Content is king. You hear it all the time, and every Google update supports this benevolent monarchy. What’s less talked about is how much content you need. Is it enough to have a few pieces of SEO content, a blog and a Twitter feed, or do you need an extensive website and a constant presence in industry journals? Is there an ideal amount of content to attract visitors without overwhelming them? There isn’t a magic formula to tell you how much content you need, but you can get an idea of what you need to keep your readers and the search engines invested in your content.
It’s Probably More Than You Think
Content is a catch-all term. If you’re thinking about how many blog posts you need per week or which images you’ll add to your lone landing page, you’re leaving off a great many key aspects of a complete content marketing strategy. When you distill content to its most essential element, you’ll see that most of it serves a single purpose: answering your visitors’ questions. Everything from FAQ pages to product images to price listings answers a question viewers have for you – sometimes the very question those visitors typed into the Google search bar.
Some questions can be answered with a single paragraph or image, but others need more explanation. It’s easy enough to answer a customer who needs to know your business hours or phone number with a few lines, but what about the one who wants to know how your new and improved product differs from its original version? When you start thinking of your content in terms of the answers it supplies for your prospects’ questions, you get an idea of the scope and depth of a full-on content strategy.
Quality Matters Most
Inexperienced site owners have heard the “content is king” message but haven’t yet gotten the memo that not all content is worth publishing. Unleashing a flood of low-value spun content on their sites might give them an initial bump in traffic, but it’s only a matter of time until Google and other search engines penalize the website into oblivion, relegating it into a page-rank graveyard. Before you think of quantity, consider quality. You’re better off paying a professional blogger or content creator a reasonable rate and publishing once a week than aiming for once a day and buying worthless content for pennies.
Another reason quality counts: Once you publish it, your content is out there for years. Publish worthwhile information, and you build a content library that increases your site’s authority. Serve low-value pap, and you’re driving both readers and search engines away. If you’ve done it long enough, you may even need a reputation management team to scrub the smell of spam off your site.
Google’s Panda Eats Fresh Content
Recency and frequency are strong signals of a well-maintained website, and Google considers them key indicators of sites that deserve higher rankings. All search engines want to deliver sites that serve their users’ needs; they do that best when they find fresh, new content from authoritative sites. If you’ve been following this blog, you already know how important your site’s authority is, but authority takes time to establish for most sites. You’re better off publishing fresh content over time and getting those incremental upward nudges to your page rank than you are putting out a huge brick of content at one time. If you’re building a blog from scratch, you’ll want a few posts to appear right away, but consistency and frequency with updates matters more than the total amount of content.
Address Your Whole Audience
Every marketer knows the importance of marketing segments, but those divisions can also help guide your content strategy. Ideally, you should address each sector of your audience at least two to four times a month. In other words, if you manufacture refrigerated cases and sell to delis, grocery stores, florists and bakeries, your content creation team might publish one blog post a month that addresses each of these disparate customer bases specifically. You’d also want to post subjects of interest to everyone in your client base – an article on lighting innovations, for example, to show products in refrigerated cases to their best advantage while keeping temperatures uniform – to your blog to keep interest high.
From your industry to your audience to your budget, a host of factors go into determining how much content you need. Whether you’re aiming for economy or launching a lavish content marketing campaign on multiple platforms at once, quality counts.
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