Day 17 of the A-Z challenge.
Q is for Quality & Quantity
Let me ask you a question.
Imagine you’re a newish blogger. You don’t yet have many followers and the number of visits to your site is disappointingly low. To change that, do you think the best way would be:
- to increase the number of posts you write OR
- to improve the quality of posts?
Both are important. But the debate about what matters most – quality of content or quantity of content – has raged within the digital marketing and blogging world for at least a decade.
Once upon a time the mantra was “content was king.” That phrase was uttered in every digital marketing meeting I sat through. It came to be viewed as the magic wand solution for every ailing campaign, blog and website.
According to this concept, all you needed to do to get your viewer figures to soar, was to write and publish more. Problem solved. Everyone happy.
But things don’t always work out the way they do in theories.
The trouble with this particular theory is that it doesn’t take into account other factors like:
- how often you already publish new material;
- how much time you have available;
- how much you have to say on your topic and
- the appetite of your readers.
Don’t Be A Slave To Content
Your first hurdle is going to be time.
Let’s say you currently blog 2 or 3 times a week. Adding one more post per week maybe doable (depending on your work, family commitments etc). But if you are already blogging 5 times a week is it feasible for you to post almost every day of the week? It takes a lot of energy and time to keep up that kind of schedule.
Second hurdle: the more frequently you post, the more content ideas you have to generate.
Right there is the biggest issue. Because in order to post often, you may end up sacrificing quality. You don’t have time to research and write for your usual thoughtful reviews and discussion posts. So you fill the gaps with short insubstantial pieces which are much quicker to generate.
Some maybe little more than bullet point list or an extended photo caption. You don’t feel very invested in the topic but you’re doing because it’s a Tuesday and your plan says you post on Tuesdays. You need something to post that day and anything is better than nothing.
But that’s content isn’t necessarily why your readers have been following you. They don’t object to the occasional short piece or meme-related post but when it happens week after week, their patience gets stretched. They’ll stick around out of loyalty but they won’t be as engaged. You’re not providing them enough meat upon which to comment.
Going for quantity unless you can also maintain quality is a move that could hurt you. And not just because of reader reaction.
Google Favours Quality
Google pays very close attention to the quality of content on blogs and websites. Quality is one of the factors included in the algorithm that determines in what order you see sites listed when you do a Google search. Web and blog sites with the highest quality scores get to be shown on the first page and will be among the first sites you see. .
One element of quality assessed by the Google robots is the length of content. Google wants to send searchers to substantial content because it’s more likely to have answers to the searcher’s question. It doesn’t like very short articles. The more of these you have on your blog site, the lower you are ranked – and the less chance there is a Google searcher will ever see your material.
Google currently favours content 2,000-3,000 words long. Don’t panic! That doesn’t mean every article you write has to be 2,000 words long. Or that you can’t periodically do a 400-word piece. But if the number of short posts starts outweighing the longer ones, you could find the number of visits coming from Google to your site will go down.
Which is better: Quality or Quantity?
Content is critical. You need to have a substantial amount of it so that readers find plenty to interest them when they visit your site .
Quality is critical. Blog sites with articles that lack depth or are poorly written will seldom be very successful.
Quantity and quality are not opposing armies fighting for territory. They are allies. Used together they are a powerful tool to keep existing readers loyal AND bring you new readers.