What is the ideal length of a blog post? That question has come up in its various forms this week.
- How many words should I write?
- How long should my blog article be?
- Do I need to write at all!?
The short answer is, “As long as it needs to be.”
Not a very satisfying answer is it?
When I dig deeper, the real question behind the questions comes back to Google. How long does your blog post need to be to keep Google happy?
It’s not quite as simple as that.
Blog Post Length And Ranking
There are studies that show longer content ranks well. This study by serpIQ found that top ranking pages have over 2,000 words.
But that’s not even half of the story. There are many factors that affect ranking, not least the number of links to the page and social mentions.
SEOMoz looked at their top posts and found that longer blog posts attract more links and social shares.
I know from my experience here on My Local Business Online, longer posts bring more traffic. They do get linked to more and also bring in visitors from long-tail searches. A long tail search is simply a search term that contains 3 or more words.
I have traffic coming here from whole questions typed into Google. While I may not use the exact phrase the searcher looks for, Google matches the search terms to words on the page. Blog posts are a great way of attracting long tail traffic. It often converts better too because it is much more focused.
Before you dash off to write your 2,000 word missive…
The length of a blog post is not as important as communicating with your audience. There’s little point in rambling on for 2,000 words if you can say it in 500!
There are many bloggers who don’t even think about Google when writing their posts. They have built up a following who read their blogs and buy their stuff with little, if any SEO.
Rather than asking, “How many words should I write?” Ask, “Is this the best way to get my message across to my target audience?”
Write for your readers and nod at Google.
Quick Blogging Tips
- If you use a lot of images in your posts, write a short description for each. This not only helps Google understand what your post is about, but benefits your readers too
- Remember to use image alt tags on all your images
- If you post a video then also include a transcript or description of the video. Again, this helps Google understand your post and benefits your readers
- Are you a local business blogger? Include your location in the title of your post where it is relevant
- When writing a long blog post, make it skimable and easy to read. Include sub-titles, bullet points and short paragraphs to break up the walls of text.
There are no hard and fast blog rules
Really, there aren’t. It’s down to you to discover what works for your blog and your readers.
Over to you…
What’s the ideal length of a blog post? Do you prefer longer or shorter posts? What works for you?
For those who are interested, this post is 573 words long!