content velocity

Mastering Content Velocity: The Ultimate Guide for Marketers

What is Content Velocity?

Content velocity is a key metric in content analysis. It can be defined as the number of pages a brand publishes in a certain amount of time, usually measured in months, quarters, or years.

Our intuition automatically makes us draw a line between content production and velocity because high-quality content seems incompatible with fast publishing. However, it’s not as linear as you might think. Fast-paced content creation can go hand in hand with first-rate articles, thus creating what can be called good content velocity – as opposed to bad content velocity, which I’ll talk about in a second.

Good content velocity refers to the scheduled and swift publication of high-quality content. In this case, a content team produces and publishes dozens, maybe over 100, of pages of valuable content every month. That adds up to over 1000 pages of high-quality content pages a year, ready to dominate the SERPs. 

But to achieve this, it doesn’t suffice to publish articles randomly. Posting thin (low-quality content without value to a customer that brings no revenue to the brand), boring, and non-researched articles will not put you ahead.

Bad content velocity is anything that doesn’t fit into the definition above, that is, quick posting of uninteresting articles that fail to meet the user’s expectations. Examples of bad content velocity can be found in blogs and websites that have inconsistent publishing schedules, low-quality content, and ad-hoc content operations.

Why is content velocity important?

So should you and your team focus on quality or quantity? The answer is you need to focus on both.

You need to post useful content with value for potential customers. But you also have to do it frequently. Users will quickly forget your brand if they don’t feel like they can rely on you.

Content velocity is a concept that you must keep in mind as you set up your website and the main reasons for that are:

Better SEO

To get high amounts of organic traffic to your website, you must rank for keywords with high search volume. The more content you publish, the more posts search engines will crawl and index. This gives your website a better chance to rank high and get more organic visitors. In the long run, a website publishing, for example, 100 posts a year will dominate the organic traffic, largely surpassing a website posting only 10 articles annually. This is especially helpful for new websites still building a presence in the rankings that seek to become known quickly through high-quality, fast publishing. 

My dear friends at Workello have been active in tracking the best content velocity cases and brought us a table they made with the best examples of the significant role of content velocity.

For the past few years, the SEO space has been buzzing with the success of NerdWallet, Kinsta, Wirecutter, FreshBooks, and HubSpot – and the foundation for all of it is the amount of content they publish. These businesses managed to produce hundreds of content pages per year, and they’re an obvious key to millions of organic visitors.

Competitive Edge

Content velocity helps you outperform your competitors. 

Determine your publishing frequency based on how many pages your competitors post within a time frame. For example, if your highest-ranking competitor publishes 10 times per month, you should top it with a minimum of 10+ posts. If your most successful competitor works with just 3 or 4 articles a month, you just need to go higher than 4. 

This is important because more content means better ranking, which ultimately brings more leads to your links. So invest some time in researching and understanding your competitor’s strategies.

Resource Maximization

Fast publishing also helps you maximize your resources. Planning what and when you will be posting help you estimate the number of resources you need, such as the number of dedicated writers, editors, designers, SEOs, etc. 

Furthermore, as with virtually anything, one-time tasks done from scratch tend to be more resource-consuming than scale-like, well-organized tasks spread over a time frame. 

How to increase content velocity

I know what you’re thinking: “But those businesses invest millions in their marketing and probably have huge content teams at their disposal.

While that’s true, I have to be fully honest – I’ve worked with many marketing teams in my career, and most of them don’t understand these core aspects of SEO. What I mean by this is that the size of your budget doesn’t dictate the success of your content strategy. Your understanding of SEO techniques and structured posting, on the other hand, is where the secret lies. 

Good content velocity is well within the reach of content teams of any scale. I’ve seen cases where a two-person team consistently ships out 50+ pages per month and dominates their niche. 

These are central points that even a single person can act upon and increase their content velocity:

Set clear stakeholders for every step of content creation

If you’re working solo, you’re the stakeholder for everything – it’s tough, but you have a goal set, and you’re working towards that. If you’re working with freelancers or have in-house writers, content marketers, or SEOs – they’re going to help a lot. 

Make sure you decide who’s doing the research, who’s doing the content briefs, who’s writing, and who’s dealing with publishing, internal linking, promotion etc. That helps avoid any confusion or bottlenecks in the process.

