As often as possible.
We have clients who blog once a month. Some blog twice a month. While any blogging is better than none, one or two is just not enough. At a minimum, you should be blogging four times a month. If you want your readers to come back to your blog, share your posts, and develop familiarity with your practice or business, you need to produce blogs in a volume that gives them a reason to do those things.
This shouldn’t discourage you to blog. A blog is a great tool to build up your website’s library of content, which is foundational to a good SEO strategy. It also gives your existing and future patients a reason for coming back to your site, which keeps your brand in their head. Why is this important?
- It makes the patient more likely to choose your practice.
- It makes the patient more likely to return, and will likely to refer them more frequently.
- It makes your patients and readers more likely to refer other people to your business.
The bottom line is that you want to blog.
Let me explain in more detail why you want to blog frequently.
Consistency Brings Readers
Suppose you’re blogging once a month. Maybe you publish your blogs on the same day, every month. And these might be really, really interesting articles. And they may attract a number of readers from your city, all of which may be prospective patients. But, purchasing decisions are rarely made on the spot and maybe those readers don’t need dental work, or whatever service you’re selling, at that exact moment. So, what keeps your readers coming back?
Maybe it’s the expectation of more interesting blog posts that draws readers back. But, for them to come back to your blog they have to remember about it. If you’re blogging once or twice a month, you’re going to have large gaps of time between these posts and people are going to forget about your blog. Just think of the countless articles, on obscure websites you don’t regularly read, that people link you to on social media or through email — how many of these do you remember? Very few to none, most likely.
Frequent readers of a blog need frequent posts to read, otherwise they won’t have anything to come back to, and by the time you do get your once-a-month post up, they’ll have forgotten you. So rather than enjoying a cumulative effect from blogging, you’re starting at square one each and every time.
This is a strong reason for blogging, at the very least, once a week.
Volume Begets Variation
With marketing, true success is in the details. All considered, blogging is a broad concept. There are video blogs, blogs on procedural topics, blogs that highlight sales events, blogs on fun dental facts, et cetera. And these all have their place. But, with what mix? And which type of blog post does better at attracting new readers and, ultimately, new patients or customers? These aren’t questions that we can answer a priori, because they depend on your audience. We need to base the strategy on experience, and you can only refine your strategy over time by experimenting.
If you’re only blogging once or twice month, you’re not getting much of an experiment. And instead of getting the feedback you need once a week — or, even better, twice a week —, you’re getting it once or twice a month. By the time you collect the data you need to better inform your blogging strategy, you’ll have already blown through four or five months, or longer. That’s a lot of time, especially when it’s put into the context of opportunity cost, which is all the business you forewent by relying on too limited of a blogging campaign.
And it’s not just about the data either. You’re also going to get readers who are at different points of the conversion process, a fancy way of saying the buying process. Some might be ready to schedule an appointment or order something from your website, and a short blog post about a discount or a sale event might be just what’s needed to make that final push. Others might not be so close to the end of their buying process, and instead they’ll be interested in your procedural articles or your fun fact articles.
If you’re only posting once a month, you’re only satisfying one type of patient or customer each month. It would be much, much more effective to target different types of customers by posting more frequently.
The SEO Benefits of Frequent Blogging
Blogs have always been thought of as great ways to increase traffic from organic search or, in other words, SEO traffic. The commonly cited reason for this is that they’re an easy way of adding “fresh content” to your website, because “Google rewards fresh content.” And this is true, because the Google algorithm is said to include one or more variables — what some call the “freshness score” — that directly measures “freshness.” But, there are more SEO benefits than just freshness.
By growing your content library, your site is invariably going to better target long tail keywords. These are search terms or, more accurately, search phrases that aren’t as often searched on an individual level, but make up most of the search query landscape on an aggregate level. What that means is that you can often earn more traffic from these long-tail search queries as a whole, than you can from the more competitive terms, like “dentist.”
The reason why blogs do such a great job at targeting long tail search queries is because they tend to address more specific topics. These topics also tend to be different from your website’s main content, which is centered more so around the products and services you offer.
I’ll offer an example.
If you’re a dentist, your dental implant page probably won’t include specific information on what kind of food a post-operative patient should eat. But, you can write a blog post that does. If you’re a store owner and you sell vacuums, your vacuum product page may not have information on how to choose the best vacuum, but you might have a blog post that does. These blog posts target much more specific topics that might get searched less often, but when you have a lot of blog posts targeting different queries, as a whole you start to receive a lot of attention.
A frequently updated blog will also help your website’s SEO in general. One way it does that is by earning links. If your blog posts are interesting and/or useful, they will be shared and some of these shares will result in links from other websites to yours’. Natural link-building is one of the most important components of a successful SEO strategy. These links don’t just benefit your blog posts. Your posts will link to other pages of your website, and these internal links (links from one page of a site to another page on the same site) also pass link value. If your internal linking is done correctly, your website will benefit from an across-the-board increase in SEO traffic.
How Often Should I Blog?
The recommended minimum is once a week. My recommendation is to do it more often, and to mix the traditional written blog post with image- and even video-based posts. True, it’s hard to find the time. But, that’s why you have us to help you out.
Formerly at [Tony] Robbins Research International and at Now Media Group as their Director of Marketing, Jonathan has a background in quantitative economics and analytics.