I’ve read a multitude of articles referring to the best practices for writing content for a website. Needless to say, they can be quite confusing to understand. While one expert says two to three per day is better, another will attest to a few blog posts per month. This contradiction can be very frustrating, especially if you’re new to website development. So, is there a definitive answer about how much content is enough?
How Much Content Should You Write?
There is a saying on the Internet: “Content is king.” Considering this is the primary method in how visitors find your website, it’s fairly obvious why writing is an important factor to success. Unfortunately, it can be extremely difficult and time consuming to figure out how much content you need to write in order to attract visitors optimal visitors.
Current Marketing Strategies
If your website has other methods of engaging visitors, you may not need an excessive amount of content. Things like pay-per-click campaigns, banner ads, affiliate marketing and social media may be effective for your site. There are a number of businesses that rely on just a handful of posts each month because of these other marketing plans. This is mostly to keep the site looking like it’s active while potentially tapping into search engines. Your current methods may play a part in dictating how often you write. Time constraints for creating a quality article may not justify the time to create a piece, especially if you have other marketing campaigns bringing in traffic.
Length of the Material
Many experts believe that Google holds longer pieces of content in higher regards than shorter pieces. For instance, a single 2,000 word post is more effective for search engine placement than a 400 word piece of the same topic. This is also another reason why some experts only create two or three posts per week. It’s all about the quality of the material that drives their traffic. However, you don’t want to try and force a 2,000 word post when 400 words will do. Filling the article with “fluff” and irrelevant material to stretch out the length could result in penalties from search engines.
Your Target Industry
One thing I have noticed over the past few years is how individual industries greatly affect traffic. For instance, my gaming blog accumulates far more traffic than my health and fitness blog. It all centers around what people are more interested in and what topics you cover. I’ve also found it to be valuable to focus on specific areas of an industry rather than a generalization. An example of this is how software reviews on my gaming blog are far more popular than any other form of content on the site.
My Own Practices
Personally, I belong in the “more is good” collection of people. I’ve seen first hand at how more content vastly increases the site’s appearance in search engines. After all, people can’t find your webpages concerning a topic if you haven’t created them. As I also believe that you could write an endless supply of quality material for any topic, I continue to write.
Frequency of My Content
I try to write a new blog post for all my sites once per day. Since I’ve started doing this, the exposure of my health site increased by 700% and even this site grew by more than 600%. Some days I’ll write two or three; it all depends on if I have something to say that day or if I have time to write something else. I’m not saying this is a perfect plan for everyone. However, it’s what has worked for me over the past three months. Even the click-through rate has increased over the past 90 days.
More Crawls By Google and Bing
As I develop more content, I’ve noticed how Bing and Google crawl more of my site at regular intervals. It used to take about a week or two before my pages were indexed. Now, it takes a couple of days. Consistency has been key to getting the attention of search engines. Because I create 30+ posts per month, I am a reliable source of content as seen by these engines.
I don’t spend money on search engine optimization. Essentially, I use the free plugins for WordPress to do it all for me. So far, the most effective tool I have used has been Yoast SEO. By following it’s guidelines, I try to create the most effective content possible while offering quality information. I know some days it may not seem that way. Sometimes I don’t think I am offering anything out of the norm. However, the results don’t lie I suppose.
The Right Keywords
I use Google’s Keyword Planner tool to find some of the best phrases to use for most of my content. Otherwise, I look at what people are finding the most valuable on my sites and create more of that kind of content. Like I mentioned earlier, reviews play a powerful role in my traffic on just about any site I write. You don’t want to pick keywords that have heavy competition, though. This means you’ll have a harder time ranking high in search results because of others who are using the same words.
Ideas to Gauge Your Own Progress
Gauging your own progress will be the most useful to you. While everyone can say this number of post is best or that length of content is ideal, it all comes down to how people interact with your specific website. Because there are so many variables in play, it’s almost impossible to say with 100% certainty that one method is better than another. Here are some ways you can figure out your own methods for creating content:
- Visit similar websites: Although you don’t want to copy another author’s style, there is nothing wrong with taking a look to see how he or she is getting traffic. Length of the articles, number of comments, number of posts per month and other tidbits of information can help you devise a plan for yourself.
- Google Analytics: Google Analytics is a free tool that can help you determine how people are using your site. You can discover everything from the most popular pages to how long people are viewing your posts. It can be useful when trying to decide your next piece to write.
- Search Analytics: Search Analytics within Google’s Webmaster Tools can show you how often your pages are coming up in search results. It will also give you an idea of how many people are clicking on your posts from the search engine. Keeping an eye on this may show if your strategy is helping your site by developing online awareness.
There are many variables that play into how a site performs on the Internet. Everything from the site’s SEO settings to the popularity of the topic will drastically change the number of visitors you receive. It’ll take a bit of effort, trial and error and luck to figure out exactly how much content you should develop. What works for one person may not be the best strategy for you.