Category Archives for "SEO"

seo for contractors
Oct 08

Outdated SEO Practices You Should Retire

SEO

The internet constantly evolves. As search engines become increasingly skilled at delivering targeted content to their customers, SEO best practices quickly become outdated and threaten to drop your site low in the rankings.

Fortunately, these outdated SEO practices are easy to avoid once you know them. Take a look at the SEO practices that once reigned supreme but now put your site at risk, and find out what you should do instead for long-lasting success.

Focusing Only on Keywords

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Keywords aren’t the be-all-end-all of modern SEO as they once were. Sites used to be designed entirely around target keywords, but adapting to the new SEO tactics requires a different strategy.

Keywords listed in title tags, headers and meta descriptions aren’t readable, and worse, are now punished by Google algorithms. Instead, write enticing, interesting title tags, compelling copy for meta descriptions and intriguing headings that draw the reader further into the article. Not only is this content more readable, but it also ranks higher in Google, which searched for content quality and relevance more than anything else.

Prioritizing Rankings over Traffic

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Many businesses put the number one organic ranking above all else, which doesn’t help ROI and does little for the increasingly popular voice search.

Instead, featured snippets, long-tail targeting and other SERP tactics should be the focus. These not only have a higher ROI per hour spent, but they also aren’t as competitive and often bring you around to the primary keyword anyway.

Creating Multiple Pages for Keyword Variants

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In the past, it made sense for a site to create and optimize pages for each keyword variant to cast the widest possible net. This was mostly due to Google’s inability to differentiate between similar keywords and organize the search results accordingly.

Now, Google’s algorithms are capable of finding multiple pages that use similar content and keywords, and they penalize you for it. This doesn’t mean you need to simplify everything, but it does mean that you should eliminate multiple pages for every variant with the intent of keyword optimization. Instead, focus on the user experience with your site and the optimal funnel, which will get you high marks in search engine algorithms.

Link Building to Improve Rankings

Many businesses attempt to move up the search engine rankings with link building, but this outdated practice no longer works with modern SEO. Now, searcher task accomplishment, user experience and valuable content get the ranking.

As Neil Patel states, the golden rule of SEO, regardless of algorithm changes, is searcher task accomplishment. Google’s first and foremost concern is giving searchers exactly what they’re looking for, which can’t be accomplished with SEO shortcuts. Google wants to reward sites that help the searcher with what they searched for initially, uncover other possible needs and address them. Ultimately, the goal through this is to find the sites that lead to more action and engagement.

All of this can be accomplished through high-quality, relevant content and an optimized user experience. If Google’s main goal is to go above and beyond to serve the needs of searchers, your site experience should focus on that as well.

Obsessing on Keyword Placement

Spending a lot of time and energy putting keywords in the H1 and H2, the headline tags, as well as the URL or repeated multiple times throughout the content, works, but only to an extent. For example, you want to have your keyword in the title or headline, but that doesn’t mean it needs to be stuffed into every area.

Instead, focus on getting value out of the keywords and their related topics. Make sure that the content explains the subject, topics, words or phrases that Google is likely to associate with the keyword. You can scatter your keyword all over your site and links, but if you don’t have related content that Google may recognize, you won’t rank as well.

Ignoring Mobile Site Optimization

Designing for mobile sites isn’t new, but many businesses are still behind the times with sites that are far from mobile-friendly. Even if most of your audience uses a desktop to view your content, you could be missing out on loads of mobile traffic.

Fortunately, this is an easy fix. Software that isn’t supported or common on mobile devices, links that are too close together and cause accidental clicks and text that doesn’t have a readable zoom are enough to move a user away from your content, so that’s a great place to start. Google also offers a guide to mobile-friendly sites to ensure you’re on the right track.

Churning Out Low-Quality Copy

The old rule for SEO used to be quantity over quality, but now, Google will penalize you for it. Low-grade blog fillers, stuffed keywords and other tactics are a flag to Google that your writing has no relevance, so it will direct users elsewhere.

