The Size Matters: How Long Should a Blog Post Be for Success?
If you run a blog and earn your living by writing and posting texts, you need to know something about the content promotion methods. It is hardly possible to become a successful blogger without an understanding of how it all works on the Web.
The blog post length has become a crucial issue in the latest couple of years. Though the enormous informational currents of the present days make us shift our focus constantly, we still love good long stories. It means that blog authors should also think about the size – it really matters.
How many words are long enough for a blog post?
Search engine optimization experts all over the world try to predict Google’s behavior. It is vital for the modern industry of digital presence. Google, in its turn, shares the information about what it wants from its “users” – websites. Care about human readers, help them, and get them interested – and it would work. Besides, Google is going to rank higher those pages encouraging visitors to stay and read the text till the end.
Thus, the model of success for a blog post seems evident and logical: a long-read and catchy text will be favored. We only need to understand how long is “long enough” for your writing.
Fortunately, this question attracted the most established online resources that analyze web content. Moz, Backlinko, and Hubspot all ran independent researches. They explored their own massive databases and the data on links to the posts, likes and shares in social media, and the Google rankings for different keywords. Though they all got different values for the exact number of words in articles, they could define general patterns:
- The average size of a persuasive article is about 2000 words. Some posts were a little bit smaller, and others exceeded that number for 200-400 words. Differences depend on the authors and their literacy means, but the size of 2000 words seems optimal.
- If your post can keep the reader’s attention for seven or more minutes – it will be a clear signal to Google that the page is worth higher rankings.
- Most such posts present the results of researches on some subject – they offer exact answers to the specific questions.
- Longer texts of more than 2500 words are favored by human web surfers. They enjoy great backlinks popularity and get many shares in social media.
- At the same time, most of the web pages still have shorter texts below 1000 words. The reason why is rather apparent – it is not an easy task to create a catchy and lengthy text. But it opens opportunities for good writers – you can outplay your rivals!
So, is it the answer to a question of how long should a blog post be to get ranked highly? Not really. The exact size will depend on your goals, which we’ll discuss further.
The three goals which determine the blog post length
The size of the entry does not resolve all issues itself. Some targets demand lengthier articles, while with other tasks, shorter content will be more efficient.
Developing the content strategy, you need to define your goal first of all. There are three main directions:
- Search engines optimization for better rankings;
- Improvement of brand awareness;
- Sales increase in different sectors.
What is the optimal length of a blog post for SEO goals?
In 2020 most Web users search for information using their mobile devices. This fact resulted in the “mobile-first” approach of Google and the new optimization strategies. All websites develop mobile versions and use the responsive design that helps the pages adapt to mobile browsers. The look of pages changed – it must be comfortable to read texts on the smartphones’ screens.
Modern smartphones serve excellently for prolonged reading. Thus, the recommendations for the post length remain the same – a more substantial text of 2000-2500 words, taking about seven minutes to read it.
So, why does Google want the websites to present such longer texts? Here, the answer is simple: larger volume means more options to create a quality text. Google, in its turn, considers that a more quality text should be ranked higher.
When you are a writer and you want to expose some ideas in your blog post, the size limitation can be harmful. What is you have only 1000 words to fit all your thoughts, and these words are not enough? Then you’ll need to edit your text thoroughly and even cut out some fragments.
Of course, the resulting post might meet the criteria, but it would not include everything you wanted to put there. Two thousand words will give you enough space to provide details, give more information, idea, and talk to your readers in the way you wanted.
That is the trick: by composing a longer text, you can present a better story. At the same time, it is a signal to Google that you have some decent reading.
In terms of web promotion, your article as a participant in a competition. There can be many more pages dedicated to the same subject. Hence, to outplay them, your post should reach two more goals:
- Provide the exhaustive information for your visitor – give all answers on questions.
- Make this article better than the competitors’ pages. It means you need to research other posts dedicated to the same subject and ranked highly. Analyze them, define their weak points, understand how you can create more robust content.
The latter is the case when you need again to consider how long should a blog post be for your task. It should be longer than competing articles. Either your rivals present shorter texts or long-reads of 2500-3000 words, yours must be more extensive and detailed.
For Google, it is the first sign that you can offer more than other websites on the subject. The rest will depend on the quality of your text. Precise information, answers to all questions, usage of the visual aid materials like infographics and video – all these means help to hold the full attention of your visitors. And the longer they stay on the page, reading your post, the more “points” they give in your favor. Google ranks such pages higher.
Thus, the most efficient combination of all is a high-quality content + the size prevailing the competitors’ pages.
How extended should the post be for brand awareness improvement?
This case is different, and different rules are applicable. Brand awareness means the strategy of the brand name promotion. The audience should recognize it and get positive associations. If you are a writer working for the brand, you need to ensure such emotional connections using your literacy skills.
For the brand awareness strategy, the size of texts will differ, and other forms of content will be efficient. You should take all these aspects into consideration.
The texts should be shorter – your contents are more concise and emotional. Such forms are perfect for viral promotion. It is easier to remember and recognize them, and users gladly share such materials. One of the helpful methods is to take some of your previous long-read articles and transform them into new kinds of content like infographics or checklists.
The usage of interactive visual means is a great option. Videos have become the most popular informational source, and more than half of all people prefer videos to texts. However, it does not mean that writers are out of business. The scripts, the dialogues, and the communication with the visitors all depend on the writer’s excellence. To grasp the audience, the video must have an exceptional script as well as the purely visual means, editing, and sound. The proper combination of these components will help to build the right apprehension of the brand.
Moderately sized texts work efficiently as well. Google prefers longer posts, but even the short position will be precious under the following conditions:
- They are targeted towards the audience, and you know this audience very well. That’s why it is vital to develop your “ideal customer image” and understand their needs.
- The content of such shorter posts is original, informative, and it is easy to read and understand. The latter depends on the writer’s skills exclusively.
- Each article deals with a single topic and explores it thoroughly. This way, you ensure that your potential customer will get the required information.
- Shorter articles get additional value with the help of visual materials – they let you present more information and explain the issue.
Hence, the brand awareness area has its own rules. You write shorter texts (about 1000 words), but of the highest quality possible. Also, you should involve visual aids. But the most essential is that you have to know your audience and their needs.
The optimal blog post length for the sales improvement
It is not a secret that many websites on Web work for commercial goals. The texts that writers compose serve the same aim. As they give the visitors the information they need, those guests gain more trust in the quality and services. It also depends on the author to do the subject justice.
Visitors differentiate such sites and products, and when the time to make a purchase comes – they are ready to purchase the product you describe.
How long should a blog post be for the sales targets? Here it is better to stick to the longer forms and write blog posts of about 2000 words.
- You can provide your guests with more details. When they have all the information, it will be easier to make a decision about the purchase.
- You can dig deeper into the topic and help the potential buyers to understand the product ideas
- You can compose a series of posts united by the main idea and thus providing the customers with in-depth researches and their results gradually. Such articles can attract more visitors to your blog, as they will come for the next piece.
If you are a writer, you know for sure that templates are useful, but they can’t resolve the task. Every assignment is unique, and you need to evaluate all its requirements.
There is no one precise answer to the question of how long a blog post should be – the answer is “it depends.” You will need to take into consideration your field, your goals, and, of course, your competitors.
Your cornerstone is excellent content. As for the right number of words for your article, you can define it yourself. It is the number matching your story in the best way.