If you’ve created a blog for your business website because you thought it was the done thing - this blog post is for you.
Churning out one blog after another because ‘you’re supposed to’ shouldn’t be your reason to create content. Simply creating content for content sake is not a strategy that will yield results.
Your content should address your audience’s search queries - their barriers to purchase, their pain points and offer them genuinely useful and engaging advice and tips. Content filled with actionable or educational takeaways should be your primary goal - it should not be to push your products and services.
Producing content that performs well in the search engine should be on the periphery of your strategy because it does need to be there. Google values user-focused content, but you should conduct keyword research to find low-competition, high-volume keywords before you start writing.
Aim for a content balance - craft a strategy that focuses on keywords you know your audience is searching for and deliver value to your audience.
I've gathered 15 useful blogging statistics to help inspire your blog content creation for 2020.
1. Over three million blog posts are written each day in 2019
Source: Internet Live Stats
Blog post writing is prolific – many companies and bloggers are writing posts every day worldwide. This stat is just at the time this article was written – it’s probably grown significantly in the next few hours. Seeing that number written down might make you feel like the internet is oversaturated with content, and why should you bother adding to it – will your content even get traction in the search engines? And the short answer to this is - yes.
Billions of queries are searched for by users every day through Google. Users are constantly looking for new content, whether it is in answer to a specific question, or other educational content– your audience is searching for a query relating to your service or product, and you need to help them find you.
2. One in ten blog posts are compounding, meaning organic search increases their traffic over time
Organic traffic is worth more to your site than paid traffic and this statistic easily highlights that. Paid traffic is only suitable for the period you’re willing to pay for it – as soon as you stop, your name drops off the face of Google. But, with organic presence? It’s free and more useful to users because it’s content that has earned its place in the search results over time.
As HubSpot states, creating content that offers your audience genuinely exciting and useful content pays off in the long run. A blog post that keeps generating traffic organically will be much more useful to you than a piece that doesn’t gain traction or an ad you’ve paid for the length of a campaign and see a short peak in traffic and sales to have it peter out.
3. 47% of buyers viewed 3-5 pieces of content before engaging with a sales rep
If your users were to land on your website right now and engage with 3-5 pieces of content – do you think those pieces capture their interest enough to consider using your service or buying your product? Or do you think they’d bounce off your website straight into the arms of a competitor?
To be able to create consistently relevant content that delivers a return on your content investment, you need to first invest time into understanding your audience and what their challenges are. If you’re writing for who you think makes up your audience base and not who you know makes up your audience base, you could be wasting a lot of your resources for little to no quality lead generation.
4. Better content can drive traffic to a blog by up to 2000%
This is probably a really obvious statistic – but it’s usually the obvious ones people forget. We see a lot of businesses creating content for content’s sake. Just because you’re creating four blog posts a week, doesn’t mean to say it’s useful. Creating one long-form piece a week or month might be better if you have less time/resource to dedicate to blogging, rather than a few short, irrelevant pieces.
Never second-guess what your audience is interested in - content creation should always be data-driven.
5. Content marketing gets 3 times more leads than paid search advertising
Source: Content Marketing Institute
Many users are savvy to paid search campaigns. If you’re looking for the answer to a question, the top answer – ad or not – would probably suffice. If it’s more in-depth educational content, you might want to scroll further down to check out the plethora of search results available to you before you select your winner.
With paid advertising, sure, you can ultimately create superbly-targeted campaigns – adjusting bid strategies and trialling the wording of the content etc. but with content marketing, you’re establishing a trusted relationship with the reader. You have obtained those users purely through delivering great content.
6. 73% of visitors skim rather than read the blog post thoroughly
The digital world is so fast-paced, and we all seem to be short of time, so it’s no surprise that 73% of us skim read a blog post. This is why structuring your blog post is so important in content marketing. Using subheadings can help your reader find what they’re looking for.
But not just any subheading - subheadings containing other keywords or keyword phrases you’ve noticed gets mentions in the top content ranking for your chosen keyword. Conducting a quick Google search for ‘self-employed self-assessment’ brings up results mainly aimed at ‘how to fill in a self-assessment tax return’ or ‘a guide to self-assessment’. Taking note of what keyword phrases are mentioned in the current top-ranking results can help steer you in the right direction when you’re building our your piece of content.
You must guide the reader through your work easily. If you plonk an entire wall of content in front of them – even if it’s the BEST content – they’re going to bounce straight off.
Takeaway: make your content skim-able!
