Quantity Vs Quality of Content
When it comes to content, quantity vs quality has always been a contentious point for marketers. Should we be churning out lots of long-form content regularly, or should we write less but ensure that what we do produce is of a much better calibre?
Many experts believe that for search engine optimisation (SEO) purposes, the longer the content and the more often that you post, the better. The thinking behind this is that the more words there are, the greater the chance of ranking for keywords and meeting the requirements of your users.
Does that translate to needing to make sure that all of your content should be 1000 words plus? Should you be publishing piece after piece, even if it is not aligned with your overall content strategy? Let’s take a closer look.
Yoast suggests that posts should be a minimum of 300 words in order to be ranked, but recommend that for optimal results, 1000 words is best. This ensures that it will be ranked for those all-important long-tail keywords.
Other sources, however, state that anything under 500 words is pretty pointless when it comes to SEO purposes, and that ideally, content should be between 1000 and 2000 words.
So – as you can see, even the experts cannot agree on it.
The same goes for the frequency of publishing content. When we first start creating content, it is hammered into use that regular posting is essential to keep your site fresh, relevant, and up-to-date. This, of course, is easy for some websites – media sites and large companies will have plenty to write about and will have the human resources to do so. However, smaller and less established businesses may struggle to produce content more than, say, once or twice a week. Is this going to harm their ranking?
Moz wrote a blog post entitled ‘The Perfect Blog Post Length and Publishing Frequency is B*******’ and what they point out – and what we agree with here at Content Conga – is that when it comes to quality vs quantity in business, how you cover the topic that you are writing about and how you engage and interact with your audience is the most vital thing. This is why many businesses turn to copywriting experts to produce content – they know exactly how to use emotion in writing and how to get their points across in a meaningful way while still hitting the SEO targets. After all, you can post 2000 words of content every single day, but if people do not want to read it, it is pointless! Search engines do not look at the length of content either; they just want to show the most relevant and high-quality results for the search engine query.
However, when it comes to the frequency of posting, this can be a little more tricky. There is, as we mentioned above, no definitive answer, but we have to remember that content generally has a very short shelf life. Hubspot found that businesses that posted between two and four times a week saw much more in the way of inbound traffic than those who only posted once or twice a month.
This is why having a content strategy is important. It allows us to define a publishing schedule. The more often we publish, the more visible we are. It allows greater insight into what works and what doesn’t, drives social engagement, and brings traffic.
Plan your content strategy
The issue of quantity vs quality and what it means to produce great content shows just how important it is to have a quality content marketing strategy.
When you cover a topic, you need to make sure that you do it justice – which generally means covering it in great depth. Think about it – an engaging introduction, summarising conclusion, looking at it from various viewpoints, the provision of evidence and statistics, and other subtopics – it is going to be a pretty long post.
However, while that may be vital for information and opinion-type pieces, it may not be suitable for all forms of content. Take a recipe for example. If you are looking for a quick recipe online, what are you looking for? You want the ingredients and the methods; that’s it. You want those to be right at the top of the page and not have to scroll through an entire 1500 word essay to get to it. In this instance, short and sweet and very careful use of keywords is important. The same goes for product descriptions.
The length of your posts should be closely aligned with your content goals. If simple awareness and exposure for your business is your goal, a few short but well-written posts each month are probably enough. If you are concerned about page views, bounce rate, time spent on the page, scroll depth, and ad views, then longer and more frequently published posts are where you need to be focusing your time.
How to work out whether to focus on quality or quantity
While there are tools to help you, one of the easiest ways to do it is to search your keyword and analyse the top posts. See how many words they are and how well they cover the content. This should give you an idea of what to aim for.
How To Increase The Quantity Of Your Content
If you are concerned that your business is not producing enough content and that you may be falling down when it comes to the quantity aspect, there are several steps that you can take:
Repurpose Existing Content
It may be worth exploring repurposing older content. No doubt, over the years, you will have produced numerous pieces of content so repurposing allows you to give them a new lease of life and to find a whole new audience.
