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What is the ideal length of a blog post for SEO?

The ideal length of a blog post for SEO has been debated for as long as search engines have been on the web.

If I can borrow a phrase from Google itself, the answer to that question is “it depends”.

The two main variables to take into account when deciding the length of your messages are:

  • Topic.
  • Intention of the researcher.

The ideal length of a blog post about how to take the perfect selfie will be different from the ideal length of a post about the invention of the digital camera.

Why? To begin with, one subject asks for more information than the other in order to provide a complete answer.

Say what you want about the intricacies of taking a selfie, there is simply more to cover when you talk about the invention of the technology that makes selfies possible.

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Second, the intent of the searcher is a major factor to consider in the length of a blog post. Do they want to read a short or long article?

The person who wants to learn more about the history of digital photography is likely to be looking to consume a more substantial article than the person looking for selfie advice.

Despite the fact that the overall attention span is shrinking, long content still performs exceptionally well in search.

However, short content is more than capable of ranking alongside longer content in search results. One is not necessarily better than the other.

There are literally hundreds of factors that go into the ranking of search results.

Is the length of the article part of it? If so, what is the ideal number of words?

Let’s look at what the statistics say.

Statistics don’t lie

Statistics offer a pretty good starting point, but we all know that sometimes they can be manipulated too.

So let’s be clear from the start: no matter how long, there will always be good content and there will always be bad content.

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Studies looking at hundreds or thousands of pages of content, like the one mentioned above, probably don’t look at which content is really good, which is really bad, which is mediocre, etc.

It’s about analyzing the length of the article and how that can affect how well that content ends up being based on simple practicalities.

It is probably true that shorter content is easier and faster to read; I will not dispute it.

But does this one-word answer satisfy the question / query a user is looking for? Sure, some questions can be answered in one word, but it’s usually not quality content.

It’s a one-word answer with no explanation or source, and Google (usually) knows that’s not enough to distinguish high-quality, educational, and resourceful content.

Of course, there are one-word answers that would be found useful and might mark the snippet featured in Google, also known as Position Zero.

Plus, good content comes in many forms; it’s compelling and often easier to digest due to the sourcing, rich media, and careful structure / formatting.

Google wants content, evidence, and facts from authoritative entities on any subject. It turns out that longer content usually contains these elements.

This is one of the main reasons why long content ranks better in organic search than short content.

According to a 2021 HubSpot study, the ideal length of a blog post for SEO should be 2100-2400 words.

That’s much longer than the 200 or 500 word blog posts that most writers or webmasters think are ideal.

Depending on the query, the search results on Page 1 may not be inundated with blog-style content, but content that will be viewed as resourceful by users – and Google – can certainly include well-constructed and thoughtful blog content. that satisfies a search query.

And that should be your goal when you start planning content ideas and article structure for your website blog and other content written on site.

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What does Google say about blog post length?

Google is convinced that word count is not a ranking factor.

There is an entire episode of SEO Mythbusting dedicated to the topic of 0n-page content.

Martin Splitt of Google confirms that the number of words on a page is not taken into account when ranking search results.

What he means by that is that Google does not total the number of words on a page and does not use that number as an indication of quality.

A 1000 word page is not automatically considered to be of better quality than a 500 word page because, for example, it has twice as much content.

This message is consistent whenever Googlers are asked about word count, a topic that comes up quite often.

Here is Google’s John Mueller asked about it on Twitter. He States:

“The number of words is not indicative of the quality. Some pages contain a lot of words that say nothing. Some pages contain very few words that are very important and relevant to the queries. You know your content best (hopefully) and can decide if it needs details.

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It’s important that you don’t read this statement and think that you can post the bare minimum of content because Google doesn’t care about the number of words on a page.

The number alone doesn’t mean anything to Google. However, Google’s algorithm is designed to satisfy user intent, and search intent may require a longer post rather than a shorter post.

What you should take away from Google’s position on blog post length is to focus on searcher satisfaction. If a short article meets the query, there is no need to lengthen the length in the hopes of appealing to Google.

Quality over quantity: don’t focus on the length of the item

Too many people put too much emphasis on the average word length of articles and the misunderstood importance of having more than a certain number of words on each page to rank well.

Sure, it’s important to have a bit of substance (and length) to the piece, but it’s not worth posting a redundant 2,500 word review of a movie about bad hair and bad language. of the main character in four different ways throughout the content.

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Surely the movie offered other elements and scenes that make the movie good or bad. Talk about them. Develop real-life situations with in-depth reactions and explanations.

It is what people are looking for when looking for information about a movie. “Was the movie good? “; “Why was that good or bad?” “; and “Should I watch it?” Are the real questions. The best movie reviews answer all three questions and don’t make it hard to figure out.

Give users what they want, however many words it takes to say it. If you feel like you are writing uninteresting text for the sole purpose of inflating word count, know that your readers can feel that as well.

In addition, Google is able to recognize content that brings little or no added value to the web. This means that longer posts can actually delay your site’s search if they don’t say anything useful.

Choose your target audience: people, personas and keywords

Like all good web content, you need to have a goal – a target.

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You need to study your target audience. Who will find and consume your content?

You also need to consider that person’s level of intention; Are they looking for basic discovery information or are they trying to buy something right now with as few clicks as possible? Your content will reflect that person and their various user intent stages.

Ideally, good content is mapped out before it’s even created. It should relate your website / business goals and the content you post to the goals of the users looking for it.

If you’ve done your audience research and still aren’t sure how long your posts should last, you can get a better idea by looking at the content they’re already consuming.

Find the keywords you want to target and review the content that appears on the first page. The length of these blog posts is a good source of information on what it takes to answer these queries.

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The content must satisfy a user’s search query. Thus, the content must satisfy the user.

And, more importantly, there may very well be similar content on a website that satisfies different stages of user intent for a specific topic. It is not an accident.

Don’t just focus on the written page copy

Quality content goes beyond written words. The best content connects extensive research and respectable writing to a user’s best interest (their search query).

Even a great video should be accompanied by well-written text explaining the video, its concept and goals, as well as any other resources that can enhance the content to better help the user.

That’s our ultimate goal as content strategists: to deliver the best information, in the most appropriate format, on the right platform.

For some topics, a blog post may not even be the best way to communicate information to researchers. A detailed tutorial, for example, might be more suitable for a video demonstration.

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Content like an interview with an industry expert may be more preferable to consume in audio format than in plain text.

Sometimes the written word is the best way to communicate information. But other subjects are more suited to the visual, requiring photos or videos. Sometimes audio files will be the best type of rich media.

When using visual or audio content, be sure to accompany it with written content that can connect the dots and make sense of everything on the page, as well as help users find your content.

This is not only good practice for readers, it is necessary for Google as well. Word count is irrelevant, at least some written content is needed to provide context for photos, videos and audio broadcasts.

Summary

Your content can take many forms, and it can be discovered and consumed in many ways.

Your goal shouldn’t be to write 2,500 words on a blog post, as that seems like the “perfect length” to rank well in organic search.

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If you’re worried about reaching an ideal blog post length for SEO, then you’re missing the point altogether.

Your goal should be to provide your target audience with the best, most useful (and optimized) version of content that matches their intent.

Your audience will appreciate it – and your website analytics will reflect it.

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Featured Image: fizkes / Shutterstock



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