What is the ideal length of a blog post?
Some content marketers prefer long-form blog posts, while others prefer short-form blog posts.
Because so much content is being produced across hundreds of niches — and each niche may have different style requirements and target audience to cater — it is hard to put a number to it. However, we can say that any content that has more than 1,000 words may qualify as long-form content. On the other hand, content with less than 1,000 words — usually ranging from 400 to 800 words — are more likely to qualify as short-form content.
So, what is the magic number? What is the ideal length of a blog post?
Unfortunately, there isn’t any. There is no magic number that guarantees success, most backlinks, a high engagement rate, and everything in between.
There are, in fact, several factors and variables that you should take into before deciding the length of each content piece.
In this blog post, we are going to discuss a few of those factors. We will also share a few tips that will help you with your content strategy.
Before we move forward, however, it is important to take a quick look what analyzing thousands of other articles demonstrate about the length of content.
One study by SerpIQ reveals that search engines prefer long-form content. So if your primary goal is to rank higher in the search engine results pages (SERPs), you should probably aim for longer blog posts, i.e., 2,000 words or more.
The above screenshot reveals that the average content length of top 10 results is 2,000 words. The study analyzed over 20,000 keywords and the web pages that are ranked for those keywords on the first search engine page.
Long-form content also tends to draw a higher number of backlinks, which, eventually, also contributes to higher search engine rankings.
However, the study does not tell much about the quality of content.
Quality vs. Quantity
If long-form content ranks better in the search engine result pages (SERPs), why don’t more content marketers, bloggers, and online businessmen create it?
There are two primary reasons why we don’t see a lot of long-form content:
- Long-form content costs significantly more than short-form content. They require more resources, time, and effort.
- It is believed that long-form content does not have the same engagement rate as short, precise, and to-the-point content has.
In an attempt to create long-form content, sometimes content creators add fluff. These are words and sentences that do not add much value to the content; they just increase the word count.
Needless to say that such content isn’t of high-quality and leads to poor engagement, lead-generation, and conversion rates.
Shorter content is, without any doubt, easier and faster to read. Readers sometimes get more value from shorter blog posts just because they are easier to consume. That’s an advantage long-form content does not have.
As the attention span of the average online user is constantly decreasing, it is becoming harder to create, say, 6,000-word blog posts. Moreover, one-word and one-paragraph results that Google featured snippets show in the SERPs is also a testament of how people now want to consume content — quickly and easily, and without reading thousands of words.
A few factors to consider
Since each business/blog is different that caters to a different group of target audience, you are the one who will ultimately have to decide on the ideal length of content.
What works for someone else may not work for you.
Here are a few factors that you should consider before finalizing your content strategy:
- Who is your target audience? For example, if you are targeting busy professionals, they may not want to read an 8,000-word blog post.
- How complex is the topic you are trying to explain? Complex topics take longer to fully explain and, therefore, naturally require longer blog posts. If a topic requires a long content, don’t shy away from it.
- Are you merging multiple keywords to explain a broad topic? Does your audience prefer that? Or will they prefer shorter blog posts on all the different aspects of that one topic?
- What is your current content strategy (long-form or short-form) and what is the engagement rate according to Google Analytics?
- Which are your top 5 blog posts in terms of traffic, engagement, and conversions? Identify reasons why you think that is the case. Once you identify a pattern, replicate that strategy and track results.
Today, online content can take various forms. There is no “perfect length” — no magic number — that guarantees success.
2,000+ word blog posts do tend to rank better in search engines, however if they are not generating enough leads or a reasonable engagement rate, they may not be worthy for you.
Use the tips mentioned in this article to find your own “perfect length”. Regularly monitor the traction and then optimize your content strategy accordingly.
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