How Long Should Your Blog Post Be?
Maintaining a blog for your business is highly important not only for startups trying to build their brand and audience online, but also for established businesses that want to cement their position and stay ahead of their competitors.
That being said, turning your blog into a brand building machine is not as simple as it may seem.
You’ll have to experiment and figure out answers to questions like:
- How many blog posts should you publish a month?
- What impact does the quality of the post have?
- When should you publish content?
But perhaps the most important question is what’s the best length for a blog post?
The relationship between the length of a blog post and search engine rankings seems to have always existed. But, sadly there is no fixed and universal answer to this question.
Just like all other factors in online marketing, the recommended length of a blog post has changed over the years. There was a time when shorter blog posts i.e. from 300 words to 500 words, were considered better than longer ones in order to rank higher in search results. However, this has changed lately. While SEO experts now consider long blog posts as more beneficial for businesses, the suggestions and opinions regarding the length vary wildly.
For example, Medium, an online publishing platform, conducted a scientific study in 2013 and concluded that 7 minute posts capture the most total reading time on average.
A 7-minute read is around 1,600 words.
But a survey conducted by Orbit in 2016, that examined more than a thousand bloggers found that the average length of blog posts they were creating was around 1,050 words.
In the same year, after analyzing 1 million Google search results, Backlinko reported that the average Google first page post contains 1,890 words. A year later, HubSpot shared that the ideal length of a blog post according to their analysis is 2,100 words.
Here’s what Yoast concluded in a post addressing the same question:
All these different research findings and opinions leave many content writers scratching their heads and make them wonder how much should they ideally write.
So, What Is The Right Length Of A Blog Post?
As much as we all wish for it, there is no simple answer to this question; it could be different for every person or for every blog post.
When writing a blog post, one needs to consider multiple factors in order to decide its best length. These include:
- The topic
- Your goal
- Target audience
- Your industry and competition
In addition to these factors, you need to take a look at how your different sized posts have performed in the past. Sometimes, a certain length works for one industry or company, and not for others. Find out if there is any particular length that works best for you and if there is, write more blog posts of that length.
While this is likely, not every business is able to find a favorable length. Just like is the case with Rachel Strella, a blogger and the founder and CEO of Strella Social Media, your top performing posts may be of different lengths.
What’s more interesting is the fact that a longer blog post doesn’t necessarily rank better than a short one.
For example, if we search for what is content marketing on Google, the blog post that ranks at the top is only 738 words whereas the following two posts are of 1,576 and 2,207 words.
Similarly, if we type best practices for content marketing in Google search, the top three blog posts are of 1,913, 797, and 2,995 words respectively.
In view of these examples, it can be said that the length of a post is not the determining factor. There are other important factors that play key roles in the search engine ranking of a blog post.
The reason why search engines generally seem to favor long posts is because they are detailed and hence, are considered to be providing more information to the readers. However, this does not mean that you can make it to the top search results with a long, but crappy post. Nothing can beat quality.
Let’s consider this – Seth Godin’s blog posts are usually very short; some of them are even less than 100 words. On the other hand, blog posts by Neil Patel and HubSpot are usually quite long. Despite this clear difference in their preferred content length, all these blogs perform very well.
Because they all provide value and quality content to their readers.
What this means is that creating long form content does not guarantee that your content will rank in the top search results. It all comes down to the value it provides to your target audience.
For Rand Fishkin, the concept that long content is always great is a myth:
Not sure where the idea that “great content” = “really, really long content” came from, but we need to dispel that myth.
— Rand Fishkin (@randfish) March 30, 2016
So…what should you do?
When writing a blog post, focus on quality more than quantity. Consider how much you need to write in order to do justice with the topic or to effectively communicate your idea. While long form of content is better from an SEO perspective, quality is equally, or may be more, important.
Your content has to provide value to your target audience in order to establish your credibility and provide desired results.
The ultimate goal of every business involved in content marketing is to drive more traffic to its website in order to generate more leads and increase sales. For this, they have to increase their visibility by optimizing their content for search engines. However, at the same time, they want to stand out from their competitors.
This requires them to create content that is valuable, interesting, and engaging.
Remember, the competition is increasing. You may be able to make people click on your blog post by creating a catchy headline, but if you are not providing quality and useful information, you will not be able to gain their trust and they simply won’t convert.
Try to create balanced posts!
In order to get noticed and remembered, your posts have to have a healthy balance of all the important factors, such as quality content, long-tail keywords, quality backlinks, and images.
While there is no fixed ideal length for blog posts, 700 words to 1,400 words is a good range for most posts. But, again, your aim should be to do justice with the topic and provide value to your audience and if that requires you to write more than 1,400 words then don’t hesitate to write a longer piece of content.
Similarly, if you think you can provide all the relevant information in a 500 word blog post, there is no point dragging it to a 1,000 words.
In blogging and content writing, there is no universal formula for success. What works for your competitor may not necessarily work for you. In order to be successful, you have to figure out what works for you rather than following what everyone else is doing.
Creating high-quality content is not easy, especially when you have to do it on a regular basis. It could be due to lack of ideas, problems figuring out how often and how much should you write, or increasing competition may make it hard for you to keep up with your content plan.
This is where we step in!
We offer an amazing custom blog writing service that has helped thousands of small to mid-sized businesses meet their blogging needs. Get in touch with us today and let us know what you’re looking for. We can write for you and even manage your blog completely (includes keyword research, content creation, publishing). Let us know what your objectives are and we’ll tell you how we can help.