How Long Should a Blog Post Be?

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How long should my blog posts be and what does that mean for my rankings?

Can a small post of 300 words rank well on Google?

How many words should a blog post be?

How long should a blog post be for SEO?

Blogging and SEO

Every blogger and digital marketer have asked himself that question at some point and there are many blogging “experts” out there saying they know the perfect number. But it’s not that simple it never is. The more research you do on this subject the more confused you get. A quick answer is there is not a magic amount of words that will get your posts on the first page of SERPs. It depends on what your topic is about, what niche are you in and your personal writing style.

It’s not the “word length” but the reading length that counts in the end. Most people who read blogs today usually don’t have the patience to read thousands of words of content and what they are looking for is accurate and direct information. The majority of them won’t spend more than 4 minutes to read a post and you only have a few seconds to capture their attention before they click something else. By saying that i don’t mean that people don’t read content on the Internet. That is simply not true although many people believe it. Yes, people tend to scan headlines and images but they will also read your posts from top to bottom if they find them interesting. After all, you write for people not search engines and throwing keywords out there won’t do you any good.

What you need to remember is that there are no rules for blog post length. Word counts are only guidelines. Whatever you blog about you should always try to provide useful and meaningful information to your readers. Your content must be targeting your audience needs and make sure your thoughts are always clear and your message gets through every time.

Short Posts

A short post is general something between 100 & 500 words. They are easy to write and your audience can read them in less than 4 minutes. With posts of that size, you can publish new content almost on a daily basis and you can create a kind of anticipation since you post something new every day. They can also be effective if you are only interested in selling something because the quicker you can direct your readers to your call to action the better the chances they will buy. The idea behind this sort blog posts is that online readers don’t want to read long articles because they lose interest very fast. Anything more than 600 words is a waste of time according to some bloggers but like i said before this is not true.

Posting a BlogSo short posts may get read more often by your readers but if you fail to include all the details they are looking for you might lose them. If your readers leave your blog with more questions than answers they will simply not come back. Trying to cover all the angles of a topic in a short post it’s certainly not an easy job and there is always the risk leaving out key elements.

Usually, these posts in order to make SEO sense will contain a video, meme or info-graphics. That way the word count is pretty much irrelevant since the words are used as an introduction or to supplement the real content. The text is necessary because it’s easier for the website crawlers to understand it from the other forms of content so you have a better chance to rank higher. Anything less than 300 words is considered horrible for SEO and they are only good to generate a discussion or just sharing an idea or a few tips.

Medium-Length Posts

Blog posts between 600 and 1000 words fall in this category. This is the category many bloggers aim for. Medium length posts are generally good for SEO assuming, of course, your content remains focused on the topic and you can keep your readers engaged to the end. A good way to keep your readers interested is to use subheads and numbered/bulleted lists. With posts of this length you can provide the answers your online audience is looking for and you can share all the necessary information without risking repeating yourself. You can cover different aspects of a topic adequately without referring to unnecessary details and going to an in-depth analysis. Usually, these are the posts that attract the most comments.

If you are new at blogging writing medium-length posts is a good place to start and if you use the rest of SEO techniques the right way you can rank pretty high on Google SERPs. Writing more than 1000 word posts it’s not very easy and requires some practice.

Writing an article

Long Posts

Any post with more than 1000 words can be considered a long-form post. Search engines like them more so they do attract more traffic to your website. They are more demanding and takes longer to write them but it’s the best way to rank high on search engines. The reason why they rank higher is pretty simple. The more content you have the more keywords will occur naturally inside your post so you will have many more variations of your main keyword. In a short post, you can only have a couple of variations or you are risking getting penalized for keyword stuffing. Remember that Google doesn’t deliver results that match exactly to the queries. They deliver results that are similar to the keywords people are searching for and that are semantically related.

So more content means more variety and more variety means better search results. And of course, better search results means more traffic and more conversions. With long articles, it’s also a lot easier to add internal links to other posts on your website so people can spend more time on your site and increase engagement at the same time. Longer posts are also shared a lot more on social media compared to shorter posts.

