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How Long Should Your Blog Posts Be For Maximum SEO Impact (For Now…)?

Writing blog posts is a great way to attract new visitors to your website, boost your search engine ranking, and establish your company as an industry thought leader. But how long should your blog posts be for maximum SEO impact? In this blog post, we’ll explore the ideal length for a blog post, the factors that affect the length of a blog post, and the best practices for writing long blog posts.

Does Length of Post Affect SEO?

Yes… but I really want to vent here. If I do a Google Search for a simple question… perhaps, Can dogs eat carrots?, I think it’s absolutely ridiculous that the first search result is 2,030 words. This is why, personally, I believe Google is doomed unless it’s able to release a contextual AI-driven chat engine that provides answers with references over SERPs with millions of page results. An authoritative veterinary site should be able to have a few hundred-word article that concisely answers the question and doesn’t waste the search users’ time.

That said…

There is overwhelming evidence that the length of a post can have an effect on SEO. Google’s algorithm favors longer blog posts because they tend to be more informative and comprehensive. Longer posts also tend to have more backlinks and social shares, which can help boost SEO rankings.

I’ll add that users are far more likely to scan your page and scroll than they are to click on an internal link to another page. I don’t want to sound like I’m against long content. Quite the opposite, I believe a lengthy, thorough article that provides every detail your search engine user is trying to find is critical to your success.

What is the Ideal Length for a Blog Post?

When it comes to blog post length, there is no one-size-fits-all answer. Different types of blog posts require different lengths in order to be effective. The ideal length for a blog post depends on its purpose and audience. Generally speaking, blog posts should be between 600 and 2,000 words in length. A short post of 300-600 words is enough to make a point, while a post of more than 2,000 words can cover a more complex topic in depth.

The length of a blog post is affected by several factors, including the type of content, the purpose of the post, and the audience it’s aimed at. For example, a listicle post might be shorter than an in-depth tutorial. Similarly, a post aimed at beginners might be shorter than one aimed at experienced readers.

I’ve always advised my clients that the ideal length was enough to thoroughly explain the topic… and no more. Why? Because I’m more interested in optimizing my visitor’s experience than trying to game algorithms. If I rank less but convert more, then so be it.

What is the Average Length of a Blog Post?

The average length of a blog post is about 1,000 words. However, this can vary depending on the type of content and its purpose. For example, listicles and explainer posts tend to be shorter, while in-depth tutorials and guides tend to be longer. Additionally, posts aimed at beginners might be shorter than those aimed at more experienced readers.

Best Practices for Writing Long Blog Posts

Writing long blog posts can be intimidating, but it doesn’t have to be. Here are some tips for writing long blog posts that will engage your readers and help you rank higher in search engine results:

  • Break up your post into smaller, digestible chunks as I did with this article. Use subheadings and bullet points to make your post easier to read.
  • Use visuals to break up the text and capture readers’ attention.
  • Include internal links to related posts and external links to relevant sources.
  • Include a call-to-action (CTA) at the end of your post. It’s important to remember that that call-to-action may also be to provide related content that will help the visitor.

I advise against endless streams of content production and, instead, developing a content library. Our clients rank well because our focus isn’t on the periodicity or frequency of the articles that we produce for a client, it’s to research the topics that are of interest to them and that are relevant to the business… and to build both their personal and corporate authority and trust with prospective clients.

Your blog shouldn’t have 1,000 posts that are 2,000 words a piece about the 5 keyword combinations you’re pursuing. Your blog should focus on providing value to your prospects and customers so that they realize that you understand them, their challenges, and their industry, and so that you can offer up your products and services in addition to the value your content is providing. Each blog post should be targeted and thorough.

User Focus versus Algorithm Focus

One of my colleagues owns a real estate marketing platform, Agent Sauce. They operate a newsletter, blog, and podcast that focus on the challenges and benefits of being a successful real estate agent. They’ve discussed legal issues, VA loans, business relocation, state and federal taxes, regional economics, home staging, house flipping, etc. The focus of their content isn’t providing frequent tips that can be found anywhere else; it’s to provide expertise from industry resources that will help their prospects and clients sell more effectively and grow their business.

But it’s not easy. First, they have to research what a day in the life of an agent is and all of the issues they are challenged by. Then, they have to build their expertise or introduce other experts to help their prospects and clients. And they have to do all of that while continuing to remain competitive with their platform.

The impact is that their content library has become a great resource within the industry and they are building long-term relationships with an audience. For prospects, they’re becoming a go-to resource that they keep top of mind for their quality content. For clients, they’re helping them become more successful and happy with their careers.

Content-Length Versus Content Quality

Ask many writers for a quote to research and write an article, and the response is typical:

What’s the word count and deadline?

That response kills me. Here’s what the question should be:

Who is the audience and what’s the goal?

At this point, the writer can do some preliminary research on competition, resources, and the target audience’s persona and come back with an estimate on article completion and cost. I don’t care about content length; I care about content thoroughness. If I’m publishing an article about a topic, I want to answer every question associated with that content. I want to provide some facts and figures. I want to include diagrams, charts, images, and videos. I want the article to be the best damn article on the Internet.

And when we publish a complete, well-researched, article that is better than any other source, that article’s content length tends to be longer, of course. In other words:

While content length correlates with search engine ranking and conversion, it does not cause better rankings and conversion. Improving content quality causes better rankings and conversions. And quality content correlates with content length.

Douglas Karr, DK New Media

With this in mind, let’s look at the correlation (not causation) of content length, search engine optimization, and conversions in this detailed infographic from Capsicum Mediaworks, How Content Length Affects SEO and Conversions. High-quality content that happens to have a higher word count ranks better, is shared more, ranks longer, engages deeper, increases conversions, drives leads, and lowers bounce rates.

Quality long-form content is a better investment… for now.

How Content Length Impacts SEO and Conversions

Douglas Karr

Douglas Karr is CMO of OpenINSIGHTS and the founder of the Martech Zone. Douglas has helped dozens of successful MarTech startups, has assisted in the due diligence of over $5 bil in Martech acquisitions and investments, and continues to assist companies in implementing and automating their sales and marketing strategies. Douglas is an internationally recognized digital transformation and MarTech expert and speaker. Douglas is also a published author of a Dummie's guide and a business leadership book.

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