With SEO, the only constant is change. Gone are the days when simply churning out a high volume of blog posts would secure your place at the top of search rankings.
And that, of course, brings us to today’s topic: Are blogs still relevant in 2023, especially as a viable SEO strategy? The answer, like most things in digital marketing, is a bit nuanced. There’s more to the story than a simple yes or no.
Their expertise has helped Nextiva grow its brand and overall business
Why Blogs Are Still Relevant in 2023
In the early 2010s, the modus operandi for SEO could be summed up in one phrase: “publish more, rank more.”
The idea was to generate a plethora of blog posts to gain a better standing in search rankings. One observation from Peter Caputa, CEO of Databox, adds fuel to this debate. He points out that content production has often been about increasing volume — going from four to eight articles a month, for example.
Back then, doubling your output was not just an accomplishment, but a strategy widely recommended. SEOs adhered to this method in the belief that more content equated to better visibility on search engines.
However, times have changed, and it’s essential to adapt. Today, sheer volume doesn’t guarantee search engine visibility or domain authority. Caputa puts it succinctly: In competitive sectors — think software, professional services and consumer goods — simply churning out articles is far from sufficient. The reason? The playing field has leveled up.
SEO has gone from being a game of numbers to one that demands either a hefty financial commitment or a strong domain authority. This trend is particularly evident in competitive niches, where being at the top is akin to having a VIP pass: you need the resources or credibility to get there.
The shift suggests that SEO is no longer just an open field where the most prolific writers win. Instead, it’s a complex landscape that requires strategic thinking, quality over quantity, and specialized tools to navigate. Just publishing more blogs based on your expertise or what you’ve read elsewhere is a recipe for mediocrity.
Today’s SEO necessitates a more nuanced and multidimensional approach that goes beyond mere volume to offer value, relevance, and utility to the audience.
The Takeaway: While the adage “content is king” still holds, the rules of the game have shifted. SEO is no longer about who can pump out the most articles, but who can deliver the most value in a crowded and ever-evolving digital arena. In the modern SEO landscape, strategy and quality trump quantity.
Businesses need to be aware of this paradigm shift and plan their content marketing efforts accordingly to ensure that they don’t just join the race, but actually compete in it.
The Real Question: What Should You Do Instead?
If you find yourself nodding in agreement with Caputa, you’re likely wondering what the alternative is. After all, you can’t just abandon content, right?
Instead of writing, say, eight blog posts a month, consider conducting a survey around a relevant topic and then publishing a report. This approach provides original, credible data, which can attract more organic links and boost your site’s authority.
Keep in mind that the way you adapt your content strategy can differ depending on your current standing in terms of domain authority.
For websites with low domain authority — say 20 to 50 — concentrate on creating free tools or assets that naturally attract backlinks. Neil Patel’s most popular backlink pages are ones offering tools like Ubersuggest and Answer the Public:
Creating these resources may require a different skill set, involving product cycles and sprints, but it means less competition and more room for innovation.
Now, let’s say you already have some traction and decent domain authority. The focus here should be on updating existing content rather than only generating new articles.
Google loves fresh content.
Take Wikipedia as an example. They may not always offer the best content on every subject, but they consistently rank high because they keep their content up to date.
So, go through your Google Search Console, identify old but once high-performing articles, and refresh them. Make them more relevant, richer, and more aligned with what’s currently ranking.
The New Content Moat: Utility and Quality Over Quantity
The bar for content quality is rising across all platforms, not just blogging. Take YouTube, for instance. Strategies that worked five years ago are obsolete today.
So what’s the remedy? Create a new content moat. Focus on offering utility. Whether it’s a free tool or valuable, updated insights, utility attracts backlinks, and backlinks boost domain authority.
What do we mean by a “moat”? Think of a moat as your competitive edge, a barrier that separates you from the competition. In today’s digital arena, that moat is utility.
But let’s not get it twisted; we’re not just talking about blog posts anymore. Whether you’re developing a free tool that solves a specific problem, producing how-to videos that genuinely help people, or publishing long-form content peppered with up-to-date, actionable insights, utility is what garners attention and, of course, backlinks.
While this might sound like a daunting task that requires learning new skills and possibly more upfront costs, think of it as a long-term investment.
Last Word on the Relevancy of Blog Posts
Today, standing out in the digital realm demands more than just quantity. It requires strategic thinking, a focus on utility, and a deep commitment to quality. To that end, let’s sum up the major points we covered here:
- Old Strategies Fade, New Ones Emerge: Churning out more blog posts may not be the most effective strategy today, especially in competitive markets.
- Alternative Content Types: Consider other forms of content like original research reports or tools that provide utility and naturally attract backlinks.
- Refresh, Don’t Just Republish: Keep existing content up to date to maintain its relevance and search ranking.
- Invest in the Long Run: While it might seem like a big task now, creating a new content moat will likely cost you less in the long term.
So, are blogs still relevant in 2023? Yes, but not in the way you might be used to. Instead, the demand calls for diversified, omnichannel strategies, focused on utility, and keeping ever-changing SEO algorithms in mind.
If you’re a conversion-driven content marketing strategy, Single Grain’s content marketing experts can help!👇
For more insights and lessons about marketing, check out our Marketing School podcast on YouTube.