On top of the effects on SEO, low-quality copy just isn’t good for business or marketing. It’s less likely to draw visitors in, less likely to convert visitors and less likely to bring them back, actions which are much more valuable to a business than a ranking on a search engine.

Offering Non-Strategic, Shallow Content

Content strategy and content marketing have become a considerable investment for businesses in recent years, sometimes with the idea of drawing links to a site that aren’t relevant or helpful. We’ve all seen this with “clickbait” articles that include information that has nothing at all to do with the original site.

On the other hand, link bait that offers high-quality content that draws others to link to it and draws attention, as well as creates a positive brand association, is far more valuable for your site. This requires information that’s interesting and makes others naturally want to link to it, which is best accomplished through content that solves a problem effectively and enhances the value of another’s site.

Ignoring Other Search Engines

We’ve discussed these tactics at length in regard to Google, but that doesn’t mean other search engines should be left by the wayside. True, Google has the most comprehensive set of resources for SEO and is undoubtedly the most popular search engine, but if you’re forgetting about the likes of Bing, Yahoo and other search engines, you’re missing out.

These search engines are a major source of organic traffic, so don’t neglect their tools in your planning process. They can easily supplement your SEO efforts and often provide even more data to work with, giving you a thorough understanding of your total SEO picture.

The Best Way to Update Your Outdated SEO Practices

As discussed, Google is only concerned with solving the searcher’s problem. Whether that’s through related keywords, related topics or other tactics, all Google cares about is directing users to sites that are useful, valuable and relevant.

Because of this, the key to modern SEO is creating a website that people want to use by offering value and solving problems. This isn’t about shortcuts or cheating the system, which will only change tomorrow. It’s about caring for your customers and focusing on helping them, rather than artificially inflating rankings. Put a little effort into that, and you’ll start to see long-lasting results.

seo for contractors
Aug 03

Does Your SEO Speak to Voice Search Users?

SEO

Hello! Is this thing on? We just wanted to make sure you heard us loud and clear when we said: “Voice search is the most significant development to hit SEO since Google debuted.”

That may sound like a hot take, but statistics describing the growing usage of voice search resoundingly back it up. Twenty percent of all online searches in 2016 were voice searches, according to a Mary Meeker report. Comscore predicts that half of all searches will be made through voice commands by 2020.

Searching using a voice function instead of a keyboard has huge ramifications for your organization’s SEO strategy. For starters, usually only one result is brought up, meaning you have to know exactly what it takes to earn that coveted spot. Secondly, the technical SEO best practices that make you more likely to rank in voice search are fairly different from the typical approach.

Don’t worry, though, because we’re here to break it all down for you. You’ll learn how and why people use voice search to gain insight on how you can meet their needs, and then you’ll learn how to implement voice search SEO best practices that can help boost your rank. Let’s get talkin’!

How Do People Use Voice Search in 2018?

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The first rule of SEO is to always put the search user’s need for information over your need to rank.

Sure, you can climb the ranks the cheap way using grey hat SEO tactics, but those gains won’t last. Inevitably, Google, Bing and Alexa will change how their algorithm works and knock you back down. But if you consider the user’s needs foremost, you have a better chance at staying on top even when big search engine changes come through the pipes.

So, since it pays to know how and why people use voice search so you can meet their needs, here are a few interesting facts about voice search.

Firstly, the home is where the majority of consumers make their voice search queries. According to the Content Marketing Institute, 43 percent of people say they most frequently use the feature in their home, versus 36 percent who use it mostly in their car and 19 percent who say they most often use it “on the go.”

This statistic tells you two things:

  1. Those 90 million smart speakers sold annually are changing the way we interact with devices, opening new channels and opportunities that didn’t exist just a few years ago.
  2. The idea that people are mostly going to be using voice search as a hands-free option in their car is partially untrue. Voice search has a number of other benefits that compel people to use it beyond just driving without distraction.

What are the benefits hinted at in No. 2? While 61 percent of people do agree that searching using voice commands is “useful when hands/vision” are occupied, 30 percent say that it leads to “faster results.” Twenty-four percent say they have “difficulty typing on certain devices” and 12 percent say they want “to avoid confusing menus.” Twenty-two percent say they use voice search because it’s “fun/cool,” so those suspicious that it’s a novelty are fairly correct.

