Creating blog content can be a challenging task. There are many factors that play into the success of any blog post such as keyword usage, topic, images, structure, links, length, etc.
Many people ask themselves, “How long should the ideal blog post be for SEO?” To prevent any misconceptions, let’s start with a couple of things to know about ideal blog post length, word count, and search engines.
Word Count and Search Rank Have No Direct Correlation
Yes, you read that right. A lot of people think that word count has a direct impact on how their page ranks on search engines. This is not true.
There are many SEO factors that determine Page Rank such as keyword density, number of backlinks, domain authority, etc. Word count can help with certain ranking factors but is not a factor itself.
We know this from what the data tells us. Backlinkco.com, one of our favorite SEO blogs, analyzed 11.8 million Google search results and found that there is no direct correlation between word count and search engine rankings. Pages with lower word count are as likely to rank on the first search results page as pages with a higher word count.
Search Engine Kit shares that John Mueller, a Senior Webmaster Trends Analyst at Google, said:
“From our point of view the number of words on a page is not a quality factor, not a ranking factor.
So just blindly adding more and more text to a page doesn’t make it better.”
Now that that’s out of the way, we can talk about how to determine the perfect blog post length!
Blog Post Length Factors
So, blog length can vary based on a number of different factors. There are certain things to consider when deciding how long to make your blog post. Here are some important factors to look at when writing.
A Blog Post Should Be at Least 450 Words
Yoast suggests at least 300 words for the average blog post or piece of content. They say Google likes it when there is more content to understand what the post is about.
We recommend raising that minimum to at least 450 words per blog post. Why? The purpose of a blog post is to provide value to readers. We’ve found that shorter posts of 300 words typically aren’t enough to answer a question sufficiently.
The same Backlinko.com study previously mentioned found that the average word count of a Google top 10 result is 1,447. Later we will dive deeper into why this might be the case.
Asking yourself, “Can I definitively answer the question I’m writing about in X-amount of words?” can be a useful technique when deciding how long a blog post should be.
You want to provide the most value you can in a reasonable number of words. The more complex your topic, the more words it will need. The simpler the topic, the fewer words needed.
What is the specific page’s purpose? Are you writing an “About” page for your blog? Or an “Ultimate Guide to [insert topic here]”?
Knowing the purpose of the page should help you determine how long the blog post should be. If you are writing your business’ “About” page, then it may not need to be very long. A brief introduction to who you are and what you do may suffice. Not to mention that you may have other pages that will address realistic topics – like your journey, your story, your team, etc. – so you don’t have to try to cram everything into a single page.
Stepping into the shoes of your readers can help you decide the word count for your post.
Types of Content
If you are writing something like a Guide to Small Business SEO Basics, then readers will expect the blog post to have more substance because the topic is more complex than an average post.
If you are writing a bite-sized blog article that isn’t too complicated, 500 words may be just right. Other times, the type of content you want to deliver to your readers needs a higher word count to increase its value.
It all comes down to two things: Are you answering the user’s question the best you can? And is this valuable content?
Consider Competitors’ Content and Keywords
You want to consider your competitors’ content when writing your blog post so you can provide readers with something even better than what’s already out there for your target keyword!
Looking at top-ranking results of the keywords you are targeting can help you decide how long a blog post should be. Focus on the content rather than the average word count to raise organic traffic.
Remember that word count alone is not a ranking factor of their success. Organic traffic comes more from relevant keywords than word count. Longer posts have benefits that we will highlight next but that doesn’t mean a longer blog post is ALWAYS better.
Benefits of Long-Form Content
There are several benefits of long-form content that are good to know when deciding how long a blog post should be.
Increases Time Spent on Page
Long-form content naturally takes longer to read. Therefore, it increases the time spent on a page which can have an impact on SEO.
It also gives you more space to link to other valuable pages on your website within the blog post to keep the reader around even longer.
Content Can Be Repurposed
If a blog post is long-form, it can be repurposed into other high-quality content. Repurposing content is beneficial to small businesses and is cost-effective.
Long-form blog content can be trimmed down and repurposed into a podcast episode, an e-book, a social media post, etc. Be creative with repurposed content. The possibilities are endless!
More Social Shares
Quicksprout released a study that found long-form content receives more social shares than short-form content. The results showed people prefer to share comprehensive content that holds a lot of value over shorter, bite-sized content.
Quicksprout’s study reports that content over that 1,500 target word count we talked about received 68.1% more tweets on average than content under 1,500 words.
The more your posts are shared, the more visits your site will get. So as you can see, long-form content has its perks.
It Gets More Backlinks
Backlinks are great for your site’s SEO and the more natural backlinks you can get, the better! If long-form content is more likely to be linked to, why not try it out?
How Long Should a Blog Post Be?
The simple answer to how long should a blog post be for SEO is, it depends.
Hopefully, these tips will help you when writing your next blog post. Remember, there are many more important factors to consider when writing for SEO than word count, but on average 1,500 words is a good target for the ideal blog post.
For more advice on formatting your blog post, visit our 5 Blog Format Tips for Engaged Readers and Happy SEO article!