Earlier this week we wrote an article about the paradox of content marketing: that Google says longer articles are better but, at least on our site, shorter articles get more visitors.
This article will discuss a similar subject, but it will seek to answer a different question: What moves the SEO needle more, quantity (publishing a lot of articles) or quality of writing?
There are some bloggers and content marketing experts who argue that quality is all that is needed to get Google to take notice. They say that writing really, really good content and publishing a blog post only once every week or so is enough to make a dent in the SEO game.
Others argue that quality isn’t the end-all-be-all. They argue that publishing a lot of content is the key. It needs to be good, sure, but it doesn’t need to win a Pulitzer. Publishing a lot is the only way to move the SEO needle.
I would tend to lean toward the quantity side in this argument for several reasons we’ll discuss in a moment.
But first, let me reiterate that having good quality content is obvious. Spammy techniques like buying articles, article spinning, and article reproduction don’t work. Creating content with only Google in mind and stuffing that content with keywords won’t work either. Again, creating good content goes without saying. The ultimate question here is this: can someone focus on creating REALLY good content without worrying about quantity?
– The only way to move the SEO needle and get Google to take notice of your content is to produce a lot of content. In Q4 of 2012 we wrote about 2 blog posts each week. They were good pieces of content. They took a long time to research and to write. But here’s the problem: no one was reading them. Our blog was new and our blog traffic was anemic.
In Q1 of 2013 we started writing 3 blog posts each day. They were good, but they obviously weren’t research pieces worthy of a literary award. They couldn’t be, not when producing 3 of them each day.
What happened next is documented in these two articles:
– 150 Blog Posts in 50 Days: Staggering Traffic Results After 10 Weeks
– 300 Blog Posts in 100 Days: Traffic Results After 20 Weeks
Bottom line: we weren’t moving the SEO needle until we starting producing enough content to move the SEO needle.
– The principle of throwing something at the wall. This might not be a very ‘correct’ principle, but here it is: you have to write about enough different topics that eventually something sticks. If you focus on writing the next great novel, you won’t. But, if you write a lot, eventually, you’ll write something great. When the Rolling Stones wrote Satisfaction, they were not trying to make the #1 song of all-time. They were just trying to produce a lot of music.
– Before I became the lead gen and content guy for Convirza, I was a TV news anchor and reporter. We produced 1 or 2 original stories each day. These involved interviews with subjects, getting video, editing video, writing the story and then presenting them live on-air. Each story also needed separate radio scripts and blog posts. This was every day….6 or 7 original pieces of content.
I learned a lesson early-on: not every story is going to win an Emmy. Some will, but every one won’t.
This meant that some days, probably most days, the story was good and it got done. That’s it. One of my favorite quotes is from Mark Zuckerger, “Perfect is the enemy of done.”
Get it done. Don’t worry if every blog post isn’t worthy of acclamation or adulation. Make sure its good, of course, but it doesn’t need to be groundbreaking. It needs to be good.
There’s a difference.
– Having said all that…don’t produce garbage. Some blog posts that some companies produce are awful. They’re boring. They stink. I wouldn’t read them if someone was forcing me to read them at gunpoint. Don’t write stupid stuff and don’t write boring stuff.
Write content, produce content, that helps your audience in some way. Allay their fears, minimize their risk, give them tips, teach them best practices, and most of all don’t try to sell your wares all the time.
That’s not classy.
As I said above, no piece of content should be produced unless it is valuable, informational, and well done. Producing bad content will get you in trouble with Google, with your readers, and with your boss/client. However, you will NEVER make a dent in SEO unless you’re producing several pieces of content each week. You just won’t.
You need a lot of good content.