These insights paint a broader picture of how and why people use voice search, though. Namely: they want quick answers, and they don’t feel like they need to actually touch a device to get them.

In response to these needs, the gist of all the voice search SEO tips below is this: give people easy access to the information they want, and you’re more likely to rank.

So, how do you accomplish that goal? Here are some of those voice search tips in detail.

Focus on Semantically Related Keywords Over Exact Query Matches

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Take a moment to think about how you would speak an online search query out loud versus how you would type it.

When we type, we often want to be get our query as specific as possible while using the fewest possible words. So, we might write something like “best laptop backpack” to find out which bag is most worth buying, and then we’ll likely click around or search again to find the best deal on said backpack.

But when we talk, we want to be specific without using awkward words or phrasings. As a result, we naturally gravitate towards strings of simple, descriptive words that may seem like a long phrase but that are easy to say out loud. We also want to avoid pulling up results that do a different action than we intended, since we can’t click or navigate as easily.

For example, we might say, “Siri, what is the best laptop backpack according to reviews?” Or, if we already know what we want, we might say, “Ok Google, find laptop backpacks by North Face under $200 near me.”

According to Google, 70 percent of voice queries the company handles use natural language, which means actual sentences rather than jumbles of words. One self-study by a smart speaker user found that the average word count of their queries was four.

In response to these trends, your keyword strategy should be less about shoehorning an exact match keyword in and more about covering all of the bases of your topic. Try to include phrases that you might think are things people would ask about your topic or product. Think more about long tail queries in sentence form, and try to include these in a natural way.

Also, get straight to the information. Emphasize the six big question words: when, what, who, why, where and how.

If you think you’re better off adopting the old SEO strategy of making a new content page for each query type, think again. According to Backlinko, very few voice query results have exact keyword matches in their titles, meaning context is more important than verbatim matches.

Write Good, In-Depth Content, but Use Pithy, Quotable Phrases

Referring again to Backlinko’s study, the average voice search result was only 29 words in length. Yet, the average word count of a voice search result page was 2,312 words!

That may sound frustratingly paradoxical. Why go through all the trouble of writing thousands of words about something if a search engine’s just going to yank out a tiny sliver of that?

The answer is that the best content often covers several bases, as we suggested above. They go in-depth, explore lots of angles and reveal lots of information. A voice query, however, only needs a small part of that information. Accordingly, content that has voice results pulled from it tends to have pithy, quotable phrases.

So, as an example, this article will be well over 1,500 words by the time we’re done. If we wanted to offer up a voice assistant a juicy quote to sum up the answer to “what is voice search SEO?” we would say:

Voice search SEO is a strategy for ranking highly on voice searches using natural-sounding content that’s packed with information and focused on search intent.

Google may not grab that answer, but here’s hoping!

Because quotable “sound bites” are the preferred information to pull results from, FAQ (frequently asked questions) absolutely rule for improving your voice search rank. To make these pages, you can source common questions about your industry or your business from the following:

  • Google’s “Other People Searched” and “Searches Related to ___” suggestions
  • Long-tail keyword suggestions from keyword planning tools
  • AnswerThePublic.com
  • Your own customers! Write down questions as you hear them, or look to resources like emails, feedback forms or HR reports.

Don’t Neglect Bing, Which Has a Bigger Share of Voice Search than Google!

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Bing has always been mentioned second to Google—or not at all—when it comes to search engine optimization discussions. That makes sense in a text-based world, where Google handles an estimated 75 percent to 90 percent of all written queries.

The voice assistant world has changed everything though! Some of the most popular devices pull their search results from Microsoft’s Bing or Yahoo platform. These include:

  • iPhones and other Siri-enabled Apple products
  • Microsoft computers and mobile devices
  • Microsoft Xbox One gaming consoles
  • Amazon Alexa devices
  • Connected cars powered by Alexa, including all BMW, Mini, Toyota, Lexus, Volvo and others.

