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  • How Often Should You Blog for SEO?

    How Often Should You Blog for SEO?

    There is a direct correlation between blogging frequency and a website’s corresponding lead generation through organic traffic.

    How often you post on your blog matters, especially if you want to rank in search engines, improve your SEO or generate leads online.

    Consider the following statistics when considering how often you should blog:

    How often you should blog

    It’s rare to have a website that blogs too much.

    Chances are, your site could use more frequent blog posts, especially if your winning competitors are posting much more frequently than you.

    In fact, most websites should be publishing blogs more frequently. But what pace is a good pace for posting frequency?

    Is There an Ideal Blog Post Frequency?

    When it comes to blogging frequency, it’s important to strike a balance between consistency and quality. While posting daily can be overwhelming for both you and your audience, infrequent posting can make it difficult to maintain a consistent readership.

    The sweet spot for most bloggers is posting two to three times per week, with a focus on high-quality, informative content that provides value to your readers.

    Keep in mind that your blogging frequency may vary depending on your industry, niche, and audience. Experiment with different posting schedules to find what works best for you and your readers.

    In addition, you may also ask:

    • How often should you blog for your target audience? 
    • How often should you blog for your existing clients and subscribers? 
    • How often should you blog for SEO? 

    The answer is: “it depends!”

    • Do you run a small site that is just starting out?
    • Do you run a larger site, but happen to work solo or as part of a very small team?

    If you don’t have a lot of resources to throw at the problem, you’ll do well to post at least once a week.

    Posting more often than that, while potentially beneficial, but can strain your resources.

    It comes back to the quality vs. quantity debate; according to Google, in this case, quality wins.

    Shoot for once or twice each week.

    Do you run a larger site with a large audience and a team of content creators?

    You’ll have no trouble meeting the requirements of posting once or twice each week.

    In these cases, you can post every other day, all five days of the week or all seven days of the week.

    Blogging every day is advised only for those:

    • Have the resources and/or time to publish a daily blog post
    • Don’t already have a trove of valuable content (likely produced from blogging every day in the past)
    • Enjoy blogging regularly, making blogging every day an enjoyable experience
    • Who have enough blog post ideas to feed the ever-present need for content marketing

    This is where your judgment comes into play.

    Perform a few months’ worth of tests; posting on Monday/Wednesday/Friday, posting five days each week and posting on weekends as well.

    How does your traffic compare from one level of blog post frequency to another?

    Some variation will come from the content of the posts, of course, but you have to take that into account.

    Blog Often, But Too Frequent Blogging Can Diminish ROI

    From our experience with posting thousands of blog posts with thousands of clients, we have found that there is a good max/min for blog posting frequency for SEO.

    We have found that posting two blog posts per week is a good medium amount for good results, especially for new(er) websites. 

    Blog posting once per day is a good maximum, as most websites begin to experience decreasing marginal returns after ~30 posts per month.

    And, without a good, disciplined content marketing strategy in place, a blogging and posting frequency that is unmonitored may actually create keyword cannibalization issues.

    Some sites, however, can benefit from a higher flow of content. These are the high-tier sites with huge audiences and large teams of content creators. Posting two, three or more times each day gives each author a chance to shine and can scale site traffic more rapidly. Some of these larger sites even split posts among several smaller client sites for added benefit.

    As a general rule of thumb, more blogging means more traffic, and no matter what your initial conversion goals are, more traffic means more potential customers.

    • Many marketers have reported a 45 percent increase in traffic when the total number of blog posts on their website increased from 11-20 to 21-50.
    • Lead generation also benefits from regular blogging activity. When the frequency of blog posts was increased from once to twice per week, the number of incoming leads almost doubled.
    • The next big jump comes from blogging on a daily basis, which will basically double your traffic. The downside of daily blogging is that each post will remain at the top of your blog only for that day; blogging twice a week means each post will get twice the attention from being in that first position. The other problem with daily blogging is the burnout factor; the pressure to consistently produce at that rate usually results in a decline in the overall quality of your posts, which is the last thing you want to do. High quality content marketing is more important than how frequently you blog on your website.
    • On average, blogging is one of the most cost-effective channels for generating leads, followed by social media, organic SEO, direct mail, telemarketing, paid search, and trade shows.

