A question I frequently get asked is, “How long should a blog post be?”
Or… “What’s the ideal length for a blog post?”
Don’t listen to all the lies people feed you, friends.
Everyone seems to have an opinion, but it’s not possible for everyone to be right.
Let’s answer this question correctly once and for all…
What’s the goal you have behind writing each blog post?
First off, let’s talk about goals.
There are many reasons why you would want to write a blog post.
Is your goal to get more organic traffic?
Is it to get more blog comments?
Is it to get more social media shares?
Is it to get more subscribers?
Depending on what your goals are, the ideal number of words per article would be different.
Want more blog comments? You can write shorter blog posts as this will allow you to publish more regularly.
Social shares? You just need to be controversial and interesting, and there is no need for a post to be long.
More traffic? You will probably need to write longer blog posts as Google has a tendency to rank longer blog posts better.
What do Studies Say? Statistics Don’t Lie…
There have been numerous studies done by various sites online about how long your blog posts should be.
In general, the longer the blog post, the better it is for SEO.
- According to Copypress, long-form content outperforms short form content by 40.54%.
- Hubspot found their posts performed best in organic search were between 2,250 and 2,500 words.
- Coschedule found posts around 2,500 words typically rank best.
As you can see, search engines generally prefer longer blog posts.
Why Do Search Engines Like Google Prefer Longer Blog Posts?
There are many possible reasons why longer articles are good for SEO…
First, longer articles give search engines more to work with. Google can understand your article better, allowing it to rank for relevant keywords!
Second, people spend a longer period of time on your article, a metric that matters to search engines.
Third, a longer article will tend to provide more value to readers. Hence, it gets shared and linked to more. People don’t go back to Google again.
Fourth, as more articles are being published, things get more competitive.
An article with 500 words could have ranked well years ago, but over time, more in-depth articles were written that eventually triumphed these shorter articles.
In other words, the standard of writing is getting higher… which is good for the collective internet.
The moral of the story: If you want your article to rank well on search engines, write longer articles – around 2500 words.If you want to rank on search engines, write longer articles - around 2500 words.Click To Tweet
There are certain key exceptions though – pay attention!
People’s attention spans are short
If you are not good at writing content or if you’re writing about something boring, you may want to opt for shorter blog posts as you will not be able to retain the reader’s attention.
The last thing you want is to write a long post for the sake of writing a long post!
When readers bounce off your site, Google takes note of that as well!
Most importantly, it reflects very badly on you.
Nobody will be sticking around long enough to subscribe to your email list, let alone purchase your stuff…
People have a tendency to ramble when they are trying to write a long post for the sake of writing one.
This results in lengthy sentences and over-convoluted sentences.
Write as concisely as possible! If your article doesn’t have much meat, it doesn’t no matter how long it is.
How many words do you need before you can sufficiently cover a particular topic?
Sometimes, the topic is a straightforward one that doesn’t warrant a long post.
I repeat, do NOT write a longer post just because you have to. If the topic can be sufficiently covered in 500 words, write a 500-word article.
In such cases, a shorter blog post will suffice.
Who is your target audience?
If you’re in a niche where people expect long-form content, you want to write accordingly.
On the other hand, if you’re blogging about your OOTD, you don’t have to write a long blog post as nobody will be reading a thousand-word OOTD article anyway.
What suits your writing style?
We all know Seth Godin. His articles do extremely well, despite their extremely short length.
The truth is that not all of us were built to write long-form content.
For instance, English may not be your first language. Writing a long post would aggravate the language problem that you already face.
Some of us are just short and concise writers by nature, and this is something that you have to take into consideration.
How to Track How Well Your Article is Doing
To check how many social shares your article is getting, check your social sharing plugin.
To check how many page views per month your new article is bringing you, use Google Analytics.
Head to Behavior > Site Content > All Pages, and then find your blog post.
You will be able to find out how many page views this blog post is getting you.
To check if you are ranking for any keywords for a particular article, log into Google Webmaster tools.
Click on Performance > Queries.
You will be able to see all the keywords you are ranking for!
From there, if your new blog post ranks for any particular keyword. you can easily figure that out!
My Personal Recommendation For Your Blog Post Length
For every article, do the best job you possibly can. This means writing an article that is:
- High quality
- Retains attention
Usually, high-quality blog posts tend to be longer in length, for most topics.
The key is to ADD VALUE to people.
Personally, I write longer blog posts because I write the VERY BEST articles that I can… and typically, the sheer depth of my article leads to a longer blog post.
As you can see, most of my popular articles are mega articles with high word counts.
It is important to mention that I don’t specifically aim to hit a certain word count.
I do the very best job I can do, and then edit my blog post to ensure that I speak in a concise and friendly manner.
Hence, I don’t always write longer blog posts. There are times when I write shorter blog posts if the topic is a really simple one.
The Most Important Things: Value & Consistency
Whatever your blog post length “strategy” is, make sure you add value.
Don’t be boring.
Don’t write another “me too” article.
Don’t write shallow articles without much insight.
There isn’t a set “number of words” – instead, think from your reader’s point of view!Whatever your blog post length 'strategy' is, make sure you add value.Click To Tweet
Alright! We’ve gone through quite a number of points in this blog post.
Here’s a summary of what we’ve covered:
- Examine your goals
- Longer blog posts typically do better for SEO
- Don’t bore people, write to retain attention
- Ensure that your post is concise
- Cater to the needs of your target audience
- Consider the topic you’re writing about – would a short post be sufficient?
- What’s your personal writing style?
I hope this article clears up any questions you may have about how many words your articles should have!