If I were to tell you that traffic to your site was just another vanity metric similar to a ‘like’ on a social media network, you would perhaps recoil in horror. Let me add a rider then - you need to focus on getting the right type of traffic.
What do I mean by “right”? Here’s an illustration - your Google Analytics tracker shows you are getting 1000 visitors to your site every day. You bask in the glory of the knowledge that in a month, you are getting about 30K visitors. But here’s the thing - if yours is an e-commerce site, you need to focus on increasing the “buys”, not only on the traffic.
If you run a “How-to” site with a focus on say, Microsoft products, you need to figure out the profile of the 1000 visitors to understand whether most of them came to your site to learn how to operate Microsoft products or not? If only 10 of the 1000 were of that ilk while the rest either landed on your site mistakenly, out of curiosity, or were bots, you have a problem on your hands. Instead of 1000, your “real” traffic is only 10! Your content is not being consumed by your intended target audience. That’s how traffic can become a vanity metric.
More is not always right. Even in a democracy. If 90% of the population demands something, it still does not mean they are right in asking for what they want. Same with content.
You can keep banging out 7 blog posts a week but find that the incremental traffic is just not coming. Or the right traffic. Quantity never wins over quality where content is concerned. This was true decades ago when there was no World Wide Web, it is true even today.
This is not an unproven hypothesis. Time and again, publishers, writers, vloggers and bloggers have tested it.
Write right to get it right to the right people.
Take the popular SEO advisory provider Ahrefs. In a plan change, it decided to focus instead on long-form content with lesser publishing frequency but one that provided readers extensive, step-by-step solutions to their SEO and related website traffic problems. Today, its readership has gone north.
Or take the oft-cited case of Brian Dean of Backlinko. He published only 53 posts in 5 years; less than a post a month! But these posts have driven 4 million visitors to Backlinko, and each of the posts has got about 2500 shares.
I can cite many more such examples.
Those content providers and content marketers out there who continue to think that publishing 5000 posts a year will cut the mustard, no way.
Industry success stories revolve around those who chose to shun churning out 600 words blog posts or articles daily and instead, started putting out a 2000 word piece once a week or so.
This is where you may pause and ask - but aren’t people’s attention spans getting shorter? Who’s going to read such lengthy posts?
I draw attention to a previous newsletter of mine in which I had said - it’s not that people’s attention spans are getting shorter, they are getting divided across large volumes of content.
When you write right, and present your content in an engaging manner, neither length nor time matters.
Here’s the secret sauce for making your content successful: If you want it to resonate with the intended audience, you need to make it valuable for them + spend an equal, if not more, amount of time in marketing it as that spent in writing it to ensure that the piece reaches your intended target. Such content must be original, must have some degree of exclusivity in it, and must have the potential of becoming an article of reference.
There are always exceptions to the rule. But eventually you will, as a content provider, find that this type of content will get you the right and more permanent type of following as compared to the “fleeting” ones you may get by writing shorter pieces.
At the same time, a note of caution - write more does not mean stuffing the article with words or with keywords. Add value, back up whatever you are saying with research, and try to make it as unique as possible. Even if it deals with a topic that’s been done to death.