How Many Words per Post is Right?

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Kudos to Indy Confluence for putting on a great networking event here in Indianapolis yesterday. Unlike most networking events, Indy Confluence led by Brett Healey and Erik Deckers, brought in a panel of folks here in the region to provide some value-added advice to all of its members. This month’s topic was Why is Corporate Blogging Critical to a Company’s Success and I was invited to be on the panel.

The panel was comprised of Chris Baggott, Rhoda Israelov, Rodger Johnson, Kyle Lacy and me.

It was a great discussion but one topic stuck in my craw: How many words should a blog post have?.

The conversation went throughout the table and most of the speakers pushed for pithy posts and the number 250 words was put out there as optimal. As the one ‘long copy’ blogger, I was outvoted by the panel.

For readers of my blog, you know I can’t even set up a blog post in 250 words (this post is a great example). I’ve got a ton of readers, great search engine placement, and a growing number of subscribers – and I’m never pithy! I analyzed the number of words per post and compared it to post popularity on my own blog and never found a correlation.

This time, I decided to look at some other blogs. Not just any blogs, though. I selected the top 5 results on Google when searching for Blogging for SEO. I figure anyone at the top end of that battle will have some consistency to their posts that could provide me with some insight. The five blogs analyzed were SEOmoz, SEO for Google, Online Marketing Blog, Hittail Blog, and the Daily SEO Blog.

Since these blogs are in a high volume search result, I’m assuming that they are both popular and relevant. I pulled the last 10 blog posts per blog for a total of 50 blog posts. This is, in no way, scientific but I believe the results reiterate what I argued during the panel.

words per post

Words Per Post Results:

  • SEOmoz had an average of 832.3 words per post with a median of 512.5 words per post.
  • SEO for Google had an average of 349.7 words per post with a median of 315 words per post.
  • Top Rank Blogs had an average of 742.5 words per post with a median of 744 words per post.
  • Hit Tail Blog had an average of 255 words per post with a median of 233 words per post.
  • Daily SEO Blog had an average of 450.8 words per post with a median of 507 words per post.

The final results are an average of 526 words per post and a median of 447 words per post. Of the 50 posts measured (10 per blog), only 6 of them were less than 250 words. In the past, I’ve proven that the size of the post has not impacted my blog’s readership. Now I’ll say it again, the advice I have for Words per Post is this:

The number of words you write per post should be the number of words it takes to complete the post’s key purpose. I’d add that the number of words per post should be somewhat consistent to meet the expectations of current readers. I don’t count the number of words – I make sure that if someone found my blog post from a search engine result that they get what they came for.