Create SOPs (Standard Operating Procedures)

I’ve been in the industry for a while and have never seen SOPs that are useless or overlooked. They might be outdated, but a simple case of updating goes a long way. Content creation is a very dynamic process, so there’s always a possibility of error. Creating SOP documents can help your team fall back and get an answer or a solution for any possible pause in your fluid process.

As a content lead or a blog owner, you’re expected to have a solution for incoming problems, and these documents are a blessing – thank me later.

Automate content operations to save time

By today, investing in scaling and automating your content operations is crucial. That will save you the hassle of overlooking every step of the process, which can be exhausting when you post content frequently. 

Luckily, most modern management tools contain automation features or integrations with Zapier, IFTTT, and similar automation tools. Make the best of this fun process and automate what you can, even the smallest, most unsophisticated tasks you or your team performed manually. 

Some tasks that can be automated include: 

  • Status updates (Slack message to a channel or directly to stakeholder) 
  • New document or comment added to task (Slack message to task owner)
  • Status: Done (Move the file to the Drive folder)
  • Populate fields based on Status (depending on the app you’re using)

SEO

Set a content production goal

As I have said before, quantity and quality go hand in hand when creating good content. Setting a content production goal can help you achieve good quality in less time. Without a clear aim, your content strategy will do very little for your brand. Posting articles just for the sake of doing so doesn’t work as well as you might think, and it doesn’t produce the needed results. 

With a content production goal, you can create content with value for your customers. Moreover, production objectives save you plenty of time. Instead of jumping between several ideas in search of your next content piece, which ultimately slows you down and even makes you miss deadlines, you work towards a goal, the reason for which you are creating content.

Some reasons for which you may produce content are:

  • Ranking on SERPs
  • Share knowledge with an audience 
  • Achieve more engagement 

Set a production schedule

One of the best things you can do to improve performance and build a rhythm for yourself or your company is to create an SEO content plan and focus on blogging consistently. Content calendars help you establish posting themes and keep your content publishing organized, which, in turn, drives more traffic to your platform. 

Following a content production calendar helps your business in many ways: 

  • It enables you to define posting cadences 
  • It ensures that you don’t forget anything
  • It helps you remember to update old articles
  • It makes it easier to work within a team and/or outside partners 

However, the SEO content plan should be realistic enough that it can be adhered to and doesn’t result in churning out low-quality content to stay on schedule. If it needs to start as one new post every two weeks, but you can stick to it and create high-quality content consistently, that’s fine. If you have the resources to scale beyond that while creating value for your audience, that’s even better.

Blogging consistently every week will show that this is a priority for your company. It will also create a signal for the search engines that your website is continuously producing great content that needs to be crawled.

Keeping a content calendar is very easy. Plenty of digital tools provide calendars you can use individually or share with a team. Alternatively, you can simply create a document and insert a table with your content schedule. 

Choose a content format

The success of the content depends on the format as well. It wouldn’t make a lot of sense to publish a recipe using an infographic, would it?

So, determine your content goals, as suggested earlier, and study your audience. These two factors are key to choosing the best content type. Take into consideration what you want to share – expert opinions, statistics, how-to content, etc. – and what you wish to get from the audience – leads, engagement, external linking, etc.

As soon as you define the best-suited content format, you won’t have to spend any more time working on the structure of your posts. Share several different ideas in your publications using the same content writing template. That allows you to generate good content in less time. 

a person sitting at a desk with a laptop and a coffee cup

Find your content sweet spot

We can define content sweet spot as the overlapping between the writer’s expertise and the customers’ interests. The sweet spot is the perfect place to establish a connection with a potential customer because the content creator can share their passion and knowledge about a product, service, or topic with an audience that is seeking to learn more about it. The creator’s expertise conveys authenticity and invites the audience to stay, thus building a higher regard for business.

Furthermore, a content creator who knows and likes what they are talking about is able to create content faster without jeopardizing its quality. 

Repurpose your content

Repurposing content – or content recycling – is the practice of reusing old content by transforming it into different formats. And it is a highly effective way of creating new content quickly.

Repurposing your content is undoubtedly a great strategy for a business platform. It helps you expand your content’s reach by reposting and recreating the post in different formats. Likewise, it allows you to keep frequent publishing even when there is no new content, and it helps you improve your SEO thanks to the repetitive use of a keyword in repurposed articles.

Besides this, it saves you time, allowing you to produce content faster. When repurposing existing content, reuse old videos, art, or text, and add some new elements to make it even more appealing. 