    Blogging frequency is also dependent on your audience, your site compared to competitors and the topic/industry. Startup websites with thin or light on-site content, you may need to blog much more frequently to play “catch-up” on your site. That might mean blogging as often as daily (or even several times a day) to get your content noticed and to catch up to competitors in your space.

    But remember, don’t ever create content just for the sake of content. That is never an advisable strategy.

    What’s the Lifespan of a Blog Post?

    The sensible way to start a discussion of how often you should be blogging is to understand how long the average blog post is going to stay fresh and relevant, which means how long it will continue to attract readers and be shared across other blogs and various social channels.

    • On average, blog posts have a lifespan of 2 to 3 years. In some cases, it could be even longer. Compare this with an average life of 3 hours for a Facebook post, and 2 hours for the average Twitter tweet. The lesson here is simple: if you only have a limited amount of free time to work with, spend it on something that will do you the most good for the longest time. This means blogging.
    • Many of the longest-lived blog posts are written about “evergreen” topics. Evergreen simply refers to content marketing that never goes out of style or becomes outdated. As long as your content remains relevant to the search term, Google may continue to rank your post indefinitely.
    • Even non-evergreen content marketing can get a new lease on life by recycling your post with updated information and fresh, up-to-the-minute statistics and the latest developments.

    The truth is that one blog post that provides valuable content can deliver regular, quality organic traffic over a very extended period:

    Organic Traffic

    This underscores the need to create and keep creating. A single up-front investment can yield dividends for months and years.

    Blogging Consistency is Even More Important Than Blogging Frequency

    Number one on the agenda for your blog should be your commitment to make regular posts on a consistent basis no matter what it takes.

    This is critical because many of your regular blog readers will be looking for new posts from you, and when they don’t find them, will assume that your blog is not that important to you and will quickly lose interest.

    Posting consistency also applies to the specific days of the week when you publish new content. If you start out posting every Monday and Thursday, you need to continue to post every Monday and Thursday. Yes, it really is that important.

    how often are other sites publishing and blogging

    The best way to organize and simplify your blog posting is with an editorial calendar. You can start out small, if you wish, by creating a list of blog topics for the next 30 days.

    Be sure to include seasonal topics if appropriate to your blog. One great source of relevant blog topics is your current customers; take note of the most common questions you are getting about your product or industry and write a post around them.

    Use frequently asked questions (FAQ) that come from clients to be at the center of your blog topic ideas.

    If you’re concerned about being able to keep to your publishing schedule, find someone in your organization that can.

    Or look into outsourcing your SEO blog posts to a reliable writer.

    Once you find someone to handle the actual writing of your blog posts, be sure to:

    1. Implement a regular blog posting schedule and queue.
    2. Briefly review all content before releasing it for publication
    3. Make sure the content in your schedule matches with your overall content marketing strategy.

    The Flow of Blog Writing Content

    One thing Google has decided to promote in recent years is the idea of value to the user. It analyzes value through a range of factors, but one of the predominant factors is the presence of quality content marketing.

    If your site has a large number of valuable articles, users will visit it, browse through those articles and stay for value.

    Compared to a site with very little content, it’s clear which site is more valuable to the average user.

    However, you can’t simply dump hundreds of useful pages and hope Google counts it as a library of quality content.

    Google also looks at the date each piece of content is posted.

    Older content is often relevant to older situations or connected to older pieces of news. Situations change and news grows stale; older content loses value. Some pieces of content are labeled Evergreen — that is, content that stays valuable through the months and years — but most content does not qualify for this label.

