As a content curator or blog writer, writing those extra words means putting in more thoughts and time. But one thing that we always ask ourselves is, how long should a blog post be and does writing those extra words really help our cause?
Undoubtedly, high-quality content has a huge impact on search engine rankings. Even, good content can help you build more loyal customers. For such and more other reasons, digital marketers across all industries and niches focus on one core aspect – publishing premium quality content.
While the quality of content is definitely the most important thing to focus on, but the second important aspect of content creation is the ‘length of a post.’
Despite the bulk of content available online, still, no statistics have been able to conclude any content length as ideal. So, how we can know where to end?
The answer is simple! It all depends on the information you have, the industry you are writing, and the ultimate goal of your marketing strategy. But remember, length and word count of your post will not make a huge difference until and unless the value and quality of your post are maintained. Sometimes, even the shortest content is able to do the job and often times even the lengthiest of the post is not able to reap the desired results.
Talking about this post, it is slightly longer as the quality and information it offers are maintained till the last. So, let’s delve further into the details of this topic.
Posts that Demand Short Length:
When you are writing a blog post and you have lots of information to share then a lengthy post will work. This, we will discuss in the next section. But there are certain posts, which demand short length and mostly these are the posts meant for social platforms.
Let’s check the ideal length for each social platform individually.
Writing a Tweet – 100 Characters
As far as Twitter is concerned, a tweet of 100 characters is enough to inform and impress the audiences. It’s better if you are simple yet creative with your tweet. Tweets with a length shorter than 100 characters get more engagement and maximum you can stretch it 140 characters. It’s done this way, so that people can consume it easily, even via mobiles.
Trust me, there is no magical length for a Tweet and the number I am sharing is based on the research done on more than 100 popular brands across the world.
So, the simple and shorter it is, the better it is!
Facebook Post – 40 Characters or Less
According to a recent study conducting by Jeff Bullas on retail brands posts on Facebook, 40 is a magical number that works for most of the Facebook posts. Posts with 40 characters or less were found to have higher engagement as compared to the others.
But if you find 40 characters very less, then the next set of posts, which are highly popular, are 80 characters posts. Just like Twitter, shorter posts are preferred on Facebook as individuals out there spend only a fraction of second to read a post.
Headlines on Google+ – 60 Characters or Less
Google+ is another highly popular platform and you can maximize your appearance and readability out there by keeping your test in one line. Studies that were done by Demain Farnworth confirm that headlines on Google+ must not be more than 60 characters.
There is also a plan B for those who cannot consolidate their text in a one-liner. Make sure you write a really impressive and impactful first line. Your first sentence must be an attention-grabbing teaser that gets folks to click and read more.
If none of these work for you then still need not to worry as you can write posts on Google+ with a length more than 156 characters. If your content is really a qualitative one then you can expect great results.
Now, that we have discussed the popular online networking platforms, let’s explore the average blog post length. As I have told earlier, there are numerous aspects you have to consider in order to decide the perfect length of your post. So, I will focus on each aspect one by one so as to give you a better understanding.
Quality comes Before, Length comes after:
The process of content creation is a painstaking one. If you belong to the digital industry then you will agree that before the length, it is the quality or value of your content that has to be addressed before. Your content will work if it’s engaging, unique, error-free, lucid, and insightful.
But this does not imply that you have to put in high-vocabulary words and maintain an optimal structure. Because your content is great, as long as, it is able to serve the target audience.
Your post must be relevant to your audience and for this reason, it becomes essential to keywords that can help drive in a specific audience. In addition to this, you have to ensure that your post includes gripping headlines, subheadings, videos, and images.
Most importantly, you must have a successful content marketing plan in hand that properly distributes your content. For this, you can use influencer marketing and social media to reach out to a wider audience. Your posts will get more shares and likes if your readers are able to learn something new and valuable. Hence, this puts more focus on the quality of the content.
Once you are able to successfully maintain the quality, you then have to focus on reaching the appropriate post length.
Let’s see what the recent studies say.
How Long Should a Blog Post Be – What Recent Studies Confirm?
An ideal post is one that people read until the end. As per Medium’s research, a post between 7 to 10 minutes is an ideal one. And after lots of research work, they concluded the number to be somewhere around 1600 – 2000 words. The number may vary if your post includes heavy images or a video.
In an attempt to identify the ideal length of the post, SerpIQ too conducted a study, but it did one from an SEO point of view. They gathered data from the top 10 posts on search result pages and counted words in each post. And for them, a post of maximum 1500 words did the best job.
