How Long Should Your Blog Posts Really Be In 2018?

cnxt_dev
cnxt_dev
2018/10/12 08:00

length of blog articles

When it comes to creating content that online users want to read, length matters.

Content has become a core part of almost every brand’s online marketing strategy and there are a number of aspects that determine how successful a piece of content will be.

From using the right keywords and eye-catching images to making sure that your content is original and engaging, it requires a lot of effort.

One debate that has been ongoing for many years now is how long your content should be for it to be effective.

Long vs. short form content

There are many different benefits associated with creating short and long-form content, and what works for one business may not work for another.

Let’s look at some of the pros and cons of long vs. short form content.

Long-form content

Pros

  • Readers spend more time on your website
  • Search engines have more information to go on when crawling and indexing your content
  • Opportunity to provide readers and customers with the most in-depth and reliable information possible

Cons

  • It can be difficult to keep readers engaged with longer pieces of content
  • Since brands may need to hire highly experienced writers for this type of content, they may need to pay more for each piece of content

Short-form content

Pros

  • Shorter content pieces are easier to write and more content can be produced per month
  • Shorter content is easier to read and tends to be more engaging
  • The more content your team can produce, the bigger your reach

Cons

  • Search engines have less information to go on when crawling and indexing your content
  • When fewer words are used, there are fewer opportunities to rank for multiple keywords
  • Shorter content can sometimes come across as shallow so it’s not ideal for in-depth topics

 

There are a lot of different opinions about how long a blog post should really be but the reality is that there’s no exact answer to this question. A better approach to deciding how long your content should be is to look at what you want to achieve.

Let’s take a closer look at the recommended length for various types of content.

Suggested word counts for different content types

Suggested length blog posts

Any marketer knows that there needs to be a goal behind everything you do and content is no different.

By knowing exactly what you want to achieve by posting and sharing a piece of content, it becomes easier to decide on the ideal length.

Here is the ideal word count based on different types of goals:

Goal: Increase content engagement

If you want more people to engage with your content, writing content that is 100 – 300 words is ideal. Short, punchy pieces of content are quick to read and are a great way to start a discussion around your brand or an interesting topic. So, if you want more users to share and comment on it, keep it short and to the point.

Goal: Generate informative content that’s also good for SEO

If you want to provide your readers with interesting and informative content that will also get the attention of search engine bots, aim for 300 – 600 words. Most experts agree that this range is a good middle ground for most content.

Goal: Share newspaper or magazine articles online

Printed content tends to be a lot longer than online content because it provides readers with more detailed and descriptive information. If you will be posting your newspaper or magazine content online, you still need to be smart about it. It’s important to remember that online readers still tend to scan content so you may need to cut the article down slightly and format it in such a way that it is scannable. Aim for around 750 – 800 words in this case.  

Goal: Higher SEO rankings

If you really want search engines to pay attention to your content, longer is better. If SEO is a top priority for your brand, aim to create content that’s at least 1000 words in length. This doesn’t mean that you should write for the sake of meeting this word count though – it’s still important for your content to be interesting and relevant if you want to boost your SEO rankings.

What about mobile content?

According to SmartInsights, over 80% of online users own a smartphone and over half of them will start a Google search from a mobile device.

Over and above this, Google has also started rolling out mobile first indexing, which means that creating content with mobile in mind is no longer an option.

In terms of how long your content should be to attract and engage mobile users, the answers are the same. A mobile user will still seek out different types of content to fulfill different purposes so you can still follow the same recommended word counts as before.

What brands should be paying attention to is making sure that the content is pleasant to read on a mobile device. A user should never have to zoom in to read text and any media that you use with your content should be mobile friendly if you want your website visitors to stick around.

To really get content to work for you, make sure that you’re testing different lengths and types of content on your audience and that you have a way to track the performance of every piece of content too.