How The Length Of A Blog Post Impacts How Successful The Page Ranks With SEO
Blogging is an integral part of inbound marketing. But blogging succeeds only when you are able to create attention-grabbing content that resonates with your target audience. The typical blog post length required to rank well is 1500 words or more.
You need to inform, motivate, and delight them through your content to eventually get them into the buying process.
Most people ignore content length when it comes to SEO. However, the length of your blog posts has fairly significant influence in your Google search rankings.
Statistics show that the average word length on webpages that rank in the first three results is 2,000 words. However, there is more to the right length of a blog post for SEO than just a random number.
Here is everything you need to know about how your blog post length matters in your SEO strategy and tips to use it to your advantage.
Why is The Length Of A Blog Post Important?
Content can be divided into two major categories on the basis of length – long form and short form. Long form blogs have an average word count ranging from 2,000 words to 2,500 words.
These are data driven and considered good from an SEO point of view. Short form content, on the other hand, is for 500 words or less for an average blog post length . In some instances, blogs with 1,000 words may also be categorized under short form content.
Google officially claims that post length is not used as a ranking factor by Googlebots. The idea behind this statement was that many tweets with just 240 characters or so get picked up and ranked high as compared to posts that are 3,000 words long. See our guide on top google ranking factors.
However, the fact that short blog post length can be compelling enough to grab user attention may be a myth. Google did say that they consider viewer interaction as very important.
For instance, even if you have short form blog post it may get you SEO rankings as long as the post gets the comments flowing.
The research behind word count and post length also suggests that long form content is typically appreciated by Google algorithms.
A study conducted by Medium on the best performing blog posts found that people appreciated blog posts that took 7 minutes to read on an average. This translates to around 1,600 words.
Medium concluded that this trend could be due to the fact that lengthier blog posts are of higher quality, more in-depth, and can satisfy searcher intent in a better way.
Another study looked at average content length for each position in Google SERPs. This study conducted by SerpIQ did find that the first position used around 2,450 words, including the sidebars.
The second position had around 100 – 200 words more than the first one, but the word count declined significantly from the third position and under.
This idea is backed by the American Marketing Association which suggests that search engine ranks long form blog posts with more word count higher than others.
How Does Content Length Impact SEO?
It can be confusing to note that while Google doesn’t count blog length as a ranking factor, it is clearly obvious that word count does play a role in rankings.
This happens because there are many other factors which make longer articles better. Lengthier blog posts tend to contain more useful and detailed information, making them valuable to readers.
And, Google exists to satisfy searcher queries and intent. Pages that are popular and user-friendly will do better in SEO as compared to pages that have low-quality content or are too short to be exhaustive.
Here is why longer blog posts do better
- More Keywords can be included the longer a blog post is.
Lengthier content allows search engines to get a better idea of what the blog post is really about. You can include targeted and unintentional keywords, without stuffing it.
Long form blog posts provide more opportunities to include relevant keywords on a page. This means that during indexing, the page can rank for multiple topics.
Long blog posts always come with subheads and since these create a hierarchy in your content, they are actually more valuable than keywords in the text blocks. You can improve your SEO by adding keywords in subheadings to give the search engine more juice to crawl over.
However, it is important to understand that you should not use long form content as an opportunity to stuff keywords.
Your keywords should never come off as forced or placed without context. The flow of the text should be as natural as possible to answer a searcher’s query.
- More Value
Shorter posts can be written and done with within a few hours. Typically, you would spend a minimum of 10 to 15 hours to write a long form post. The longer form is the ideal blog post length.
You will research longer which indicates you would come across varied points of discussions regarding a single blog post.
In turn, the research and time spent will make you write high-quality content which will be loved by your readers and search engines. The more you write – the more outgoing links you add to the text.
This will allow search engines to get a better understanding of what your content and topic are really about.
- More Backlinks from good blog post length.
While writing for SEO, you need to remember that you cannot ignore your audience. Your blog post should be written first for your audience and then for search engines. Long form blog posts are more valuable than short form content. They also increase the chances of backlinks
If your audience loves your content, they would be ready to link back to your post. The more backlinks you get, the better you do in terms of SEO and rankings. However, this is only possible if people really love your posts, either if that is on your own website or through using a top blogger outreach agency.
Readers usually find long posts more useful and link back to them. Long posts are also more prone to going viral as more and more readers share them.
Search engines take note of popular content and rank them higher because they realize that readers want to see content like yours.
A research by Moz corroborates to this. They found that length of a blog post with 1,800 words to 3,000 words were 15 times more attractive to linking domains as compared to posts with just 600 words or lower. Good agencies know this thats why its often better use an SEO agency vs do it yourself.