    Fittingly, Google encourages websites to provide a constant stream of value.

    Posting content regularly, tying it in to other recently posted content on other websites and keeping your older content up to date are all important indicators of value.

    As Google says, develop your content strategy for users, not for the search engines.

    A user visiting your site and seeing all your information posted in 2008 is going to consider your opinions to be outdated, and they will find a newer resource, which could diminish your brand awareness.

    What Counts as High Quality Content Marketing?

    What makes a quality blog post?

    Now that you know a steady stream of quality content is critical to successful SEO, you need to ask yourself the next logical question.

    What counts as high quality content?

    Thankfully, Google has provided a number of questions to ask yourself about your content as a sort of impersonal litmus test. Step outside of your duties as webmaster and look at your content from the point of view of a user.

    • Is the information in your piece of content trustworthy?
    • Is the author of this piece of content an expert or knowledgeable enthusiast?
    • Is the site packed with duplicate or otherwise non-unique articles? i.e., does it look like one piece of content was spun several times to match certain varied keywords?
    • Would you be comfortable using your credit card to purchase something through this site?
    • Is the article error-free?
    • Is the content designed to match what users want to know?
    • Is the article content original or is it rehashed from other authorities?
    • Would you bookmark the article for future reference or recommendation to a friend?
    • Are there too many ads on the page?

    These questions, along with 14 more, can be found on the official Google Webmaster Central blog. They should help you determine what is considered high quality and what may be flagged as low quality or spam.

    How To Tell If You’re Blogging Frequently Enough (Compared to the Competition)

    While there are plenty of rules of thumb about how much you should blog – both generally and within your industry or niche – these are just guiding numbers. The reality is that it all comes down to data.

    If you’re in a competitive niche (and whose niche isn’t crowded, these days?), you need to match the pace of your closest competitors (at the very least). If possible, you want to surpass them by producing both better quality and quantity of relevant content.

    But how do you know how much content they’re publishing – and whether you’re pushing out enough of your own?

    These are really valid questions, and it’s the bloggers and businesses that dig into the hard data that are able to answer them and respond accordingly.

    There are a variety of methods you can use, but there’s one simple one that cuts straight to the chase. Here’s how it works:

    1. Make a list of your closest competitors and their websites.
    2. For each website on the list, run a search using a specific Google Search Operator where you add date parameters for the period you want to search. This allows you to determine how much content a specific website has published over that period.
    3. The operator needs to include the website URL followed by “-before:2020-09-17 (current date) and -after: 2020-09-01 (or the beginning date). This will show you how many blog articles were indexed during that time.

    Let’s say, for example, that you want to see all of the content that’s been indexed on Business.com from the period between August 1, 2020, and September 1, 2020. Your search would look like this:

    Google Search for Indexed Articles

    In return, you would only get results for indexed content from Business.com between those dates:

    Google Search Results - Business.com

    For the record, that search revealed 333 pieces of indexed content in the month of August!

    Hopefully you’re not trying to compete with Business.com, because that means you need to publish roughly 11 new pieces of content every single day – just to match their pace.

    But here’s the point: You can run this type of search on your competitors. And based on the results you get you can develop a content strategy that allows you to compete and win with content.

    If, for example, you find that your three closest competitors have published one, four, and two pieces of content over the past month, respectively, you know that publishing five pieces of content each month is going to help you gain ground. You can use this information to guide your thinking and strategic planning.

    On top of showing, you are how much content to produce, this also gives you a good idea of the topics and keywords they’re targeting. File this away as valuable intel!

    Don’t Forget About Social Media Frequency

    There are absolutely correlations between blog posting frequency, brand mentions and social media shares:

    Social Media Frequency

    Once your post is published, take the extra step and promote it across your social media channels.

