Publishing velocity is the speed (and consistency with which you post new content). So, is publishing velocity the number one SEO strategy many businesses have been overlooking? Did we not write and publish enough?
There’s no such thing as a #1 SEO strategy, Publishing velocity or otherwise. Please. The sooner you accept it, the better it is for your business.
I won’t ever claim that Publishing velocity is the number one SEO strategy. There isn’t such a thing. In fact, I believe that SEO is overrated, and most small businesses, solo entrepreneurs, and even committed bloggers just can’t keep up.
However, by following basic SEO practices and maintaining publishing velocity, in effect, you are letting momentum and volume work in your favor.
You are targeting way more keywords (than those with lower publishing velocity do), creating more pages (each for a particular keyword) as a result, and boosting your chances of more coverage on search.
It’s no secret that organic search traffic is a competitive field. Depending on the keywords (or the entire universe of key phrases that are important for you, there’s a chance that you could either have a chance to rank well, or maybe the opportunity is long gone).
Publishing velocity crucially rests on the following:
- The speed at which you publish (how many blog posts per week?)
- The quality of your content (you can write crap, said no one ever)
- Write as fast as you want but how useful is the content for your visitors?
None of this publishing velocity talk negates the need for anything that good old SEO is all about — which includes keyword research, writing well enough (for spiders and for the people), and the overall competition for keywords on Google, Bing, and other major search engines.
While there are many ways to rank higher for SEO-friendly terms, one of the most important ones is publishing velocity (i.e., how often you publish new content).
In this post, we’ll explore the fundamental question: Is publishing velocity a number one SEO strategy? Is it something that we all overlooked?
We’re going to break down what it is and why you need it for better SEO performance.
Further, I am going to reveal why publishing velocity is an “achievable goal” compared to the “Skyscraper” techniques and writing humongous 5000-word blog posts (that only the Neil patels and Jon Morrow’s of the world seem to do).
Does Google Care About the Word Count?
Let’s address the 3000-word and the 5000-word Elephant in the room, ok? Forget the SEMrush folks (it’s now a listed company and has a huge team), the Animalz blog, or the Ahrefs, or Brian Dean.
Most of us are small business owners, working 24×7 trying to grow our business (and not everyone is in the business of SEO). We have our own businesses to run.
How do you expect plumbers, trucking companies, restaurants, Marijuana clinics in Ontario, or a busy doctor to publish blog posts like that?
Further, does Google really care? Apparently, that’s something that propagated a lot but doesn’t hold as much ground as you thought it would.
Roger Montti wrote about Google’s John Mueller on Word Count and wrote this (and I’ll simplify it for you):
“Trying to understand why Google is ranking certain web pages is tricky.”
[Read: no one knows shit and everyone (including the big dogs in SEO) just experimenting]
“…reaching a certain word count will not help a page rank better”
“…over-written content tends to drift off-topic.”
Clearly, the minimum and (there seems to be no maximum) word limit for your blog posts doesn’t matter at all.
What matters for Google then?
- Relevance matters. Stay relevant. Use only as many words as you need to solve problems, to teach, to educate, or to inform. That’s it.
- Again, publishing velocity matters because the frequently you publish, the faster your content gets indexed, found, and the spiders visit more often. Neil Patel did mention that on Moz.
- The UX/UI, visitor experience, and just how easy your website is for them to use. Page speeds and the Google Core Vitals update should have been the factory siren that you’d have heard already.
So, no, you don’t need your huge blog posts.
Just use as many words as you’d need to do justice to your blog posts.
Focus on Publishing Velocity (& Avoid These Mistakes)
They might not say it. They won’t call it as such. But even the best of the brands I know actually do have a publishing velocity and it’s “their” number one strategy.
Think of brands like Unbounce, Animalz, SEMrush, LeadPages, Webflow, and several others — they publish regularly, they do have a publishing schedule, and I don’t know a single brand (like those above) that focuses way too much on any of the funny SEO tactics some of us seem to be obsessed by.
Compared to Skyscraper techniques, writing 17000-word blog posts, and killing yourself over the latest and the greatest “SEO techniques” is hard. The payoff isn’t necessary that attractive.
However, writing regularly (as much as you need to, for each blog post) is relatively easier.
Note: I said relatively easier. Not “easy”.
Maintaining a publishing velocity is not easy for a lot of obvious reasons (and a few not-so-obvious ones).
Maintaining publishing would mean:
- Ramping up your content production (while maintaining quality)
- Simultaneously increasing the efforts for distributing and promoting your content (on social media, engaging with other bloggers, and more)
- If you are not doing it yourself, you’ll have to find someone who can write at speed while still maintaining quality. You’d have to find content creators who’ve mastered the art of writing SEO-optimized posts (while packing value into a post).
- Getting over a few personal and annoying habits you probably have (such as perfectionism, giving undue importance to grammar, procrastination, and more. (this is harder than it is to read about it. I personally know a few people who never publish and those who publish one blog post per month).
Publishing velocity: the Number One SEO Strategy (& It works)
Ben Goody — founder of How the Fxck marketing interviews — wrote an interesting piece on SubStack that talks about How Publishing Velocity could be the #1 SEO strategy that almost no one seems to be paying attention to.
“The concept is quite simple. The more you publish, the more keywords you capture.”
He then points to several examples of brands and websites that are doing great with publishing velocity. At least for these brands, publishing velocity is a top strategy working for them:
A few of them are here:
- DoNotPay.com: Published 430 pages in an 11 month period. 50% of which were published in the last 30 days. The results? 0 to 142,000 monthly visitors in under a year. The site gets 50,000 visitors a month from keywords that rank in the top 3 positions. But the other 150,000 come from lower-ranking words.
- LogicInbound: Published 100 pages in four months. Moving from 500 to ~60,000 visitors a month in 13 months flat (it doesn’t even seem to matter if the domain authority isn’t as much).
- DoggyPedia: 200 pages published in 6 months, rose from 0 to 116,000 visitors per month within a year).
I am sure there are many more brands, bloggers, and others doing it well. Just that it’s not being talked about as much (everyone seems to take it for granted?).
How to achieve a publishing velocity that works for you?
Remember that you have a business to run (even if that business is an SEO business).
You don’t have the time. SEO is overrated anyway. If you do SEO marginally right though (and the “right” way is hard to find, given all the noise around), you do get tons of traffic.
Traffic = money.
Think about these questions that are unique to your own circumstances:
- Can I write myself or should I hire someone? [ If you hire someone to write for you, don’t do the mistake everyone does such as loading the writer brief with excessive keyword drama]. Just give “one” primary keyword for focus and let writers work their magic.
- If I am writing for myself, what frequency can I commit to? If I am hiring, what frequency is possible with my budget?
- One keyword = One blog Post. Publish regularly. That’s it.
This is how you achieve respectable publishing velocity:
- Stick to a frequency (1 per week? 3 per week? 5 per week?) you’ll publish on your blog (and plan out your content in advance because trying to “think” about what to publish slows you down.
- Publish on time, every time. Link out to other people, research, and resources (outbound links). Link back to previously published content on your own blog (inbound links).
- Do your keyword research, yes. Don’t overdo it. Don’t stuff your post with keywords. Don’t bother with anything like “keyword density” — Google has evolved while several folks seem to be stuck in the 1990s as far as SEO is concerned.
- Certainly use tools like SEMrush, Ahrefs, SimilarWeb and make it all a little easier while boosting your SEO efforts.
What’s your publishing velocity? What fancy pants SEO strategies work for you (and what don’t seem to?).