“I’m about to launch my new website, and I have some blog posts ready to go. Would it be better for my SEO to publish these all at once, or drip them out over time? Does it matter?”
This is a question I get asked at least monthly, and instead of sharing my stock answer of “it depends on your industry and your website team and how often you plan to post and, and, and …” I’m gonna tell you a quick & delicious story.
Last week, my husband and I ate at a Brazilian steakhouse. There are two ways to get your dinner: you pile your plate high with heavy hors doeuvres from the salad bar, and also servers roam the room with skewers of pork & steak to shave onto your plate.
We were starving when we arrived, we went straight to the salad bar and loaded up our plates.
Then the first server arrived and I was ravenous, so I asked for a double portion of the barbecue pork. He shaved it off for me, then kindly suggested, “Maybe you should pace yourself.”
(In my head I was screaming, “Eff you buddy! I haven’t eaten since breakfast, shut your mouth and shave me some pork!” … but my mouth was too full of delicious BBQ to berate him.)
Soon the meat servers were coming way faster. We never grabbed seconds at the salad bar, we were so busy filling up on flank steak and piquante pork and bacon-wrapped filet. And by the time we left, we’d forgotten all about the salad bar foods, we were so satisfied with the steak.
Way to brag about dinner, Meg, but what’s this gotta do with SEO?
Back to your website. “Is it better to post all my blog posts at once? Or should I spread them out over a few weeks?” And my best practice answer is: both.
When you’re launching a new site or pivoting to talk about new content, set up a salad bar. You don’t want somebody checking out your site to only see one post, so make sure you have a couple there to get started and give people the ability to read a few of them. I think 3-6 is a good ballpark number.
Then, once your site is launched, you can surprise and delight your visitors with new content, served at a slower pace so they can savor each flavor.
Just like my condescending server recommended: Pace yourself.
The great part about launching or promoting your website when it already has a few posts is that you establish your expertise early on. You announce yourself to Google: “Here I am, baby, and this is what to expect from me.”
But then by posting on a semi-regular basis, you also feed Google’s appetite for more, newer information. Google wants to answer its searchers with the best, freshest, most accurate information available — that’s why people go back to Google repeatedly.
So are there certain posts I should front load for Google over others? How do I decide what blog posts to send out now and what can wait?
I recommend you set the foundation for the topics you’re GOING to talk about. Think about posts like “Industry 101” or “5 things you need to start (topic).” It’s ok to be a little vague at first, because you know you’re going to go deeper in future posts.
Then set up a posting schedule — weekly, bi-weekly, monthly. The actual frequency doesn’t matter as much as the consistently. You’re training Google to come check out your site regularly to see if you have anything new to share, and if you post every Tuesday, it’ll figure that out and send its crawler bots on Wednesdays to review your new content.
But what if my unposted blogs are on topics folks are searching for now? Aren’t I limiting my pool of potential readers by pacing my posts?
Yes. And it’s tough to hold back.
But you’re also in the process of building an audience. And each piece of content can be shared with (and promoted by) that audience. So after you publish new content → Send it out to your email list. Share it on social media. Ask for people’s feedback. Use that feedback to create other relevant blog posts.
This also gives you the chance to watch how each piece of content is received by your audience, instead of being part of a package.
You’re in this for the long game, right? Pace yourself.
How do I know how to find what works best for my site?
Creating and sharing content — whether you’re pushing it out to your audience or receiving inbound search traffic — is not a one-way street. There’s a feedback loop involved with the people who you’re writing it for.
So pay attention to that feedback. How many comments does a post get? How many likes and shares on social?
And how much search traffic is it getting, from which keywords? (Check your Google Search Console to learn this.) Remember: the more aligned your content is with the things people are searching for, the more Google will trust you and recommend you in search results.
So if you have a backlog of content you want to share: go ahead and set up a salad bar of high-quality intro content for people to graze and whet their appetites (and encourage them to get on your email list to hear more from you).
Then serve the more in-depth content at a consistent pace that allows you to promote it to your audience, gain feedback, and delight them with your wit and charm.