We often get asked by potential clients how daily news feeds or blog postings will deliver traffic to their website. Well hopefully this article will answer those questions and demonstrate why its important to have a continuous program of fresh content posting on your website.
One of the defining characteristics of good news articles and blog posts is that they must be topical and event-driven. In other words, a recent event has acted as a trigger for the news story.
The pressing question for news suppliers and bloggers is, how can fresh content drive more traffic? If we rewind a few years, some companies marketed so-called “traffic generators,” software that supposedly attracted surges of new traffic to a website with the click of a mouse. The trick used by the creators of this little internet fashion was to automatically generate thousands of pages for the website. This supposedly attracted spiders from search engines to visit and crawl them, thus generating traffic from long tail keyword searches (these are three to five-word keyword phrases rather than single keywords).
As a matter of fact, for a while, traffic generators seemed to work as promised. But the internet is not a static entity, and neither are search engines. They became smarter and began to sense when they were being fed on duplicate content; a diet they began to take a sharp dislike to.
Today, duplication is not going to work. The key to news and blog success now rests on the freshness (and length) of the content, how frequently it is posted and how it gets indexed with URLs on the site.
Results of Purecontent research
At Purecontent, we researched the sites that we provide news feeds and blog posts to, and noticed a distinct pattern. In the first few days after posting, a fresh blog or news post produces a spike in traffic to the site. The size of this spike is usually driven by the site’s normal audience and page rank but is also influenced by whether that story topic is particularly hot at the time. After the initial traffic surge, traffic volume starts to decay reducing to a lower level after a week, and then settling at a trickle of traffic generated by long tail searches. This steady trickle persists for many months or even years.
The most interesting impact of news or blog posting though is the cumlative effect. If you post every day, you are continually receiving traffic surges like a daily shot of adrenalin. But a crucially the many ‘trickles’ of traffic from old postings accumulate to deliver significant ongoing volume. The sustained, regular posting of news or blogs actually delivers a persistent and sustained sources of traffic. Our analysis suggests that postings less than 3 days old provide around 60% of the traffic from news, and back catalogue posts deliver around 30% of traffic.
This begins to play a cumulatively important role in drawing traffic to the site: as old stories or blog posts accumulate (indexed with their own unique URL), their long tail keyword phrases contribute to the site’s authority. That is when a virtuous cycle kicks in – the greater the site’s authority, the higher the traffic volume the site can attract and the greater its authority becomes. Our findings suggest that news and blog sites attract volumes in direct proportion to the volume of fresh posts made. We suggest that the optimal daily post should be at least 250 words in length.