So, pretty much any device that doesn’t run Android or doesn’t have a Google logo on it will be using Bing!

Luckily, Bing SEO isn’t that different from Google SEO. You just need to ensure that you have the tools to perform analytics on your Bing results and display your content properly in their search page.

Other Voice Search SEO Tips

The information above covers the basic essentials of voice search SEO, but here are a few more helpful tidbits before we send you on your way:

  • 70 percent of Google Home results use HTTPS instead of HTTP, so get your certificate!
  • Authoritative domains tend to earn more results, so try to earn backlinks (ethically) through guest posting and social media amplification.
  • The best-performing content tends to have high social media engagement, especially Facebook shares.
  • Aim for a 9th grade reading level so your content is easy for a voice assistant to parse and read out loud.
  • Earning a featured snippet makes you more likely to rank, but Schema markup isn’t necessarily important.

Beyond these tips, simply focus on creating great content that answers people’s questions quickly, and you could see improved voice search results!

Of course, it never hurts to create a more vigorous strategy and test whether your voice search optimization worked as intended. If you want to work with a voice SEO expert to help you get in good with the likes of Siri, Cortana, Alexa and Google, then get in touch with us today!

seo for contractors
Jul 13

Why High Quality Content Matters More than Keywords for SEO

SEO

Attention content creators: Google reads everything you write! Well, not “reads” in the literal sense, but its algorithms are now sophisticated enough to pick up on unnatural language and poor formatting—both of which send strong negative signals that hurt your ability to rank.

In fact, Google’s approach to ranking has gotten so sophisticated that they’ve learned that content quality matters more to search users than the presence of any particular keyword phrase. As a result, you may find a No. 1 search result that doesn’t contain an exact match keyword anywhere in the body.

We’re serious! In an exhaustive study of 600,000 keyword phrases, 18 percent of the domains that ranked position 20 or higher didn’t have the keyword in the text at all. Instead, these sites had a few things in common: website visits, user behavior signals and the number of links to the content all influenced Google to rank them near the top. All of these signals tell Google one thing: people seem to like this content.

In addition to these behavior-based markers of content quality, Google and other search engines actively sift through content to see signals of quality within the text itself.

After all, Google’s main objective isn’t getting your website traffic; it’s giving people good search results.

Thankfully, the company’s own guidelines are fairly specific and helpful. We’ll point you towards the exact markers of “high quality” Google is looking for.

What Are the Red Flags for Poor Content Quality?

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Google’s guidelines for content quality are pretty thorough. This is likely because it’s hard to put into words exactly what makes something “good” or “high quality.” It takes a lot of nuance!

On the other hand, you can fairly quickly point out factors that immediately signal poor quality.

It’s like baking cake. There are a million different types of cakes out there and as many ways to prepare them. Flour, sugar, eggs and milk may be your raw ingredients, but you can make thousands of different types of delicious cakes. Also, “the right cake to bake” differs according to the context and circumstances. You can have a moist cake that’s yummy, or you could have a more solid cake that still does the trick.

But you can’t put sand in your cake. That’s a no-no. And it’s an automatic recipe for an inedible cake.

Similarly, Google highlights some markers of poor quality that instantly flag a page as having content not worth ranking:

  • Spamming keywords, especially if they’re irrelevant
  • Creating content that’s mostly copies of existing content
  • Typos, bad spelling, grammar errors
  • Sentences or paragraphs that never seem to end
  • Content that has little to no formatting, leaving just a dense chunk of text
  • Going crazy with links that aren’t relevant to the content at hand
  • Dropping lists of keywords somewhere in your page, especially if you’re hiding them with text color choices
  • Content that is excessively thin, especially for pages like blogs that promise substance

There are also a number of ways to get instantly deindexed by Google that go beyond content quality. Since that’s something you likely want to avoid, they’re well worth reviewing!

Google’s SEO Guide Considers Content Quality, Navigation Ease More Important Than Keyword Use

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If you go and take a look at Google’s SEO starter guide, you’ll find that suggestions for how to use keywords properly don’t come up until around halfway through. Before that point, they take a moment to repeat four times that you shouldn’t overuse keywords or stuff them into your technical SEO elements.

