog readers will be looking for new posts from you, and when they don’t find them, will assume that your blog is not that important to you and will quickly lose interest. Posting consistency also applies to the specific days of the week when you publish new content. If you start out posting every Monday and Thursday, you need to continue to post every Monday and Thursday. Yes, it really is that important.
The best way to organize and simplify your blog posting is with an editorial calendar. You can start out small, if you wish, by creating a list of blog topics for the next 30 days. Be sure to include seasonal topics if appropriate to your blog. One great source of relevant blog topics is your current customers; take note of the most common questions you are getting about your product or industry and write a post around them.
If you’re concerned about being able to keep to your publishing schedule, find someone in your organization that can. Or look into outsourcing your blog posts to a reliable writer. Once you find someone to handle the actual writing of your blog posts, be sure to briefly review all content before releasing it for publication.
How Often You Should Blog and Why
Many bloggers have found the magic number for blogging frequency to be twice a week. In short, more blogging means more traffic, and no matter what your initial conversion goals are, more traffic means more potential customers.
- Many marketers have reported a 45 percent increase in traffic when the total number of blog posts on their website increased from 11-20 to 21-50.
- Lead generation also benefits from regular blogging activity. When the frequency of blog posts was increased from once to twice per week, the number of incoming leads almost doubled.
- The next big jump comes from blogging on a daily basis, which will basically double your traffic. The downside of daily blogging is that each post will remain at the top of your blog only for that day; blogging twice a week means each post will get twice the attention from being in that first position. The other problem with daily blogging is the burnout factor; the pressure to consistently produce at that rate usually results in a decline in the overall quality of your posts, which is the last thing you want to do.
- On average, blogging is one of the most cost-effective channels for generating leads, followed by social media, organic SEO, direct mail, telemarketing, paid search, and trade shows.
Don’t Forget to Socialize
Once your post is published, take the extra step and promote it across your social media channels. You’ll see higher website traffic as well as improved search engine rankings. Some of the most effective ways to promote your blog posts include:
- Creating great content on a consistent basis. Informative, relevant, and sometimes even provocative content is what your readers will want to share. Give them what they want and they’ll give you what you want.
- Making sure that your social sharing buttons are visible. While many sharing buttons are located towards the top of the blog, placing them at the end of the blog is another option that works just as well.
- Don’t just hope that readers will share your content – politely ask them to share it. Since nobody likes to be the first, get the ball rolling and share the content yourself.
How to Conduct Research for Your Blog
One of the biggest problems with published research about blogging is its inability to take the unique characteristics of your target market into account. Your audience may or may not respond in the same way that the averaged results from the research have indicated that they should.
Start with the basic demographics of your target audience. Consider how likely they are to respond to your blog. In some cases, it might make more sense to target some demographic groups through another channel, such as members of Generation Y. Born in the 1980s and 1990s, this group grew up with digital technology, and are much more accessible through Facebook and Twitter.
Track your website traffic. You’re looking for trends that indicate the days of the week and times of day your blogs are getting the most traffic, engagement, and social sharing.
Some great analytic tools, either free or with a free trial period, that can help you analyze your traffic include Google Analytics, AWStats, CrazyEgg, SiteMeter, GoStats, and StatCounter.
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