How Often Should I Post for SEO?

There’s a practice that I dislike that almost every agency and every consultant takes. And it’s the practice of scheduling content for SEO purposes. It goes something like this:

  • Agency/consultant pitches content as an SEO strategy
  • Client agrees, signs contract
  • Agency/consultant recommends posting x # of times per day/week/year
  • Content calendar is created
  • Content is written and scheduled for pushing live

Where did we go wrong?

Probably at the very beginning, when we set our client’s expectations that content should be scheduled out in the pitch.

I’ve never understood this practice as a catchall strategy for all industries and verticals. Unless the timing of your post is somehow inherently important to your customers, it does not make sense to wait to post it. Google won’t index content that isn’t live! For most websites, as soon as your content is written and approved to go, you should post it. Until that article is live, it cannot be indexed and is not eligible for ranking. Every piece of content written has some sort of cost associated with it. You are delaying the collection of your ROI by sitting on completed content without posting it.

What about Seasonality?

Especially for seasonal content, we should not wait. If you run an HVAC company and are posting about AC content in the middle of summer, you have waited too long. Google isn’t going to index and rank that content (most likely) until you’re already in the heating season. Counterintuitively, it makes better sense to post that content in the off season. This gives you time to rank the content, and tweak it if necessary, so that you’re in prime position during the peak season. This applies to most cases where seasonality is present, though there are exceptions (described below).

Won’t posting during the wrong time of year throw off customers?

This is unlikely. Unless you have a strong subscriber base or social media following, people will find the relevant articles on your blog organically. Meaning people will only search for it when it’s relevant to them, so it’s not an issue. You can post a blog about AC in the middle of winter and just schedule to share it on your social media channels in July when it’s relevant. As long as your content is evergreen, there’s no reason to be concerned about the timing.

Some industries where you may have a need to schedule out content includes fashion or politics, or event planning. You’ll know best what kind of impact having content out early can have if it’s seen at the wrong time based on your expertise in your industry.

If you’re an SEO professional, you should be able to identify if it’s a query that has intent changes during different times of year (black friday or halloween queries for example), or if QDF is a consideration for your target query. You may consider timing important in that situation.

The only thing you are doing by adhering to rigid content calendars is delaying your SEO success. Get your articles posted as soon as they’re ready and approved, then submit your new pages for priority indexing in Google Search Console.

My Client Will Never Understand

I had clients in the past that insisted on strict adherence to a schedule. Content would be written, and then sit there unused for weeks at a time – sometimes months! There was no reason for this, other than that was the expectation. And once those expectations are set, it’s very difficult to persuade someone that a change in process should be made. So what can you do?

First, if you’re going to recommend a change you need to understand the client’s workplace environment, their customers, and the client’s willingness to listen to a change in process recommendation.

If your client has a supervisor who pays strict attention to the blogs that are coming out, and when they are coming out, you will probably need to approach both of them with this concept. The higher the visibility in the organization, the more nuanced you should be with your approach. Ask them if they’d be open to considering a change in process. If they seem amenable, detail your thoughts and provide some evidence. Talk tentatively, and watch their reactions.

Second, if there could be a reason for scheduling things out – such as the existence of a large subscriber base, multi-part series that are being promoted one week at a time, or a very active social media audience, then scheduling at least some content is probably necessary. So identifying content that requires some spacing out and what does not would be advisable before approaching your client with this concept.

And finally, if your client is the type that just does not listen and is very difficult to approach, pick your battles. You have a limited amount of political capital, use it wisely. Scheduling content won’t make or break you, so I wouldn’t pick a fight over it.

There’s one final issue, and that’s contract structure. I wouldn’t let this stop me from doing what’s right by my customers, but some business development types might get flustered at the idea of altering process because they wrote it into the contract. My recommendation is to leave process out of contracts, and focus on deliverables. That’s a best practice that I see violated often. In this case, it may be best to let sleeping dogs lie.

And finally, if you are the business owner, stop sitting on content and get it posted.

Thanks for reading, and as always, please share if you enjoyed the article. If you’re seeking SEO services, please reach out to me via any of the forms on this website, including the one posted below.

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