If you really want more traffic from Google you have to write long, authoritative posts that are addressing your readers problems and are very well researched. People are looking for information that can help them solve real problems and ways to improve their situation. Writing detailed posts and providing valuable information is the best way to ensure that your visitors will come back again for more content. It’s a lot more convenient when all the answers are in the same place and people will appreciate that. Be careful though writing long posts about something that nobody is searching for it’s a waste of time. Also writing long posts where you just repeat the same points over and over again or if you are off-topic writing nonsense so you can just create a 2000 blog post then you will simply fail to achieve anything.

Overall long posts are better for SEO not only short-term but especially long term. They also offer you the chance to differentiate your blog from the rest of blogs in your niche especially if everyone else is writing short and medium length posts.

Conclusion

So should someone just focus on writing long posts? Is that the key to success? Of course not. Length is just one of the factors you should consider. Word count on its own won’t increase your rankings drastically. The quality of your content, how often you post, your personal style and the structure (subheadings, images etc) of your articles are also important factors for you to consider. The best thing you should do is to write naturally and combine posts of different length. Don’t force yourself to reach a certain number of words if you can say what you want in 700 words. Just write until you feel you covered the topic sufficiently and then stop. A post of 750-850 words is what you should aim for if you are just starting your blog. Practice makes perfect. The most important thing is to enjoy the process of writing and addressing your readers needs.


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How long do you make your blog posts? Let me know what you think with a comment below. 

Note: This blog post is 1366 words not on purpose, it just happened.

 

 


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22 Responses

  1. Michael Cook says:

    This is a great article and kinda reassured me of what I thought I already knew. I am a blogger myself — and at first I would count every article to make sure it was a certain length — but after a while I just wrote informative content for my audience to where my point was made clear enough then I stopped.

    How long would you say your blogs are usually?

    • Nikos says:

      Hello Michael,
      Well on average my posts are around 1200 words but i also have 700 word posts. A little bit for everybody. Mixing posts of different lengths i believe it’s a good strategy. There will always be readers from your audience who like short posts and readers who like long posts so a combination of posts can be very beneficial for your blog. And like you said is the quality of your content that matters in the end.

  2. Steve says:

    This has been a really interesting read and makes me think seriously about the length of my own posts when I write. I really need to up my word count to take full advantage of the google love for longer pieces. I also like your comment that a bit of variety across the site is probably not a bad thing.

    Thanks for such an educational post.

    Steve

  3. Andy says:

    Hi, Nikos. You give a lot of great guidelines here. Many of my posts tend to be around 1,000 words, so I guess I’m mostly split between medium and long posts. Like you said: your best bet is to write naturally. Trying to hit a specific word count reminds me of the movie “Summer School” where they had to write an essay consisting of a certain number of words, and one guy ended his essay with, “And that is why I like [name] very very very very very… very much.”

    • Nikos says:

      Hello Andy,
      In the end it’s all about the quality of your content but posts of 1500 words seem to rank better. Keep it to the point, if you don’t have that much to say on a topic keep it short. Your readers will appreciate that.

  4. Salvatore V Jenkins Jr. says:

    I have always thought to myself, ” Are my posts long enough or are they to short” but after reading your post I think it would be beneficial to write a combination of each…

    As you said longer post rank more because of the amount of keywords that will fit within the content but there has been times where I was reading a post and part way through it I found myself starting to skim the information…

    I think it is important to get the important information out without being long winded and try your best to keep your readers attention or else they might miss the most important part when their mind forces them to skim. What do you think?

    • Nikos says:

      You are absolutely right. There is nothing worse than a post where the author repeats the same points again and again. Write until you say what you want to say and then stop. Long posts that provide no value are not going to rank. The objective is to write quality posts not just long posts.

