The value of content for SEO and digital marketing is obvious, but it’s also easy to overlook.
This paradox has to do with timing. Adding fresh, original, high quality content to your website on a regular basis, usually by blogging, brings rich dividends over time. It doesn’t always make a quick difference in the first few weeks, the way advertising can.
Too often, organizations make decisions on the value of content in the early stages, before they’ve had a chance to see the gains.
Does adding fresh content make a difference in website performance?
Check out the first six months’ traffic at our lab site, FreshPlans.
We launched on April 18th and began with an experiment: we’d add quality content every weekday, and see what happened.
We saw a little increase in traffic in May and June. Many organizations give up at this point. It’s hard to fit content creation into their schedules, and they look at their early results and decide that they’re not getting much ROI from their efforts in blogging or creating articles and ebooks to download. A few months seems like long enough to decide.
There’s a marketing rule of thumb that says you have to advertise for five months without expecting any response. The sixth month is when you can determine the value.
For our lab site, the fifth month took us to 5,000 visits and we got 8,123 visits in the sixth month.
We went on to reach 15,000 visits per month with nothing but regular, original content.
In the middle of the experiment we put up a different lab site and did not add any more content after launch. Here’s the traffic for its first six months:
There are slight ups and downs, but overall the traffic is too small to show any patterns. The traffic in month one and in month siz were just the same: 6 visits. Clearly, adding fresh content on a regular basis has significant benefits.
Do you have to keep it up?
In a word, yes.
After bringing FreshPlans up to 15,000 visits a month, we stopped adding new content and you can see below the most recent six months of traffic. The average number of visits per month is stuck right around 5,000 and the trend is flat or falling, not rising as it was at the beginning.
Compare this with a client site for which we do blogging and social media:
We’re not showing the numbers for discretion’s sake, but you can see that month after month the traffic continues to show an upward trajectory. Peaks and valleys show the influence of other factors, but the upward angle shows the value of content over the long run.
Which angle would you rather see in your analytics?
If you see the value of content but don’t have the time, the skills, or the inclination to do it yourself, contact us. We can help.