    You’ll see higher website traffic as well as improved search engine rankings. Some of the most effective ways to promote your blog posts include:

    • Creating great, valuable content on a consistent basis. Informative, relevant, and sometimes even provocative content is what your readers will want to share. Give them what they want, and they’ll give you what you want.
    • Making sure that your social sharing buttons are visible. While many sharing buttons are located towards the top of the blog, placing them at the end of the blog is another option that works just as well.
    • Don’t just hope that readers will share your content – politely ask them to share it. Since nobody likes to be the first, get the ball rolling and share the content yourself.

    Update Your Blog Posts Frequently

    There is a good chance that your initial blog post was not fully optimized for search, particularly compared to your competition.

    As such, a boost to your overall SEO and organic traffic from search engines will require regular updates to to older blog posts, further optimizing them from an on-site perspective.

    Updating blog posts typically requires some of the following:

    • The addition of expanded content, including a greater word count to your posts
    • A focus on your entity keywords and LSI keywords, sprinkling them throughout the content you create
    • Updating paragraph counts (break up your content into more digestible chunks)
    • Updating header tags (h1, h2, h3, h4, h5 & h6) to match exact match, broad match, LSI & entity keywords (as well as a focus on target audience search intent)

    Our data shows that rather than focusing on “how often you blog” or the “frequency of blog post publishing,” you should be more focused on making sure the content you currently have is:

    • Satisfying the intent of the user and target audience
    • Satisfying search engines with lots of factors that are related to search term a user queried
    • Improves in quality with each subsequent “pass” and review

    Again, it’s not just about pumping out content more frequently, it’s about finding a balance between quantity and improvement of quality.

    You’ll find this strategy will drive more organic traffic and overall visits to your site because your content quality will be higher.

    How to Conduct Content Research for Your Blog Posts

    One of the biggest problems with published research about blogging for SEO is its inability to take the unique characteristics of your target market into account.

    Your audience may or may not respond in the same way that the averaged results from the research have indicated that they should.

    Start your blog with the basic demographics of your target audience. Consider how likely they are to respond to your blog. In some cases, it might make more sense to target some demographic groups through another channel, such as members of Generation Y.

    Born in the 1980s and 1990s, this group grew up with digital technology, and are much more accessible through Facebook and Twitter.

    Track your website traffic

    You’re looking for trends that indicate the days of the week and times of day your blogs are getting the most traffic, engagement, and social sharing.

    Track your keywords

    Perform a content audit (including a content gap analysis) and your own keyword research. Find which topics you may not have covered and create a different spin from competitors, keeping search intent in mind for the content, titles and descriptions.

    Some great analytic tools, either free or with a free trial period, that can help you analyze your traffic include Google Analytics, Ahrefs (for content gap analysis), AWStats, CrazyEgg, SiteMeter, GoStats, and StatCounter.

    Let Us Help You Blog More Often

    Keeping your website fed with regular, engaging, quality content through blog posts is what we do.

    Our blog writing service, including our white label SEO service, allows you to successfully outsource your blog, allowing you to work ON your business, not IN your business while improving your site’s SEO. Contact us today!

    Chief Revenue Officer at SEO Company
    Industry veteran Timothy Carter is SEO.co’s Chief Revenue Officer. Tim leads all revenue for the company and oversees all customer-facing teams for SEO (search engine optimization) services - including sales, marketing & customer success. He has spent more than 20 years in the world of SEO & Digital Marketing, assisting in everything from SEO for lawyers to complex technical SEO for Fortune 500 clients like Wiley, Box.com, Qualtrics and HP.

    Tim holds expertise in building and scaling sales operations, helping companies increase revenue efficiency and drive growth from websites and sales teams.

    When he's not working, Tim enjoys playing a few rounds of disc golf, running, and spending time with his wife and family on the beach...preferably in Hawaii.

    Over the years he's written for publications like Forbes, Entrepreneur, Marketing Land, Search Engine Journal, ReadWrite and other highly respected online publications. Connect with Tim on Linkedin & Twitter.
    Timothy Carter