It’s true that the ideal length of a post varies from website to website. For example, Moz conducted a similar study and concluded that lengthier posts on their website got more reads, higher engagement, maximum shares, and thumbs up.
In another study done by Brian Dean in 2016, they identified that posts around 1,890 words got the maximum rankings in search results. Their search also concluded that long-form content outperformed content with a shorter length.
Moreover, AppSumo’s Noah Kagan got paired with BuzzSumo to assess the social share counts of more than 100 million posts. Their research revealed that posts having a word count between 3,000 – 10,000 words got maximum shares. According to them, your post must be equal to or more than 2000 words in order to get viral.
Just like these, numerous other studies have been performed by experts and the results of most of them conclude that long posts definitely outshine short posts in terms of search engine rankings, audience’s engagement, and value offering.
And if you will take my vote, then I will too vote for long-form posts!
But before you head towards writing a long post, first understand why writing a lengthy post is worth it.
Why a Long-Form Post Works Great?
A long post is always appreciated by the users and is able to engage the readers. It is because it is believed that the topic covers all important details and is a well-researched one. A well-structured and well-written article is ensured to be understood properly by the readers.
Further, search engines too are able to understand your content better with long-form content. Even, it is evident by numerous studies that lengthier posts get more social likes and shares. It is because such posts are able to offer people with complete details and insights of a topic.
Lengthier posts tend to become more viral and get better quality backlinks. Such posts can improve your search rankings. Moreover, if your post is long and includes elements of relevance and high-authority then it would be able to increase customer engagement to a great extent, as readers will be able to get all necessary information without reading every word of the post.
But, even if a post is longer then what must be an ideal word count or length for it? This question is addressed right below!
Tips to Determine on How Long Should a Blog Post Be:
Not only topics, but even the information you have, images, videos, and other related aspects vary from post to post. Hence, you cannot fix any number concluding it as a perfect length for every blog post.
So, here consider some important tips that are really helpful to determine an appropriate length for your blog post.
Define the Purpose:
Before you even decide on the topic, it is best to define your goal. Whether you are writing a post to drive user engagement or to have more social media shares or to increase your search engine rankings. Based on your goal and considering special guidelines, if any, can help you fix a length for your post.
Pick A Topic:
The next aspect to consider is the level to which your topic needs detailing and research. It is not a good idea to draft a lengthy post just because you want to. Your aim must be to include useful and relevant information only so that the quality of your post is well-maintained.
Understand User’s Demographic:
Ultimately, your post will be read by your users and target audience. Therefore, it is best if you are aware of all important demographics of your target audience including gender, interest, likes, preferences, ages, occupation, and more.
Select an Industry or Niche:
Whether you are writing a tech post, or a post for the fashion industry or a DIY tutorial, based on the specific niche, the length of your post can vary a lot.
For instance, technical readers usually prefer articles that have all the important information presented in a well-structured and concise manner. But when it is about the fashion industry, then even a short post will work till it is interesting and engaging. Similarly, a DIY tutorial or post must present information in a detailed manner. It must give practical knowledge and deeper insights that can help an amateur gain at least the basic skills related to the topic.
Consider Online Presence of Your Brand:
The next essential aspect to consider is to understand the familiarity of your brand with the target audience. As studies have revealed, long-form content helps to create a great sense of credibility among prospective customers who are new to your brand. This is a great way to reinforce your brand’s loyalty and trust among them.
Contrary to this, people who already know your brand would expect more convincing information before they develop loyalty for your brand. In this case, high-quality long-form content would help to drive conversions.
Average Length of Important Parts in Your Blog Post:
Already you have read lots of numbers and data. Here look at some important numbers for you at a glance!
Title Characters – 65 – 70 Characters
Meta Description – 150 – 156 Characters
Title Tag – 60 – 70 Characters
Sub-Headings – 6 – 10 Words
Headlines – 50 – 55 Characters
Paragraphs – 3 or fewer Sentences
Sentences – 20 – 25 Words or Less
Average Content Body Length – 2000 – 2500 words
On a Concluding Note:
Summing up, posts with a long length are powerful and work really great if you wish to rank higher in Google or search engine ranking pages. Also, if the topic demands in-depth research or is a skill-based tutorial, then again it won’t do well if it’s short in length. But if you want to target more comments and social shares then shorter posts can reap better results.
Considering all the above-mentioned aspects decide a length for your blog post and head towards writing a great blog.