But not every type of content can be repurposed, of course. There’s no point in reposting a news article, for example. The best type of content to reuse is Evergreen Content – search-optimized content that stands the test of time and is always relevant. A few examples are how-to guides, testimonials, and checklists.

How to calculate content velocity?

As the creators of the first content velocity metric, we focused on keeping things simple. The way we calculate content velocity is as follows:

The number of published posts in the last 365 days, for example, 200 posts divided by 365 will result in the average of:

1 post every two days

4 posts every week

16-17 posts every month 

Content velocity is often measured in terms of months, quarters, or years. For example, if you wanted to measure your content velocity over a period of time (say 30 days), you would calculate how much content was produced over this period of time.

The question of how to measure content production is one of preference. You could measure it in terms of pages, URLs, word count, or any number of other metrics. For SEO purposes, it’s usually measured in terms of new content pages.

The Benefits of Publishing More Content

It’s clear by now that good content velocity is a crucial aspect to consider when investing in a website. As Workello’s co-founder, Bojan puts it in his video, content velocity works. The team at Workello managed to significantly increase organic visitors (some from 0 to 100k/month)  by publishing hundreds of pages of content per month. And not only at Workello – the highest-ranking websites publish high amounts of content to dominate the searches. And it works. 

Putting your money into good content creation strategies and a great team will help your business take off more quickly. Simultaneously, it will help you benefit from these key advantages of creating a foolproof posting plan and keeping a steady publishing pace. 

More information on competitors on what your competitors are doing

As I’ve mentioned, the number of pages you publish depends largely on how much content your competitors post. So dig a little into your competitor’s content strategies to understand what, how, and when they post. This can be achieved using SEO tools, such as Ahrefs and Screaming Frog, or by analyzing the pages manually and inserting the data into a worksheet. 

This investigation into your competitors helps uncover their resources – how large their content team is if they work with freelancers or in-house writers, their expenditure, etc, which gives you a competitive edge over them.

  • Compare this for markets such as SaaS and other niches

More resources 

Not only are you able to better manage your resources, but Patrick Reinhart also explains how you can get even more resources.

Executives aren’t exactly fond of losing. In fact, they are all for staying way ahead of their competitors. Being number 1 is great for business, after all. If you analyze your competitors’ strategies and tell your executives competition has an edge on you, it’s highly likely they will be willing to give you more resources.

More traffic

The frequent content posting says a lot about your brand: it conveys interest, knowledge, expertise, focus, and reliability. Those are qualities that users enjoy in the content they need. So as you improve quality and increase quantity, you get more traffic. And the new readers pay attention to your page because it conveys credibility and, most importantly, it responds to their expectations. 

As you get more traffic, you build a loyal audience that relies on your brand for more useful information on a subject. And as soon as you win a group of followers that check your platform regularly for more content, you become closer to establishing your brand as the go-to authority in your field or niche. 

More leads

If we think of leads as a qualified or high-quality section of your audience, content velocity can undoubtedly help achieve great results. The leads are the potential customers that found their way to your brand because they are in need of what you’re offering but aren’t totally convinced yet to pick you.

And what’s important at this stage? High-quality, fast content that meets the needs of the audience. It’s qualified content for a qualified audience. 

Create a considerable amount of good, informational content containing the advantages of working with you, solutions to common problems, etc. plus examples of how you can be useful in solving issues. Reports and case studies can be interesting choices here.

If you convey reliability by showing expertise and the right type of information, you’re on the way to getting the lead to sign up for a free demo and get to know your product first-hand. 

More customers

Once you get the user to test your product, you’re close to turning the lead into a customer. A substantial amount of content about specifics regarding your product is extremely valuable here. Likewise, additional information that conveys security is welcome.

And this is achieved by publishing large amounts of content. Potential customers are drawn to the brands that rank better. And that is conquered with good content velocity (high-quality content published frequently). And if the potential customer finds articles that make them feel sure that you can offer them what they seek, it won’t take long until you see your ROI grow exponentially.

Moreover, the attention your business gets can even get a big enterprise to come across one of your articles, making it sign up for access to your products and later become a big customer. 

Nedim Mehic

Nedim is a senior technical SEO specialist, and the co-founder of Beki AI. On the Beki AI blog, we share new and innovative strategies to SEO and content marketing.

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