What's The Right Amount of Content?
One of the cornerstones of inbound marketing methodology is developing the capability to "get found" online. In order to make "getting found" a regular occurence and steadily increase the amount of traffic to your site, you need to create content. The general axiom is that the more content you create (yes, it needs to be relevant, useful to site visitors and in line with a sound keyword strategy), the better your chances of being found. But how much, and what type of, content is enough, really?
That unassuming little question was dropped on me at a potential client's office earlier in the week and it got me thinking. First of all, it's a very legitimate question and tends to get lost in the overall discussion about keyword strategy, relevancy, SEO, content formats and distribution plans. Secondly, as content generation is a long term commitment with an absolute need to consistently generate, it would be nice to know where that sweet spot is in order to meet the demand requirement. So, how do you develop a meaningful content plan that will give you these answers?
The reality is that most businesses suffer from a low indexed page count and this has an adverse effect on site traffic volume. The fastest content boost is achieved through blogging - each new post is an indexed page as far as search engines are concerned. Therefore, the most impactful, achievable content plan for the majority of businesses is a blog content plan. Here are five steps you can take to help define this answer.
1. Take a baseline reading of where you are today. Gather up some key metrics from your current site activity so you have a measurable perspective on the impact of your blog content plan moving forward. The information I would recommend looking at is:
- Total monthly site visits
- Total number of indexed pages on your site
- Your top 10 keywords
2. Set a goal for thirteen weeks time for your total indexed page count. The number of indexed pages will be directly connected to your activity level in the next step.
3. Commit to writing a minimum of two to three blog posts each week for 13 weeks. The posts should be in the 500 - 750 word range and should contain the keywords from your top 10 list. You don't want to load all ten in each post and you can cycle your keyword distribution over the 13 week period - e.g. week one has your top two keywords in post one, your next two in post two and so on. The higher your indexed page goal is, the higher your blog post count has to be. So, if you have 25 indexed pages on your site today and want to double that number in a thirteen week period, you need to post at least 25 times - roughly twice each week -during the 13 week period. Make this goal reasonable and achievable or it can short circuit your effort early on.
4. Measure the change in site traffic and the total number of indexed pages at the end of the 13 week period. What happened? What impact did regular, keyword focused blogging have on your site traffic? Was the traffic change bigger or smaller than you expected?
5. Now that you have some experience with this approach, commit to the next thirteen week segment. You'll be able to add a site visitation goal to the mix this time based on your results from the first phase of this experiment. Again, be reasonable - it's better to make slow and steady progress than to over-commit and flame out.
In order to track this activity, you'll need Google Analytics code installed on each page of your site. If you haven't identified your top keywords, you can use a free version of WordTracker (get it here) and if you want a quick and easy tool for indexed page count (and other site metrics at a glance), you can use SEO Quake - a toolbar for most of the major browsers (get it here).
Another option is to get on a free, thirty day trial of HubSpot, where all these tools - and a lot more - are offered in one package (get the free trial here).
Note: I have no affiliation with WordTracker and SEO Quake - I'm just providing links to helpful tools. brassCycle is a certified Value Added Reseller of HubSpot and can help maximize the experience with the free trial.