Compounding Blog Posts: Play The SEO Long Game

Content Marketing, Search Engine Optimization

Is blogging worth it? This is a common question asked by plenty of people who have yet to see the value produced by blogging efforts, and it’s a fair question. After all, when you first publish a blog post, you likely won’t see much traffic come to it in the first few months. 

In fact, it can sometimes take 3 to 6 months for a blog post to start pulling in a lot of unique site visitors. So why would you subject yourself to that kind of waiting game when you could simply divert your marketing budget towards something like pay-per-click (PPC)

Let me ask you a different question. Would you rather have 1 million dollars today or a penny doubled every day for 30 days? If you’ve heard this one before, you’ll know that going with the latter is the better deal as it’ll grow into $5,368,709. That’s just one example of the power of compounding interest. SEO may not operate in the same way as compounding interest, but there is such a thing called Compounding Blog Posts which borrows from the same concept.

What Are Compounding Blog Posts?

Compounding blog posts are posts that attract more and more traffic to your site over a long period. This is the opposite of their counterparts, Decaying Blog Posts, which may bring in a lot of traffic initially, but quickly lose steam after a couple of weeks or even a few days. 

Decaying blog posts tend to be more topical and time-sensitive in nature. Think of news articles, time-sensitive pieces, current industry developments, and event-recap posts.

Compounding blog posts are designed to be evergreen articles, which is to say that they’re built to be relevant long after they’ve been published. Think of how-to articles, ultimate guides, and research reports; these types of blogs pull in new users time and time again because their value never sours.  

A good blog content strategy will have a healthy mix of both, but compounding blog posts are going to pull in the lion’s share of your website traffic. Moreover, if updated and maintained, they’ll keep your blog pages up in the SERPs for a long time to come.

The Characteristics of a Compounding Blog Post

There is no secret ingredient that magically turns ordinary blogs into compounding ones, like how there’s no silver bullet that makes SEO efforts suddenly generate explosive traffic growth.

Having such expectations for your blogs and your SEO is a recipe for disappointment. 

An SEO-friendly blog post that’s likely to compound will be built out of an amalgam of parts, including: 

  • A Focus On Evergreen Topics — These are topics that continue to be relevant to your audience long after publication. If a coffee brand published an article on the best holiday drinks in their menu this year, that would not be an evergreen topic. But a blog about the best techniques to use when steaming milk for a latte would be relevant for many years to come. 
  • A Title Containing Relevant Keywords — If you’re writing about the necessity of cloud security, you’d best include keywords that reflect the search terms surrounding that topic. Something like: Cloud Security: What it is and why your business needs it. 
  • A Broad Vs. Narrow Subject — Your article should be specific enough to be relevant to your target audience yet broad enough to have a mass appeal within that audience. A good way to achieve this is to write about the context surrounding a subject, rather than just the subject itself. 
  • Detailed Answers When Addressing Pain Points  — If your article aims to address a common problem that your audience struggles with, be sure to answer it thoroughly. Otherwise, they’ll just hop over to a competitor site for a clearer and more thought-out solution. 
  • Greater Length — It’s essential to understand that correlation is not causation here. Blog posts that are long don’t compound because of their length. Longer blogs usually take more time to provide complete answers to the reader’s pain points, which readers appreciate and are more likely to share and come back to over time. A good rule of thumb is to make your article at least 1,300 words long.

Upon publication, it’s not likely that your compounding blog post will garner much traffic. Unlike seasonal blogs, compounding blogs tend not to make a splash right off the bat. But over time, slow and steady, they end up winning the race.

You may only see 20 to 50 views from them at first. But within 6 months to a year, the blog can have accrued thousands of monthly views from people who were previously unfamiliar with your brand. And unlike paid advertising, the momentum generated by their performance can keep up long after your initial investment of time and money that you used to get them published.  

Results From Our Partners

These talking points may sound great, but those who are new to the concept of blogging for marketing purposes still tend to hesitate about investing in high-quality blog content. I get it. Sometimes you need to see it to believe it. So instead of babbling on about how excellent compounding blog posts are, let me show you some of the results we’ve garnered for our partners. 

Below are analytics charts that show the number of sessions generated by three blog posts we created for three of our partners. 

As you can see, all three of these blog posts started out quietly for the first few months. 

Still, each eventually reached an inflection point where their traffic started to steadily grow. One was performing reasonably well right out the gate and consistently improved, but this was a well-established brand in the area. The others took a few months before the wind really hit their sails. 

All of them were well-optimized posts that proved their worth over time.

Choosing a Topic For Your Business’s Compounding Blog Post

How do you decide what topic to assign to your compounding blog post? It’s good to start by determining the purpose of the blog.

The most obvious business purpose is to drive hoards of relevant traffic from your target audience to your business’s site. But do you want just anyone going to your site? 

Are you trying to attract cold leads to your brand, or are you hoping to attract people who are already aware of your brand and are considering becoming customers? If you have different products/services on your site, which ones will the blog be promoting? How will this post fit into your content marketing strategy?   

Who you attract will depend on what keywords you use in your blog post, and that will depend on which search terms you want to begin ranking for. Once you know who you want to attract and what page you want to attract them to, all you need to do is find a keyword with lots of search volume and run with it, right? 

Not exactly. 

Back in the day, it was as simple as finding the right keywords with a high search volume and placing those keywords all over your blog, but those days are going away, slowly but surely. 

It’s still important to include strict keywords in your blogs, but because of Google’s algorithm becoming increasingly sophisticated, it’s now more important to use natural variants and close synonyms to those keywords. This means including related keywords that enrich your content and help flesh out the overarching theme of your blog article. 

For example, if you’re trying to rank highly for “coffee grinder,” you don’t just want to use that keyword over and over again in the article (though you inevitably will). It’s equally important to include related keywords like “coffee grinder burrs,” “coffee beans,” “electric vs. manual coffee grinder,” and others. Google, like your readers, wants to gain a holistic understanding of your blog’s topic, so you’ll want to cover the context surrounding that topic.  

All of this is to say that you need to think strategically when choosing your blog topic. You don’t just want to focus on an individual keyword with a sky-high monthly search volume. You also want to focus on its relatives—the whole topic-family surrounding your primary keyword.

Tired of Sweating These Blogging Details? Let Digital Marketing Pros Lend a Hand

Blogging isn’t everyone’s cup of tea. 

Crafting an article that has the potential to compound in value can be a time-consuming, meticulous, and downright stressful process. So if you’d like the benefits of compounding blog posts but would rather not wrestle with words (or Google, for that matter), hit us up

Our team of overachieving digital marketers would love to see how we can level up your content and attract consistent waves of your customers to your business.

About the Author

Nick Footer

Nick Footer is an entrepreneur and founder of Intuitive Digital, a national award-winning digital marketing agency in Portland, Oregon. With over 15 years of experience, he has helped hundreds of businesses improve their online presence through search engine optimization, paid advertising, and website design.

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