How compounding blog posts will boost your website traffic

To stimulate traffic and generate leads, one-off content pales in comparison to evergreen offerings, which have staying power and can resurge months, even years, after publication.

How do you feel about your blogging strategy?

If you just sighed in response, you wouldn’t be the first marketer to do so.

For most of us, creating high-quality, engaging content is a chore, something we must do regularly to sustain website traffic, to keep leads coming in, to nurture opportunities and to continue ranking high in online searches.

You probably have your next pieces of content planned, proofed and ready to post—and already crossed off this month’s list.

Rather than thinking of your blog as a chore on a to-do list, what if you saw it as a savings account, with each post a long-term, growing investment generating traffic and relevant leads.

When you publish a blog post, typically you’ll see traffic volume do one of two things over time:

1. It will level off after publication/promotion, and slowly decline; that’s a decaying blog post.

2. Traffic goes the other way, with visits continuing to increase beyond initial publication traffic; that’s a compounding post.

Typically, only one in 10 posts is a compounding post, but that high-performing 10 percent can account for around 38 percent of total blog traffic, research has found. Clearly, creating compounding posts helps make the most of traffic and lead generation potential of a blog in the long term.

Try these four steps:

1. Recognize the traffic and lead value of compounding posts.

If traffic to compounding posts increases steadily over time, boosting the potential for lead generation, how much traffic are we talking about?

Based on HubSpot research that monitored 2,000 compounding and 18,000 decaying posts:

  • After six months, monthly traffic to compounding posts increased, on average, to 2.5 times the initial traffic received, whereas decaying posts drew less than one-fifth the initial traffic received.
  • After 22 months, compounding posts’ monthly traffic increased again, to an average of 3.4 times the level of original traffic.
  • A single compounding post can produce the same level of traffic as six decaying posts.
  • In HubSpot’s own case, compounding posts made up just 10 percent of its total blog content but drove 34 percent of overall blog traffic.

Relevance is the secret to achieving results like those. Evergreen posts-which offer long-term, useful advice on a common challenge-are more likely to do well in search and are therefore more likely to become compounding posts. Evergreen content is also more likely to enhance your reputation. In contrast, short-lived articles, such as news items, typically fit into the decaying-post category.

2. Understand how to create compounding posts.

Ready to increase your monthly traffic by creating compounding posts? A well-written compounding post does the following things:

  • It addresses topics and consumer challenges that resonate with your ideal audience and customer personas, keeping their long-term relevance.
  • It uses a title aligned with how people use search engines. Titles should ask how, what or why, and they should be six to 13 words long.
  • It consists of clearly structured text, with marked sections, making use of imagery and formatting (such as bullet points) where possible.
  • It avoids being niche-specific; though posts ought to address specific issues, they should ideally remain widely accessible.

You may already have published content that fits the profile of a compounding post, or maybe you have pieces that need a little adjustment. It’s wise to audit and monitor posted content to assess the traffic levels you’re already achieving and to look for quick-win opportunities.

3. Create content regularly.

If you’re involved in any aspect of marketing content creation, you know that regular publication is at the core of the most successful blogging strategies.

How frequently should you publish posts? To achieve the optimum level of traffic growth, a B2B best-practice guideline is to publish at least 16 posts per month.

Per HubSpot, companies that publish at that frequency register traffic increases that are 3.5 times more than those publishing four posts or fewer per month.

4. Understand how compounding blogs fit into your content strategy.

Although compounding blog content is a great way to enhance the volume and lead potential of your traffic, it’s not a magic formula for securing instant leads and customers.

For best impact, keep in mind how blog content integrates with your wider content and lead-nurturing strategies, remembering each post’s position within the buyer’s journey (moving from awareness of a problem, to consideration of solutions, to the decision to buy a solution).

The tone and substance of all content you create, compounding or otherwise, should be mapped back to appeal to your ideal buyer personas and should address a specific stage in their purchasing journey. Creating content assets for each stage allows you to nurture your audience toward a conversion and decision.

Typically, blog content targets the awareness and consideration stages and provides educational insight into the early stages of solving whatever problem your potential customers face.

Plan your posts for compounding success

Creating regular, relevant compounding posts that achieve runaway traffic growth is achievable through competent planning.

To find your angle, map upcoming blog content to buyer-challenge themes. To nail relevancy, consider the buying stage that your content should address. Finally, to secure long-term traction, optimize your titles and content to fit the profile of a compounding post.

Lucy Jones is head of content at Strategic Internet Consulting. Follower her on Twitter, @LucyJones_SIC. A version of this article originally appeared on MarketingProfs.

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