7. 70% of consumers prefer getting to know a company via articles rather than ads
This all comes back to the level of trust between a company and a user through content rather than ads. Creating educational content, which pulls the users further towards being almost ready for a sale, helps you build trust as a brand and helps you educate and inform them until they’re ready to consider a service such as yours.
Users are much savvier and can spot the intentions behind an ad quickly - there is also less longevity in ad campaigns unless you’re willing to continue investing money.
8. The average blog post takes 29% of people over 4 hours to write — more time is spent crafting posts
Source: Orbit Media
As Theodore Roosevelt once said:
“Nothing in the world is worth having or worth doing unless it means effort, pain, difficulty.”
Which is true, particularly when it comes to creating relevant and meaningful content. If you haven’t researched which keywords your piece is focusing on and whether the content you are creating fits with your audience base, you’re writing without reason - which leads to lack of direction, and your writing runs the risk of appealing to no one.
9. Long-form blog posts generate 9 times more leads than short-form blog posts
This statistic says it all. Don’t bother creating content for content sake - think about why you’re creating it and if it will generate relevant traffic to your website. Long-form content gives your users a meaty piece to get their teeth into, and it gives you the space to inject long-tail keywords naturally throughout the content. This approach helps you offer user value and aid your keyword strategy.
10. 36% of people prefer list-based headlines
List-based headlines can catch your eye - they suggest the piece will be filled with bite-sized information the user can pick and choose between. If you’re a physiotherapist top 10 tips around home-remedies for sports injuries might interest your audience, for example.
But before you dive into creating a whole bunch of ‘listicles’, it’s essential you first analyse the kind of content your audience engages with the most. The best way to do this is to search for your keywords or keyword phrases in Google and see what kind of content format the search results bring back. This, alongside competitor analysis, will help you understand what your audience loves to devour.
11. Blog articles with images get 94% more views than ones without
Source: Jeff Bullas
Would you find a wall of text appealing? Using images and screenshots when necessary, not only makes it less of a chore to sift through, but images can help you illustrate your points clearly. Showing a graph or a simple, relevant image can help you garner more views for your blog posts. Using images on your blog landing page next to each article can help your page look appealing to the user scanning through.
12. 72% of online marketers describe content creation as their most effective SEO tactic
This content marketing statistic isn’t surprising. SEO – or search engine optimisation – isn’t a new tactic. But the fact that you can generate ROI from content marketing can still be deemed a myth by many business owners.
Content marketing is not a tactic that will necessarily drive you instant traffic and set your site in the dizzy heights of Google’s page one – but it will over time. If you consistently create relevant, useful content – you’ll reap the rewards.
If you get some success initially with content marketing, that’s great. But overall, content marketing is an investment - it’s a long-term strategy. So be patient.
13. The average word count of top-ranked content in Google is between 1,140-1,285 words
Source: Search Metrics
This takes us back to creating content that can include long-tail keywords – which is long-form in nature. The reason these results are the top ranking is that they’re offering their users a genuinely enjoyable experience with their content. Their content answers questions and ranks for multiple keywords – not just one keyword.
A piece that covers a topic in-depth offers the audience the chance to receive actionable and educational content.
14. On average, only 18% of companies’ blog posts are over 750 words
18% is a small chunk which is probably why the other 82% of companies don’t see the value in content marketing - because they aren’t taking the time to create a mixture of long-form and short-form content.
Not every blog post needs to be long-form, but as number 13 suggests, it could be in your best interest to take the time to create longer-form content. Longer form content helps you position yourself as an authority within your field. Being able to dive deep into a topic and showcase your expertise is the perfect way to promote your business to your audience.
Keep delivering content that engages and inspires them - and they’ll keep coming back for more.
15. The median average time spent reading an article is 37 seconds
This stat further highlights the importance of making your content skim-able. Thirty-seven seconds is barely any time at all - and you spent so long creating this piece, so make sure you make those 37 seconds count.
Take the time to create useful and relevant subheadings. Subheadings are what catch your user’s eye when they start to scroll through the piece.
Not sure how long 37 seconds gives you? Head over to your website and find your latest piece of content. Start your timer and read until 37 seconds is up. How far into the article did you get - or what did you find out about the piece in 37 seconds?
If you don’t find yourself wanting to read more, then it might be time for a blog content overhaul!
Don’t rush into the content writing process. First, plan your strategy - write down all the pain points your audience has and take it from there.
Search Google for similar topics to see what the top ten results offer the user. You need to match search intent when creating your content.
There’s a reason those results are top in the search results - mimic them initially but make your content even better!