Considering the fact that links are among the top 3 SEO ranking factors, the connection with content length takes a whole new level of importance. Backlinks are one of the most important ranking factors and it is important that you churn out high-quality content which is useful to readers.
Making people want to backlink to your blog post should be a crucial part of your SEO strategy. Lengthier blog posts can help you accomplish this and earn more backlinks for search engine boost.
- More Comments
Your content will garner more comments and discussions when it useful and of value to your viewers. Comments provide more fuel for search engines to index a page.
You will rank for more long-tail keywords when you have more comments on your page. This can lead to better search engine rankings, traffic, and conversion.
- More Social Shares
Many experts have run independent studies to understand which type of content gets more social shares. One such study found that longer blog posts are shared 22% more on Facebook and 68% more on Twitter. The correlation between backlinks and content length can be used to understand social shares and word count.
The average social media users, like link creators, want to consume and share content which is both relevant and comprehensive. Both of these factors are not possible without a higher word count.
- Long-Term SEO Value
Evergreen content is adored by search engines because they are not time sensitive and can stay valuable long after their initial distribution. Long form blog posts have a better chance at being evergreen and attracting more traffic.
They can also draw in new readers over an extensive period of time. These benefits provide lengthier content with long haul SEO value and advantages that far exceed shorter content. So in short having long blog post lengths typically help deliver on your SEO strategy.
How Does Google RankBrain Work With blog post length?
The RankBrain algorithm was developed by Google to better understand searcher intent and sort search results.
It has a massive impact on many aspects of Google search by being the third most important ranking factor. Here is how longer content works well with Google RankBrain:
1. Searcher Satisfaction to boost SEO
Google does not just interpret queries and brings up relevant SERPs, but also ensures that the content is satisfactory when a searcher clicks on a link. Longer blog posts have more opportunities to satisfy a searcher’s intent.
2. Dwell Time With Your Website Content
This measures the amount of time spent by a searcher on a particular search listing link. This metric is very important because it tells Google that the content on your page is relevant and satisfies user intent.
Good blog post length ensures that you put in more time and conduct thorough research on a topic. This grabs the reader’s attention and increases dwell time.
3. Click-Through-Rate (CTR)
RankBrain hold organic CTR as an important ranking signal. CTR is a measure of how successful your page is in appealing to users. The right description tag and title tag on a lengthy blog post can improve your CTR rate.
What is the Ideal Blog Post Length in 2019?
There is no one magic number to state the length of your blog post. Rather than focusing on your word count, you should consider exhaustive and quality posts that lend an in-depth insight to a topic.
It is important to understand that the best value can be created by keeping your blog post length between 1,500 words to 3,000 words.
Quick pieces are definitely a good thing because they take care of searcher intent with minimum reading. However, this strategy will not take you far where blog posts are concerned.
You really need to focus on quality over quantity, no matter what. In fact, you should tailor your keywords around the length of ‘quality’ content you can manage.
Instead of focusing on pushing out long form content that doesn’t make any sense, put your efforts in creating few long form blog posts that can build you up as an expert in your industry.
A lot of inbound marketers have trouble with blog posts because of the influx of material that brings the market to saturation point.
To really grab a new viewer’s attention, it could be a good idea to write in-depth and evergreen pieces which don’t contain fluff.
You would know you have hit jackpot if your piece is still valuable to read 6 months or even 3 years from now. These blog posts could reap many rewards and SEO juice in the long run.
It is a good idea to simply poll your readers and ask them what kind of content they would like to read and whether they appreciate long reads or quick information.
You would be amazed at the kind of content fodder, suggested topics make.
You should also consider carrying out a thorough analysis of your blog posts through an on page SEO analysis to understand which numbers work for you. Many people find that blog posts around 1,800 words work best for them, while others think 2,500 words is a good number. Most SEO packages would include an analysis of these things using programs.. if you’re not sure… ask you SEO agency!
Carefully review your past bounce rates, analytics, and test different types of content to understand what sits right with your readers.
Final Thoughts on Blog Post Length
It is important to understand that length is just one of the many considerations that contribute to the eventual success of on-page content. It is just a small part of the whole basis.
Longer content on blog posts tend to do better than shorter content. Many experts claim typical word length between 1,705 and 3,000 to be a golden number.
However, at the end of the day you need to figure out what your audience type is and their extent of patience. Also, don’t compromise on the blog quality just to make the word count. Google rewards densely and intelligently written content.
Hence, it is wise to have a mix of different length content on your blog posts for different topics, targeted audience, and keywords.
You should simply focus on your readers and endeavor to provide the best reading material that appeases searcher intent.
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