Businesses are constantly told that content marketing is king, but does it actually improve search visibility and boost page visits? The answer is yes, and here is the proof…
Content marketing is king. This is the message being pushed to businesses of all shapes and sizes and in all sectors when it comes to improving visibility on search engine results pages (SERPs) and driving traffic to their websites.
They are advised to create content hubs and pack them full of news, features, interviews and guides that provide the information, insight and, in some cases, entertainment consumers need to make a buying decision.
This is good advice as content hubs that have been created off the back of a thorough audit and to a comprehensive and well-planned strategy can deliver incredible results from a comparably small investment in time and money.
How to prove that content hubs really do work
“How do I know that if I invest in a content hub that I will see a significant return in the time and money pumped into ensuring it is kept up to date with high-value content?”
This is a question that we are often asked, and rightly so. Of course, the great thing about content hubs is that their performance can be analysed through tools such as Google Analytics as well as social shares and likes.
Here at ghostfoundry, we always recommend that our clients install Google Analytics into their website and then track, monitor and analyse how posts are performing month on month. This can then be used to tweak the content strategy moving forwards.
Something to remember – content marketing is a marathon and not a sprint race. It takes time to build out your content hub and for it to start ranking for the key terms you identify in your content audit and work to as part of your content plan.
In reality, it will take a minimum of three months for any noticeable impact and between nine and twelve months for your content hub to be firing on all cylinders and delivering a significant increase in web traffic.
The proof is in the numbers
So, this is the bit you have been waiting for, the bit where we show you what impact creating a content hub can have on SERPs rankings and website visitors.
We have been working with a company that wanted to boost rankings and increase site traffic, so we developed a content strategy to target key search terms and words.
We then created a content hub on their website and published on average two 600-word posts per month, plus one 2,000-word in-depth feature every three months.
These posts were then shared across their social media channels to maximise reach and exposure.
The content hub has been live for 10 months now, and these are some of the top line stats relating to the portal’s performance:
- 9k+ views across all of the articles created
- 2k of this is direct from the SERPs
- Average bounce rate on each article in less than 10%
- Ranking for 100+ keywords
- Page one ranking for business-critical terms
This was all achieved by undertaking a through content audit to understand what information potential customers were seeking and how they would like to access that information. From that, it was then a case of creating a strategy and working to it over the ten months.
During that time, there was no link-building strategy put in place. The stats shared were the result of pure content marketing.
Our own little experiment
At ghostfoundry, we like to practice what we preach. This is why we post regularly to our own blog as it allows us to share our experience and insights, and to also test new ideas and approaches to content marketing that we can then use with our clients.
As part of this, we took the decision to cease posting for one week to see what impact it had on traffic to our website. The week prior to not posting, we published a blog on How your website design affects your ranking and this is the traffic generated:
19th March – 25th March
- 31 users
- 27 new users
- 70 page views
- Ave session duration: 1 min 17 secs
- Bounce rate: 69.23%
The following week we when we didn’t post, we saw a noticeable drop off in users and page views:
26th March – 2nd April
- 19 users
- 18 new users
- 22 page views
- Ave session duration: 0 min 01 secs
- Bounce rate: 95.00%
The graphs show a huge drop in session times and a major increase in bounce rate. In short, fewer people were visiting the site and those that did were not staying around for long at all.
This proves just how important content hubs are at driving new visitors to your website, but also how vital it is for portals to be updated regularly and with the right content.
If you have any questions about content hubs or anything discussed in this post, you can drop the ghostfoundry team a message here