The truth is, not everyone likes to read. You may have crafted the perfect 2,000-word post, but some people will struggle to digest this information. Repurposing sees you creating more content by reviewing existing content and the format that it appears in. That perfect blog could soon become an infographic. This is more visual and can be easier to take in. It could be that you even transfer that written content to a podcast or video. Whatever you decide, repurposing content will lead to a huge increase in the quantity you are producing.
A New Perspective
Again, this is where your existing content comes in handy. By reviewing what you have already produced, you may find that you have covered certain questions but not all. If you are looking at the quality of content, it should be useful to the reader and ensure that they are fully informed. You can achieve this by increasing the quantity of your content and addressing topics from a new angle.
It could be that you have an article that focuses on why your readers should be taking a certain action. You may have gone into great detail and convinced your readers that they need to be doing just what you’ve said. You could easily then produce more content that explores how to do it. You have then covered the ‘how’ and the ‘why’ and increased both the quality and quantity of your content.
Your Customer Comments
Part of measuring the success of your content is reviewing any engagement that it has. Do you check your blog posts and take a look at any questions that your customers have asked? Of course, it is a must to respond to these queries where they are but beyond that, you can use those questions as a way to produce more content.
If you have one or two customers asking a specific question then you can be sure that there are many more. This means that you have the opportunity to produce more content and increase the quantity, but at the same time, you know that you are addressing a need and so your content ticks the box when it comes to quality too.
Find Your Why
Remember that any content that you produce is about your business. As your business, this should be your passion. This should give you the motivation to keep producing relevant content. You are writing about what you love and you are positioning yourself as an expert in your field.
What Is Quality Content
It is all well and good realising that your content needs to be of great quality, but who decides what high-quality content is? In reality, content is produced in an attempt to get a business found and to boost a site in search results. This means that content writers are almost writing for Google. However, how Google views quality content and undergone massive changes over the last 10 years. Google doesn’t want you writing for Google! Google wants you to write for your reader. Writing in this way is what makes top quality content.
How The Panda Update Hit
Prior to Google updating its algorithm in 2011, known as the Panda update, ranking at the top spot for a search term wasn’t overly difficult. If you knew the games to play with stuffing keywords, the quality of what you were writing didn’t really matter, Google realised that this was giving users a poor experience. An example given by the SEO expert Neil Patel refers to searches for tips for running a marathon.
The top results for this term were giving advice such as ‘buy good trainers’. This was hardly useful or insightful for a seasoned runner! Quality articles that could actually help appeared nowhere as they weren’t stuffed with keywords. The Panda update saw this reverse. Almost overnight, sites with poor quality content that held no value to the reader disappeared. These were replaced by sites that produced content that gave the best user experience.
The Characteristics Of High-Quality Content
The update from Google meant that the definition of quality content saw a change. Content writers had to adapt. There was now no reason to fill a piece with keywords to rank as unless the article provided value, Google would ignore the content anyway.
What this means is that keywords still matter. Keywords will always matter. What changed is how keywords are incorporated into your content. Rather than using certain words and phrases for the sake of ranking, these need to fit naturally in the piece and to make sense.
Something else that Google began to penalise was duplicate content. It could be that your site has a great blog post on money-saving tips. It may then have several others that give almost the exact advice but come with different titles. If Google thinks this is the case your site will either be penalised or Google will just ignore the content altogether.
The big takeaway when trying to look at what makes quality content is that you need to avoid trying to play the game with Google: Google will always win. It may take time, but at some point, the search engine will realise if you have employed black hat techniques and your site’s ranking will be obliterated overnight. Keep your content for the reader and keep your content detailed. This is the type of content that Google will ultimately reward.
So what is more important when it comes to content: quality or quantity?
There is no right or wrong answer, but we think the ideal balance is to post frequent and well-written content. How many words that may be depends on the individual piece of content. Remember, it does not necessarily have to be written; it can be video, infographics, podcasts, etc. You can also look at repurposing content – evergreen content can be refreshed and updated, statistics can be turned into an infographic. Work out the content that performs the best and use that in a variety of forms to reach everyone in your target demographic.
And, of course, don’t forget that you can outsource your content creation to Content Conga, where great content is guaranteed!