Once they do mention keywords, they simply advise that you tailor your keyword strategy to your audience. For instance, people who watch soccer regularly might expect “FIFA” or “football” to be in the content they read, while casual users may expect more generic terms like “soccer playoffs.”

Immediately after that, they go back into quality. “Avoid writing sloppy text with many spelling and grammatical mistakes,” they suggest, as well as “awkward or poorly written content.”

To truly hammer the point home, Google spends far more time writing about ease of navigation and quality of life improvements for website visitors. Based on how the information is organized, Google cares more about your site map than your keyword usage when deciding rank.

“The navigation of a website is important in helping visitors quickly find the content they want,” explains the search giant. “It can also help search engines understand what content the webmaster thinks is important.”

All of this information can be summed up thusly: search engines aren’t dumb. They know the things that make life easier for their users and content better to read in general. They pay far more attention to these elements than how you use keywords.

In fact, with voice search on the rise, search engines have had to get smarter than ever about interpreting keyword intent and finding semantically related terms. That way, someone searching for “best places to eat near me” can pull up a list of “top-rated restaurants” without having to first sift through unhelpful results that contain exact keyword matches.

5 Tips for Writing Higher Quality Content

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So now you’ve heard what definitely not to do when creating content, with only a hint of what so-called “high quality content” looks like.

To steer you in the right direction, here are a few general tips that can boost the quality of all content.

  1. “Make pages primarily for users, not for search engines.”

This rule comes directly from Google’s Webmaster Guidelines. It’s actually the very first thing they say under “Basic Principles.”

The search giant even suggests you ask yourself “Does this help my users? Would I do this if search engines didn't exist?” when making a decision on how your website operates. Those questions definitely apply when writing new content.

So foremost, determine an audience need based on a keyword search, and write to answer that need. The better able you are to satisfy someone’s search intent, the better behaviour signals your site receives, and the more likely you are to rank.

If you’re at a loss for how to connect a keyword to user needs, do a little research. Plug in the keyword yourself, and try to find questions related to it.

Or, if the keyword is directly related to an “I want to purchase something or research a purchase” intent, take notes on the content that ranks highest. Chances are good that the page offers excellent examples of site organization, layout clarity and overall usability in addition to some solid text content.

  1. Edit Your Writing, and Push Yourself to Improve

Like good cake, good writing is definitely in the eye of the beholder. But at the same time, you wouldn’t bank on your cake getting top votes if all you did was use a box mix.

In other words, if you want to write better, you’re going to have to learn from others. We suggest reading publisher sites related to your industry that get high traffic, and cover topics similar to what you want on your blog.

Some general guidelines for improving your writing include:

  • Use less “being” and “linking” verbs in favor of strong action verbs. If you find yourself writing words like “is, was, are and be,” go back and see if you can identify the true subject of the sentence and what it’s doing.
  • Structure your writing like you would an outline. Tell people what they’re going to learn from your post as soon as possible, and then delve into each smaller point one at a time until you’re finished.
  • Write casually but not unprofessionally. Aim for a “friendly, conversational tone with a clear purpose—somewhere between the voice you use when talking to your buds and that you’d use if you were a robot,” suggests Search Engine Land’s paraphrasing of Google’s own Developer Documentation Style Guide.
  • Edit your writing! Far too many people don’t go back and reread. Watch out for sentence and paragraph transitions that could make people have trouble following your logic. Ask people for their opinion on how readable everything is. If they have a complaint, see if you can break the excerpt down into its most simple parts and reconstruct it.
  1. Read, Read, Read and Read Some More

Reading teaches you how words and sentences form ideas. We take a lot of this stuff for granted, but it’s quite complex. Fortunately, others have mastered it and can teach you techniques to add to your repertoire.

  1. Pay Attention to Your Audience’s Behavior Signals

What content pages get the most views? Which ones get the best responses or the most engagement in comments or on social media? Where do people tend to spend the most time?

