We have a guest post by Joe Shoop about content marketing this week! I’ll be back in two weeks with another update!
Frequently, I’m asked by clients “How much content must I write for my website?” Unfortunately, this is not as simple as question as it may seem. While there are various answers from many different sources, ultimately the answer is simple, really: You just need to write ‘enough’ content.
But what is ‘enough’ content?
The volume of content you’ll need on your site will vary on a lot of different factors, such as industry, current ranking, and type of business you’re in.
Let’s start with the first item mentioned above – industry.
If you’re in a highly technical, complex, or confusing industry, you may need to write a lot more content for your site to rank than people in other industries.
For example, if you are in the legal profession, deal with complex machinery, or you’re a otolaryngologist, you may need more content to help express the style of work you do, the type of machines you work with, or whatever it is that otolaryngologist does all day. This, as opposed to a handyman, baker, or candlestick maker, requires more content to help your readers – and potential clients – understand exactly what you offer and what they’re likely to receive from your business.
However, if there’s no one in your line of work with a thriving website (or at least a current one), little content may be needed to help get you a boost over your competitors. If no one else is talking about otolaryngology, you may need only a few posts to get a leg up over everyone else in the space.
Similar to this would be the competitiveness of the industry. Some professions are just more competitive than others, and will require you to write more content than others just to stay visible.
Examples of this are the legal profession (again), entertainment sites, and digital marketing sites. Search engines love tons of fresh, high-quality content, and they reward the sites that provide it. If you work in this type of field, be prepared to produce more content than average.
Another aspect of that may influence how much content you’ll need to write is where you’re currently ranking.
If you’re the only pizzeria in a small town, and you’re already showing up on the first page of search results for ‘pizza’ in your area, you may not have much writing to do at all. You maybe able to build a small site that has your menu and hours of operation and do just fine.
However, if you’re the same pizzeria in the middle of Manhattan, you’re going to have a much tougher time being seen and heard in the online landscape.
To compete, you’ll likely want to write lots of entries on your site, talking about a range of topics like, “What is the optimal temperature for baking pizza” and “How we source the finest tomatoes in all of New York”.
These types of blog entries could begin to make the difference in organic search results.
Finally, expressing yourself and building your unique brand may have an impact on how much writing you’ll want to do for your site. Deep down, you know your business is different from everyone else, but your website may not be expressing that. This is your platform to shine! Use the world wide web to tell people why your business is different from everyone else.
There are millions of carpenters in the world, but you may be the finest in basement remodels, crown moulding, or custom shelving. Maybe you sing arias while you work – why not use your site to tell the world about your passion for opera and fine-grit sandpaper!? As consumers, we all want to do business with a brand we like and trust; give us a reason to like and trust you!
So, we know that we need to write ‘enough’ content to help set our business apart from everyone else in our digital market, but clearly this isn’t a very practical piece of advice to help get you started. So, here’s an answer that will probably help get you started, especially if you have no idea how often you should be writing: once a month.
If you’ve never written for a website before, and you’re just not sure how many pages and posts you need for your business to grow online, writing something for your site once a month is a good place to start.
Commit to this schedule, and measure your results over time. If in six months your site still has very few visitors, no ranking to speak of, and no conversions to build clients from, you may want to try posting information twice a month, or maybe more. However, in my experience just once simple post a month is enough to help any site gain traction and attract new site visitors.