Perfection Paralysis and the Power of the ‘Publish’ Button

Written by Sam

In the dynamic, always-on world of search engine optimisation (SEO), one under-acknowledged villain lurks in the shadows, sabotaging your business’s digital growth strategy: the reluctance to hit the ‘Publish’ button.

First off, let’s just get it out in the open:

Perfection is a myth.

There, we said it. Especially in the digital marketing sphere, where trends and algorithms evolve faster than you can say “algorithm update,” perfection becomes the enemy of progress. The longer you take to perfect your blog post, the more you lose out on potential SEO advantages.

According to a 2022 article by HubSpot, companies that published 16+ blog posts per month got about 3.5 times more traffic than companies that published zero to four monthly posts. That’s 3 to 4 blog posts per week. Now, imagine the compounded effect of delaying each of these posts in pursuit of unattainable perfection. The opportunity cost is staggering and the delay on improving rankings results in continual SEO stagnation.

In reality, the frequency of the posting is not an exact science. The number of blog posts that you produce per month, shouldn’t directly be dictated by something as simple as taking into account the mass data. Instead, you need to perform analysis on your sector, the phrases you are hoping to rank for, what your top competitors are doing and your location, but competitor and content marketing analysis like our Explore. audit, which takes into account all of these factors can provide you with a clear roadmap on the magic number to aim for, for your business.

Quality vs Quantity

Understandably, quality also matters. But here’s the beauty of digital content: it’s not etched in stone. You can edit, refine, and improve upon it even after publishing. In fact, an iterative approach to content creation can prove beneficial for your SEO performance. In fact, 42% of marketers and business owners make refreshing old content a key part of their 2023 strategy. The survey completed by SEMrush asked 1,700 industry professionals “what factors lead to success in content marketing” and these were the key factors:

  • 47% research their audience
  • 46% perform search engine optimisation (SEO)
  • 45% are publishing more content and publishing more frequently
  • 44% said improving the quality and value of their content has led to success
  • 42% said updating existing content has boosted their content marketing value
  • 41% said analyzing their competitors influenced the success of their strategy
  • 40% said creating more visual, and video content improved their content marketing

In the same survey. 55% said that creating more content and posting more frequently, was more important than the quality. Although 53% highlighted focusing on improving quality was also top of the agenda.

But the question remains, How does increasing the number of blog posts you publish support keyword ranking growth, even if they aren’t perfect?

Well, let’s venture into the exciting world of search engine bots.

AI Generated: Three Search Engine Bots Having a Meeting

AI-Generated: Three Search Engine Bots Having a Meeting

These tireless crawlers from Google (other search engines are available) constantly scour the web, indexing new and updated content. When you publish your content—perfect or not—these bots get to work, indexing your pages and improving your visibility in search engine result pages (SERPs). Every time you hit ‘publish’—perfection notwithstanding—these bots spring into action. They index your pages, giving your visibility a leg-up on search engine result pages (SERPs).

Each new post you create is like uncharted territory for these bots, teeming with new keywords and unique descriptions of your products or services. It could be an exciting new service or an in-depth exploration of a strategic model you employ—whatever it is, it likely possesses a broader scope of expertise than what already exists on your site. For your website and your customers, this new article is a golden opportunity to expand your online presence and bolster your industry authority.

Now, let’s say you follow up with some post-publishing edits. Search engines see these updates, re-crawl, and re-index your page, thereby improving its relevance and freshness quotient. Fresh content, depending on the type is likely to fall under Google’s Freshness Algorithm is a strong ranking factor in Google’s algorithm, which means publishing first and editing later can actually support ranking growth and help combat ranking stagnation or steady declines.

In a study by Ahrefs, only 9.37% of web pages actually get organic search traffic.

The study shows that by increasing the number of posts you publish, increases your success of indexation and capturing rankings. Another study SEMRush showed that 27% of high-performing content was a month or less old. This is a stark contrast to similar studies done in 2017, where it was found articles took nearly a year to see top 10 rankings. With the development of better algorithms, article age vs performance has dropped significantly, which is even more evidence to adopt the “publish-then-edit” approach against the “Perfect-then-Publish” approach.

SEMRush Article Age Study 2023

SEMRush Article Age Study 2023

Concluding remarks

In conclusion, shake off that perfection paralysis! Your content, like a fine wine, can get better with time. Embrace the publish-then-edit approach and witness a significant boost in your SEO performance. So, dust off those draft posts, give them a once-over, and then…hit that publish button!

Five stats to kick you into gear

  1. Companies that prioritize blogging are 13x more likely to achieve a positive ROI on their efforts. (Source: HubSpot State of Inbound)
  2. Long-form content gets an average of 77.2% more links than short articles. So, don’t worry if your content is lengthy, just hit publish. (Source: Backlinko)
  3. Bloggers who update old posts are 2.8x more likely to report strong results. The more you publish, the more you can update and drive traffic. (Source: OrbitMedia)
  4. 56% of marketers spend £780 to £7,800 ($1,000 to $10,000) a month on Content Marketing, with 69% planning to increase in 2023. (Source: SEMRush)
  5. Marketers who use blogs get 67% more leads than those who don’t. Publishing frequently can be the key to unlocking more business. (Source: HubSpot)