Many companies are scaling their SEO content production to more than 60 articles per month. Are velocity and scale and SEO's best friend?
Update: I recently wrote here in my top 10 SEO tips that Dimitris scaled his traffic to 2m traffic in <12 months. Check out his presentation for Brighton SEO linked in the article for a really wild example of publishing velocity.
Earlier this week, I read that publishing velocity is the #1 SEO strategy:
“There are at least hundreds, but probably thousands, and often tens of thousands of keywords that can send your business qualified traffic.
But you won’t rank for every keyword by writing one page of content.
Or two pages of content.
Or ten pages of content.
To capture all of the qualified searches across your funnel and truly be everywhere your target audience is searching, you probably need to publish hundreds of pages of content.”
The concept is quite simple. The more you publish, the more keywords you capture.
Just look at DoNotPay.com for a case study (one we recently covered in a podcast episode with Nick Jordan named "How to Grow From 0 to 530,000 Monthly Organic Visitors in 17 months").
DoNotPay.com published 430 pages in an 11 month period. 50% of which were published in the last 30 days.
The results are shown above: 0 to 142,000 monthly visitors in under a year.
In that time, their domain rating didn’t change at all (hovering around 65) showing the increase in traffic wasn’t thanks to a boost in backlinks (which usually fuels DR scores).
Looking at an analysis of their organic keywords, we can see that Do Not Pay earns about 50,000 visitors a month from keywords that rank in the top 3 positions. But the other 150,000 come from lower-ranking words.
DoNotPay ranks at positions 11-100 for 200,000 organic keywords (and increase from ~2,000 before publishing so many articles).
This perfectly illustrates the power of publishing velocity.
It’s not easy to rank number one.
But if you write 400 pages covering a whole host of keywords you can rapidly accelerate organic positions.
Instead of one article that hits number one, they have 200-300 that hit the top 10 and 20 for several keywords.
This spray tactic clearly works, bringing traffic in bits across every article.
LogicInbound.com followed a similar strategy with similar results.
They published 100 pages in four months. Moving from 500 to ~60,000 visitors a month in 13 months.
It actually doesn’t seem to matter what the domain authority of a website is. Velocity works.
DoggyPedia (200 pages published in 6 months, rose from 0 to 116,000 visitors per month within a year).
All of the above publish an insane volume of content. That’s what appears to win them so much traffic.
This is quite a brilliant SEO strategy, in appearance at least.
A critical look at the "scaled SEO" traffic—too good to be true?
Let's try to look at the above case studies more critically. We're making real business decisions based on this data after all.
I'm building out my startup's SEO strategy right now, and I certainly don't want to create 400 articles without REVENUE in mind. We can do it. Between 4-5 of us, every quarter we could create 30 pieces of fair quality content. But, it's very time consuming.
If I'm going to get us 100,000 visitors a month, I want them to be the right visitors. One's that can be captured by a lead magnet and nurtured through to a sale. My immediate fear with the above case studies is that the traffic is irrelevant to that business.
So let's take a quick look at that.
DoNotPay is a mobile app robot lawyer. They help the little person to fight parking tickets and other law suits without the heavy costs associated.
DoNotPay's top 10 drivers of organic search traffic
From #2, Chegg free trials, they answer what the visitor is looking for well. They then encourage signups to their free trial of a 'virtual card generator', which happens to be #1 on the above list.
The number one ranked page above address something frustrating for visitors: free trials rolling over to a full paid account without warning.
I think this is smart, they've created a really valuable service designed to capture new users and are driving visitors to it.
They've created 84 pieces of content like this one. Targeting 'company name' and 'free trial'. All of which have an extremely similar structure and drive signups to the company's product.
This is genius because they found a replicable, scalable way to generate leads. Reducing the work needed on each article through the similarities.
Each article included a high value lead magnet that encourage registrations by the right target audience.
Logic Inbound's top 10 drivers of content
LogicInbound is a marketing agency focused on doctor practices.
We saw that the team had built up to 60,000 organic traffic visitors a month over 2018.
Their number one ranked page is 'How to contact Instagram'. I find the content quite irrelevant to the company's business model, and the proof is in the pudding that this page is covered in Google Adverts—indicating this is a secondary revenue stream.
While targeting keywords like this may increase traffic, my best guess is that they don't drive qualified leads, making this kind 'keyword for the sake of it' strategy not favourable to my SEO plan at SentiSum, where we sell a high ticket SaaS software and would certainly hurt brand image by placing Google Ads on the site.
Digging deeper into the latest organic data shows that post January 2019, LogicInbound had an almighty slump in traffic anyway.
Could this be a reflection of a short-sighted SEO plan that didn't include high quality content?
It's strange to me that a company that wrote 100 pages of content in four months saw little long-term benefit to that.
The logical conclusion from our analysis here is that velocity is certainly a fast route to high traffic volume, but of course not all traffic is created equal and unless traffic volume alone is your goal you should proceed with caution.
If you're in a niche B2B industry then it's unlikely you'll get 2,000,000 highly relevant monthly traffic anytime soon. To get that kind of traffic you'd have to elevate beyond the top of your funnel—which isn't wise for a time strapped, resourceless startup marketer like yourself.
Your best bet is to publish in high velocity within your relevant keyword set, which will still maximise your traffic but won't look quite so sexy.
Reach out to me on LinkedIn if you have any questions.