How long should a blog post be? 11 factors to consider
From the depth of the topic to search intent, here are 11 answers to the question, “What is one factor to consider when deciding on a blog post length?”
- Look for a Natural Ending
- Average the Word Count of Your Competitors’ Blog Posts
- Search Intent
- Has the Topic Been Exhausted
- Content Value
- Different Lengths of Content Serve Different Purposes
- The Industry-accepted Standard is 250-600 Words
- One Deciding Factor of a Blog Post Length
- Study Your Competition
- Depth of the Topic
- It Depends on the Topic Intent
Look for a Natural Ending
In my experience, people often start their blog process by immediately setting a word count. I never do that. When you are writing for a specific length, you can easily start to add or subtract based on the count, rather than the content. When you focus your writing solely on the content, you have a better chance at finding a natural conclusion that ends when it should, instead of drawing out or chopping for the count.
Average the Word Count of Your Competitors’ Blog Posts
While there is no golden number for blog post length, you can gather a general understanding of the ideal word count of a blog post by tallying up the average word count between the top 10 blog posts in the search engine results for any given keyword. As search engines have chosen these articles, they are a good representation of what to decide for a word count length for your article.
The main thing to consider when deciding on blog post length is search intent. You want to make sure you are providing enough information to satisfy the searcher’s needs, while also not over-delivering or going off-topic. If you’re unsure of what to include in your post, or how long it should be, try running a few keyword research queries and looking at the average word count of the top 10 results. That should give you a good starting point for determining how long your post should be.
Has the Topic Been Exhausted
When it comes to blog post length, you have to consider how much information your audience can handle on a single topic. If you feel like you’ve exhausted the topic and there’s no more to say, then it might be time to move on to a new one. However, if you feel like there’s still more to explore, then go for it and write a longer post. Just make sure that whatever you choose to write about is interesting and valuable to your readers.
Long posts with no purpose are not your friend. Consider the value of the content that you’re creating for your audience. If your content isn’t thought-provoking or relevant, it won’t hold attention for very long. You shouldn’t waste your time stretching out a topic that holds low value for your readers. This isn’t just from a quality standpoint either. A long-winded, low-value blog post won’t be good for your site’s SEO either. Choose your topics carefully and give the most attention to what’s going to matter to your readers.
Different Lengths of Content Serve Different Purposes
Shorter pieces of content can be much more focused and will serve a purpose for SEO rankings, more detailed keywords, and will be more attractive to someone who is looking to have a specific question answered. For niche topics and to have a short conversation with your audience, a shorter blog post makes total sense. Longer pieces of content serve a purpose and can be a major asset for your marketing campaigns. With longer pieces of content, you can create ‘skyscraper’ articles that cover every inch of a specific topic and give the reader a full glimpse of something they are eager to learn about. This type of piece will take a lot of time, will include a ton of keywords, and you will put a lot of work into helping it rank well. The one factor you should consider is: how many questions do I want this piece of content to answer? Some pieces will answer many questions, while some articles will be written to answer just one or two questions by the reader.
The Industry-accepted Standard is 250-600 Words
Although the industry-accepted standard for a blog post is around 250-600 words, there are certain factors to keep in mind. The factor I always consider is frequency. Many people don’t have time to read long books every day, so shorter postings make sense if you write every day. You also tend to get more search engine juice because you’re always posting new information. However, don’t be afraid to flip common rules on their head. Readers like and return to a site because it creates value. The value it delivers to Reader A may be very different from the value it delivers to Reader B. And you will very likely never know what that worth is. From my experience, I can say that the topic isn’t the main factor in a blog post’s length. So, the more frequently you post, the shorter your blog posts can be. But, also don’t forget to surprise your readers with long stories from time to time.
One Deciding Factor of a Blog Post Length
One factor to consider when deciding on a blog post length is the topic. Depending on the subject matter, the ideal length of a blog post can vary. For topics that require more detailed explanations or require more research, longer blog posts are typically more effective. However, shorter blog posts may be more suitable for topics that require fewer details or can be presented quickly. I hope this helps. Best,
Study Your Competition
The most important factor to consider is the length of other competing blog posts on the same subject. As part of my research when writing a blog post, I always take a look at the other blogs that appear on page 1 of the SERP (search engine results page) for whatever topic/keyword I’m writing about. The fact that these other bloggers are showing up on page 1 of Google means that they are doing the right things and that Google is rewarding them with the top slots. So, if the top-ranking articles written by your competitors have 4,000 words on average, this is roughly the number you should be aiming for too, as a minimum. Of course, you could always write more words and create an even more comprehensive article, which may help you do even better. But try not to publish articles that are significantly shorter than your competition.
Depth of the Topic
The depth of the topic plays a very important role in deciding the blog post’s length. It’s important to take into account the complexity and detail required to cover the topic, as well as the audience’s prior knowledge and understanding of the subject. A more complex topic or technical subject may require a longer post to fully explain and provide enough information for the reader, while a shorter post may be more appropriate for a quick update or brief news item.
It Depends on the Content Intent
Google is changing the game. In the past few months, Google has released a myriad of helpful content updates and link spam updates to better filter out their search results and let the cream rise to the top. As a result, Google is looking for content that gives its users information quickly and accurately. So, how do you figure out what Google wants and what makes information “quick and accurate”? Topic intent! If someone types in “Best HARO Alternatives,” giving that customer long paragraphs of text explaining what HARO is, how HARO works, and then finally diving into the various HARO alternatives doesn’t help. A better option? A short intro paragraph and then jump right into the various other platforms available. By focusing on topic intent, you not only help the user but also help make your content stand out in the eyes of a search engine.
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