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As a content marketing agency, we are always telling people what a vital role content plays in driving all elements of your digital marketing, be it social media, email marketing, SEO etc.

The good thing is that most people get this now. We seem to have moved past the educational phase with more and more companies publishing fresh content on their websites on a regular basis. 

What we wanted to demonstrate, however, was the significant impact that an increase in content output (that is still high quality and original) can have on some of the key digital marketing metrics, such as website traffic, search engine rankings and social media reach. 

Impressions

Firstly, let's take a look at impressions. This is the number of times that your website shows up in search results. The chart below show the impact on impressions following an increase in blogging output from three to six posts per week.

For this particular company, this translated as:

  • 127% increase in impressions.
  • 93% increase in click-throughs.
  • 12% improvement in average rankings position.

impressions

Rankings

This next chart shows the organic search engine rankings of a company, alongside their four biggest competitors, following an increase in content production from 12 news articles per month to one infographic, one 'evergreen' article, 12 news articles and two blogs per month.

Check out the immediate impact that it has on their organic search rankings!

rankings

Social media metrics

The chart below shows the impact that an increase in content creation had on incoming social media messages, number of new followers, social media reach and social media referral traffic.

The company increased the number of industry news articles they were publishing from 15 per month to 30 per month and also introduced infographics (one per month) and evergreen articles (two per month) into their content mix. 

social media metrics 

Website visits

The final chart below shows the impact on website visits following an increase in content output from one to two blogs per day.

website visits

In summary

The data speaks for itself really. Creating more content will improve a whole host of digital marketing metrics.

Remember that it must be high quality and original content though that people are inspired to share - definitely don't go throwing a load of low quality content at your website thinking that it will do the trick. It won't.

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Published 15 May, 2013 by Michelle Hill

Michelle Hill is Marketing Manager at Vertical Leap and a contributor Econsultancy. 

4 more posts from this author

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Michaela Clement-Hayes

Spot on Michelle - website content is definitely a case of quality AND quantity!

about 3 years ago

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Phil Reed

Don't think anyone would disagree with the basic principle that good quality content is essential for better search results, but I'm afraid I don't agree with the point that "more content" is, per se, the answer.

If I knew who the company was in your case study, maybe I could understand why simply increasing their output directly affected their traffic and search rankings. But I think it's too simplistic to say "creating more content will improve a whole host of digital marketing metrics". As you also say, it's about the quality of that content.

about 3 years ago

Barry Adams

Barry Adams, Founder at Polemic Digital

Always good to see solid evidence for best practices - makes it easier to build a business case for clients.

about 3 years ago

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Michelle Hill, Marketing Manager at Vertical Leap

Thanks for your comment Michaela - we were just having that exact conversation actually that it's pointless publishing 'thin' content just to hit the quantity targets - it's absolutely got to be high quality and original otherwise it could actually 'damage' your brand.

about 3 years ago

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Michelle Hill, Marketing Manager at Vertical Leap

Hey Barry - it definitely makes it easier doesn't it, having graphs that show powerful and immediately-digestible results. Hope they'll come in handy for you when you're pitching :-)

Thanks for taking the time to comment!

about 3 years ago

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Chris Pitt

Great article and case study. Aside from the value of creating content, it also demonstrates the need for integrated marketing.

The content is what attracts the traffic, but without SEO it can't be found and without social it isn't promoted.

about 3 years ago

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Stuart

Good article Michelle ....The analogy ‘content is king’ is still very much at the forefront of digital marketing but ‘strategy is queen’ will ensure that your content attracts, engages and converts.

about 3 years ago

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Michelle Hill, Marketing Manager at Vertical Leap

Hi Phil

Totally agree with you that just 'more content' isn't the answer (as you'll see in my summary, I stress that it absolutely must be high quality and original so that people are inspired to share it).

The content that we produced for these companies ticked all of those boxes - if it hadn't, we wouldn't have got anywhere near those results for them.

Thanks for your comment and reiterating the importance of quality though - it's absolutely key :-)

Michelle

about 3 years ago

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Nick Stamoulis

Just remember you need to have more good content, not just more content by itself. But I have seen similar results with a client of mine. Even going from 1 to 2 posts a week has had significant impact on traffic to their site and has helped them increase their organic search presence in a relatively short amount of time.

about 3 years ago

Graham Charlton

Graham Charlton, Editor in Chief at ClickZ Global

Presumably there's a point at which more content becomes too much and no longer produces results?

For example, we normally publish 8-10 posts per day on this blog but if we doubled that I'd worry that we'd start to annoy Twitter followers, there would be too many posts to read and there would be diminishing returns.

Perhaps I should publish 20 posts tomorrow to test this theory...

about 3 years ago

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Michelle Hill, Marketing Manager at Vertical Leap

It's an interesting point you make Graham "where is the saturation point for your audience?". Go on, test it! Would make a good case study :-)

about 3 years ago

Graham Charlton

Graham Charlton, Editor in Chief at ClickZ Global

I don't think we've found it yet (I hope!). I'd like to test, but I'm not sure we have the resources for that. Perhaps if everyone in the company wrote a post at once...

about 3 years ago

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Michelle Hill, Marketing Manager at Vertical Leap

Also, whilst it's very likely that there is a saturation point for people especially for social sharing, beyond that it all feeds the 'evergreen' engine and continually positions your brand as the authority in the industry in the eyes of your prospects and the search engines. Again, as long as the quality is there!

I think we'd have to test it over a couple of months to see the real long-term value.

Am sure we can convince you to take on this challenge Graham ;-)

about 3 years ago

Garry Davis

Garry Davis, Director at Grow Digital Marketing

Graham,

It would be interesting to see what the impact of not distributing a release to twitter is.....

about 3 years ago

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Tez Wu, Social Media at Essential Marketer

Hi Michelle,

Very interesting read. Couldn't agree more, businesses need to made aware of the importance of high quality content as you've shown, the results can be staggering.

Just to throw it out there, to prove how important high quality content is here at Essential Marketer, we're currently undertaking a Live Case Study in which we're writing 200 articles in 50 days.

We've selected a team of 8 to do this including myself (a lot of typing!) but we're adding 4/5 new 1000 word, high quality, keyword focused blogs every day to our website.

Now this seems slightly over the top, but it's to show people why a little focus in this area provides ammunition for great social media engagement and SEO results.

We're into day 10, and already, the results aren't too far from your stats produced in this article. Another 40 to go!

If you get the chance - www.essentialmarketer.com/content-marketing-case-study

It would be good to get your thoughts :)

Tez Wu
essentialmarketer.com
@seobirmingham

about 3 years ago

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Michelle Hill, Marketing Manager at Vertical Leap

Hi Tez

Wow, sounds like you've got your work cut out for the new few weeks! I'll definitely have a look at your case study - thanks for letting us know.

Michelle

about 3 years ago

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