It is widely acknowledged that blogging is a great and cheap (well, it’s usually free!) marketing strategy. Content with keywords sets you in the Google results pages. An informative article can help the people, who might turn into customers. A set of well-written pieces may give you the title of a specialist in a certain field. A blog can support other marketing strategies of yours including social media, PPC or SEO. Moreover, everyone is blogging nowadays and you don’t want to miss out!
That was a bit of an encouragement for you – if you don’t already run a blog, start doing it! Now, a bit of a theory to help you out and kickstart your content marketing campaign! Have you ever wondered how long your posts should be? There is no single answer to this question (well, there is one, but it would sound: “It depends” – doesn’t help a lot, does it?) and each blog could have to adapt different article lengths. There are however some guidelines to help you navigate in the uncertain world of blogging and make the most out of your content marketing campaign. In this article, I will try to help you pick the best blog post length for your business!
Long blog posts rank better in Google
You need to write at least 800 words for your article, so that it even starts ranking in Google. However, according to research, the perfect blog post length is 2500 words! In this case actually, more is better, so don’t shy away from massive articles up to 5000 words!
Why is there such a huge difference? It’s actually simple – Google ranking is largely based on keywords and you are simply able to use your keywords more times in a 2500 word piece than in a 800 word one. One of the most popular services for creating blog-oriented websites – WordPress, has a 2.5% keyword threshold. At first it might look like an top-down limitation, but it actually acts as a way to prevent posts, which are unnaturally stuffed with keywords, to be published.
Google’s attitude towards your article is different than that of your audience. It interprets your text as a cloud of words, among which it looks for connections and relations. Therefore, if this article’s keyword is “blog post length”, Google will relate that to other words like: article, blog, writing, and so on. Given that, it is quite obvious that longer articles would rank better on Google – not only are there more keywords, but also more connections between them and related words! But is a long blog post the only solution for your content marketing strategy?
Short blog post length is also fine!
Let’s have a comparative look at two quite abject cases. The first is Neil Patel’s blog focused on growth hacking techniques. He is one of the best known and heavily acclaimed authors and publishers in the field of entrepreneurship, online marketing and growth hacking. His blog posts are cram-packed with knowledge, case studies, insights, examples, data and conclusions – that obviously makes them very long! Patel publishes regularly, creating really engaging and well-written content.
The second example is Seth Godin’s blog. Godin is a writer, entrepreneur, public speaker and marketer. He coined the term permission marketing (as opposed to the usual “interruption marketing” – ads, pop-ups, etc.), which requires customers to give consent in form of a “like” or a subscription. Godin’s blog consists of a great deal of really short pieces – sometimes it’s 10 sentences, sometimes it’s just single words with a context. He also provides your typical a-couple-paragraphs articles, but the base of his blog are the tiny pieces. They serve as quick insights, something you can read in a matter of a minute and then interpret it for a while longer.
Now, both approaches work and are perfectly fine. They are, however, applicable to different business models. Patel bases his strategy on content marketing. Therefore, he needs to produce very long posts that would rank him high in search engines. Godin, on the other hand, is more of a writer and speaker, therefore, he uses his blog to simply direct the customers to his product. Hence short, engaging posts are absolutely enough for him!
How to find out, which blog post length is good for your business?
When thinking about the ideal blog post length for your website, you have to keep in mind three things:
- Who are your customers – What sort of articles would they enjoy? If you are a gaming company, you might want to stick to short and rather entertaining listicles. Long articles would most likely be omitted and considered boring by your audience. But if you run a blog for an academic publishing house, you might want to consider longer and more complex pieces – that’s what your academia audience would want!
- How often are you going to post – An inspired Seth Godin might sit down one morning and have 20 short pieces written by evening. On an average day, however, he might be able to produce four or five articles. An equally inspired Neil Patel may, in the same time, write two very long articles. Why am I saying this? The point is – if you want to publish often, you will be better off writing short pieces – in this way the quality will be there, even if you publish twice or thrice a day. For longer pieces, it’s better to post once every couple of days – not only will it ensure that your pieces are of good quality and that your audience has a chance to read them!
- How confident are you with your (or your team’s) writing skills – It’s easy to impose a 2500-words-a-day schedule to your writing, but are you actually able to do it? Or are you able to convey your message in less than 300 words? By no means am I trying to diminish your skills!!! Instead, I’m asking you to recognize your strengths and weaknesses as a writer!
Well, yes, you’ve guessed it: the golden ratio for the blog post length doesn’t exist. But this article wasn’t about giving you the exact number of words your articles should have in order to get you heaps of visitors. Instead, I was trying to show you how to recognize the blog post length that would be perfect for you.
While both short and long blog post lengths have their pros and cons, you need to think for yourself in choosing the ideal length. There are some factors to take into account when determining that like your audience, your skills and how often do you want to publish. Consider these, apply them to your blog and rock the content marketing game!