  5. Bob Brooks says:

    Love the post, I have asked myself that many times. I usually run between 500 and 800 words. I find it very difficult to write over a 1000 words and at the same time find it difficult to write small posts due to having too much to cover. SEO ranking is so important and you nailed it, with keywords you can help your SEO ranking. Also agree with write naturally, be who you are. Thanks for a great post

  6. Zbigniew says:

    Hi, thank you for this post. I’ve always felt that writing naturally is the best way to draw the reader’s attention. It’s great relief to have my intuition confirmed:-) I have a question, though. How many images do you usually insert into a post of this length (1500 words)?
    Cheers,

    • Nikos says:

      Hello Zbigniew,

      Writing quality content is the best way to satisfy your audience. When it comes to images i think it depends on what you are writing about. If for example you want to use images (screenshots) in order to help your readers understand the topic in a better way you could use up to 6 or 7. Too many images though can distract your readers but also no images can make your content hard to read. I usually use 3 to 4 images for a blog post of that size (1500 words).

  7. Norman says:

    Hello and thanks for sharing all of this great information on how long a post should be, this post is especially good for those who are just starting out and needs a guide to know how this is done, while we should go for the recommended wording nothing beats the quality of the content because the goal is to educate your readers so that they will keep coming back and bringing new visitors with them. Thanks again for sharing.

  8. roamy says:

    Hello Niko

    I feel this is always hard to decide how long a post can be, when I got started, I struggled to write 300 words as I`d read somewhere that you should aim for minimum 300 words.

    Over time, I can quickly create a 2000 word post without a problem but again there are days I struggle to put 500 words together.

    Personally, I do not really worry about the size of a post, I feel that it`s better to have a 500 words quality post than to publish a 1500 or more words filled with fluff.

    I still think there are some posts that no matter how hard you try, you can not make them long and should just let them be as they are.

    Thanks for your views on how long a post should/should not be,very well written.

    • Nikos says:

      Hello Roamy,

      Quality content is and will always be the most important factor for an online business. Writing long posts shouldn’t be the objective. The objective must always be writing helpful and informative blog posts. There is nothing more boring than a 1500 word post where the same points are mentioned again and again. The best strategy is to write until you express your point of view adequately and then simply stop.

  9. Neil says:

    Quite an interesting article because I’ve heard that writing lengthy blog posts is the way to go, but I’ve also been told to write at least 300 – 400 word articles. But to me, that doesn’t seem like enough content for rankings.

    It actually seems like complicated process with many variables to consider lol. However, I see your point about catching readers attentions and giving them the details they need. I’ve also come across articles with thousands of words, but ended up skipping a lot of content.

    At the end of the day, Google knows what kind of value people are looking for, and so will rank articles accordingly.

    Thanks for your insights, and I’m just going to write with the reader in mind and offering them value. 🙂

    Neil

    • Nikos says:

      Hello Neil,

      Writing good quality content is the best strategy no matter it’s length. Longer posts do seem to rank better though at least at the moment.

  10. Simon Crowe in Asia says:

    Personally I find it very hard to write posts below 1200 words. I’ve tried but I just can’t do it!

    I have some bog posts which are 5,000 words long but most of my posts seems to naturally be at the 2,000 to 2,200 mark.

    Yeah Google loves longer blog posts, more inetrnal linking, keywords, discussion around the topic, ultimately more value.

    • Nikos says:

      Hello Simon,

      The more you blog the more difficult it gets to write 700-800 word blog posts. Google does seem to like longer posts although quality content is the key for better rankings.

      Thank you for your comment.

  11. Kenny Lee says:

    I used to write around 800 words but I learned from top internet marketers that content with more than 1,000 words are better to rank. It’s definitely tougher to create but I guess one single long blog post that ranks is better two 800 words that doesn’t go far in the ranking.

    • Nikos says:

      Hello Kenny,

      I totally agree with you. Longer posts do rank better. Although it’s more difficult to write them that’s just in thr beginning. The more your blog the easier it gets to write long posts.

      Thank you, for your comment.

  12. sufyan says:

    Your Blog all Post information is very unique and good for readers because when i read your blog looks very impressive for me. I want to say thanks to you. Most importantly I have bookmark your site for future updates.

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