Look to your own Google Analytics data, and try to identify patterns. People tell you what they like without ever having to say a word.

  1. If You’re Struggling to Write Good Content, Go Back to the Basics

You may feel hesitant about writing on simple topics, such as “The Beginner’s Guide to SEO” or something like “Why People Buy Things,” but these are actually great topics. Yes, they’ve been done to death, but they help people learn.

Also, you might put things in a certain way that makes an extremely deep or complex subject click for your audience.

Above all else, articles like these teach you the fundamentals of writing for your audience. You learn how to break big concepts down to their bare components and communicate complex ideas with clarity.

Next to reading, writing down the basics is the best way to teach yourself how to craft better content.

Stop Obsessing Over Keywords and Start Writing Better

The writing’s on the wall: Google and online audiences are sick of bad content, keyword stuffing and deceptive practices aimed to help websites rank but that make readers miserable.

Put content quality factors like readability, grammar and topic organization as a higher priority than keyword use as part of your SEO strategy. People will know what you’re talking about, even if you don’t use an exact keyword match—and now search engines will too.

seo for contractors
Jul 06

How Often Should I Be Posting to My Blog?

Content Marketing , SEO

Blogging frequency is somewhat of a sticky topic in the digital marketing world. Some people have hard and fast beliefs about how “you have to post seven blogs per week or EVERYTHING WILL EXPLODE!” Others only post whenever they feel like it, which can be as unpredictable as it sounds.

In truth, both camps are wrong. Posting on a regular schedule is absolutely essential. It helps you build audiences, stay organized and discipline yourself to continually push out worthwhile content.

On the other hand, posting too frequently leads to diminishing returns. Posting every day, for example, can mean that a fair chunk of your blogs never get read. When promoting your blogs on social media, the algorithms may also be much more likely to pass over your umpteenth blog promotion for the week.

So what is the happy medium? How often is the right blogging frequency for you?

The answer is a resounding: “It depends.” The circumstances surrounding your contractor business and the unique qualities of your audience both dictate the right number of times to publish a blog post each month. Your marketing goals also come into play, especially if you intend to use your blog to increase your search engine rank or support lead generation.

On average, posting once or twice a week should hit the “just fine” mark. But if you want to know how to calculate exactly how often you need to publish in order to benefit your objectives and audience needs, keep reading.

Why Posting Every Day Isn’t Smart or Necessary

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First, let’s get some reasons out of the way for why it’s pure overkill to post a new blog every single day.

For starters, you’re going to wear out your audiences. If they happen to follow you on social media or subscribe to your email list, a daily promotion talking about your latest in a slew of new posts is going to get under their skin really quickly.

Forty-six percent of people say they have unfollowed a brand because it promoted too often, and 35 percent say that they’ve unfollowed someone because they post too much in general. Constant nagging in their inbox or begging on social media ran its course, and they jumped ship.

Even among audience members who absolutely love to read your content, posting every day is too much for them to keep up with. They’ll inevitably fall behind, meaning not every blog gets the attention it deserves. This may be less of a problem if, say, you’re an outlet with millions of readers, but the average website only gets so much attention for its blog per week.

Similarly, social media algorithms may begin to think that people don’t like engaging with your content. The more of your posts that end up with an extremely low engagement rate, the more likely the algorithm is to decide that you aren’t worth showing up on someone’s newsfeed.

Plus, having hundreds of posts without a single like or comment can start to look downright sad. Someone might even write an article about the embarrassment if you’re a big enough brand.

Earning comments and engagement serves as “social proof” that looking at your content is worthwhile. It’s the same thing as seeing a line outside a bar; people think “that’s gotta be the place to be!” Popularity brings more people.

But when you have no engagement, it kinda makes people steer clear. You start to look like the one kid sitting by himself at lunch. Someone might feel bad for you, but engaging at that point could be social suicide.

So don’t overdo it! Any way you slice it, it’s going to make your brand feel like a social outcast. It will also mean that you’re wasting resources in the process on superfluous blogs that hurt, rather than help, your marketing goals.

The Importance of Consistency

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In addition to realizing that there’s a blogging frequency line you shouldn’t cross, recognize that consistent publishing benefits your blog performance for several reasons.

One of the biggest reasons consistency helps your readership is that it means you’re predictable. People know that if they visit your blog or check out your social feeds, they’ll see something new every so often. Even if you prefer to only publish blogs once or twice a month, people can anticipate when the next post will drop as long as you release them on a consistent calendar.

Realize that 18 percent of people will unfollow a brand because it’s page is “too quiet.” Someone may just end up checking out because they decide you’ve run out of things to say.

Consistency also forces you to be disciplined about blogging. Search engine optimization (SEO) takes several months to begin working. Search engines need to be able to index a consistent volume of content regularly over weeks and weeks before they begin to consider linking to your domain. They also seek out fresh content, meaning that what helped you rank last year could quickly get stale and overtaken this year.

Publishing on a regular schedule therefore ensures that you are constantly planting seeds for a sizeable readership and SEO. Each new blog helps your previous efforts take root, and just as a piece of content begins to become less effective, a whole new crop is ready to take its place.

One last benefit of consistent blogging frequency worth mentioning is that it forces you to plan. If you have a set number of blogs to publish each week or each month, you’re strongly incentivized to create a content calendar.

You may also be more inclined to plan out your topics. Preferably, you are bookmarking interesting things you’ve seen throughout the week to develop a content idea queue. As you place these ideas on your calendar, you can determine how to have a variety of topics that keep your blog interesting while covering your desired keywords.

Determining Your Ideal Blogging Frequency

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Now that you know why blogging on a consistent basis—but not every day—are the golden rules, here is how you can figure out the best blogging frequency to meet your needs.

  1. Define your goals and key metrics to measure
  2. Form a hypothesis for how often you think you should post to meet these goals
  3. Post at your hypothesized frequency for at least two to three months to establish benchmark data
  4. Hypothesize how you might improve your key metrics by adjusting your posting frequency
  5. Measure the difference averaged over a few weeks
  6. Go back to step four and continue experimenting to optimize

Notice that step six implies that this is a never-ending process. The perfect posting frequency for you now may change in a few months.

As for how to make an educated guess for how often you should post, you can use some of the following decision-making criteria.

Current volume of content

Blogs with little to no existing content should push themselves until they have at least a few dozen articles under their belt. Don’t publish every day, but don’t be afraid to publish far more often than you intend to, just so you can build out your content with a healthy backlog.

Current readership volume

If you have thousands of readers for every blog post, you should always see what happens when you post slightly more often. Chances are great that your priority metrics and views will only go up.

If you don’t have very many readers yet, posting more often could risk dividing their attention. Experiment with shifting days around and adding slightly more posts per month rather than assuming more is always going to be better.

Best traffic sources

Your main source of traffic—or the channel you intend to use as your main source—matters a great deal for how often you post.

Neil Patel points out how blogs like Moz that produce high quality content can depend on new backlinks and search engine referrals bringing people to their content for months, sometimes years.

On the other hand, blogs like Buzzfeed, that earn most of their traffic from social media, have to “feed the beast” with constant new articles and updates. For blogs that get lots of viral shares and engagement via social media, sometimes posting multiple times a day can actually be a strategy that works!

Your own capacity and resources to create blogs

This is an incredibly important point that can all but negate everything else we’ve already suggested. Specifically: only write as much as you can. Otherwise, you are going to get burnt out and start publishing sub-par work.

The best way to avoid burnout is to have enough polished content that you are at least a month ahead. That way, you can take a break if you aren’t feeling inspired or motivated. You may also need to find outside help from a content marketing agency or a freelance writer.

In the end, just listen to your brain when it comes to how positive you feel about blogging. Developing a schedule and a content calendar can make you more productive, but it can’t make you an amazing writer every time you sit down at the keyboard.

“If you post only once every two months, but the content is truly awesome, you will be much more successful than someone publishing crappy posts every day,” reflects SmartBlogger—and we couldn’t agree more!