Ask bloggers about the optimal length of a blog post and each one will have a different answer. Some will tell you 500 words while others will tell you to write not less than 2000 words. Some bloggers say that shorter blog posts are ideal because people only scan content, they don’t read. Others say that longer posts are better because they are ranked well by search engines and build authority and credibility. Today, we are debunking the myths you’ve been told about optimal blog post length.
Myth 1: Only Long Blog Posts Get Noticed
Sure, only one post can scoop the first position on search engines. Google and its counterparts work hard to ensure that the first result contains the best content for that keyword. However, this doesn’t mean your blog posts should be more than 2,000 words. Longer is not always better. Twitter allows a 140-letter character limit, but the perfect length of a tweet is 100 characters. If your website is not optimized for search engines, your posts may not show up on the first page no matter how long they are. Your competitors’ posts may rank highly than yours simply because their sites are optimized.
It is no secret that Google loves content-rich sites. The average length for many articles that appear on its first page is 2,000 words. If you have a long post, you also have more opportunities to fit in many relevant keywords. As a result, search engines rank it in different areas. You may find that your posts generate traffic from searches you never thought they would rank for. But this doesn’t mean you make every post a short novel. There is nothing people hate more than fluff. Make your posts as long as they have to be.
It also depends on your industry. For example, most recipe websites that rank well on Google have pages with less than 500 words. Quality outperforms quantity every single time. Don’t just write long posts to rank well, write content that solves a problem. It’s the secret to ranking highly.
Myth 2: Only Short Blog Posts Get Noticed
Some bloggers belong to the school of thought that believes shorter is better, that a post should be as short as possible. They claim that readers have a short attention span and once you cross the 300-character threshold, you’re done for. One marketing genius who writes short blog posts is Seth Godin. Some of his posts are no longer than 50 words! But the thing is, he knows his audience and writes posts that appeal to them. He has a unique approach that works for him.
But shorter posts are not always better. They might work in some situations, but not all. The idea behind short blog posts is that people are more inclined to read and share them. Short post advocates say that if a topic must be explained in a thousand words or more, you should not write it. Or you can write it using fewer words so more people can read it.
You may have heard that readers’ attention span doesn’t last beyond 500 words. This is rarely the case. Many bloggers have seen an increase in readership once they started publishing long-form content. Instead of worrying about how long or short your posts should be, concentrate on offering value to your readers.
Understanding Blog Post Length
No question about it, different blog post lengths work for different industries. Here is a list of common lengths to help you find your ideal one.
- 300 words and below: These posts help generate discussions. They aren’t ranked well by search engines and don’t get many shares on social media, however, they get a lot of comments! Google’s Panda Update penalizes thin content. If your post is less than 200 words, search engines will punish you.
- 300-600 words: Many bloggers recommend this length. However, articles with this length are too short to rank well on search engines and do not position you as an expert. The only good thing about them is that they get a good number of social shares and comments.
- 600-750 words: Posts written by professional journalists and newspapers are usually this long. They tend to get many shares on social media and bloggers link to them.
- 1,000-1,500 words: This is the perfect length of an optimized post. If you want to get more search engine traffic, make your posts this long. You’ll be seen as an expert and get more shares on social networks. You may also get many comments depending on the topic you’ve covered.
- 2,000-2,500 words: The highest-ranking posts on Google are usually more than 2,000 words. Long posts will generate a lot of traffic for your site each month and rank well on every search engine. But be sure to cover a topic people want to read about, not one they can’t be bothered to read.
The Optimal Length of Other Blog Post Features
The title tag is the most vital on-page SEO component. Google normally displays the initial 50-60 characters of a title or the amount of characters that fit into a 512-pixel display. If you write a title with less than 55 characters, it will be displayed properly on search engines.
Meta Description Tag
Search engines use Meta descriptions to show preview snippets of pages. The ideal length of a Meta tag is between 150-160 characters. It should use keywords brilliantly and make searchers want to click.
While there isn’t a set limit for the length of URLs, research shows that a lot of Google’s URLs are approximately 70-90 characters. Search engine results pages show about 50 characters in the URL fields; they highlight the keywords and shorten long URLs.
It has been said time and again that web readers are not patient. This is true in every sense of the word. Use short paragraphs that make sense (4-5 sentences), don’t just start a new one because you think it looks nice. Each paragraph should explain a main idea or topic. If a post looks like one big block of text, visitors won’t bother reading.
Number of Images
Many bloggers often wonder how many images they should use in their blog posts. A study conducted by Blog Pros showed that the highest ranking blogs on the internet have an image for every 350 words. People connect with content via the text and images.
Blogs have been around for many years, but people still have a lot of mistaken beliefs about them. Let no one dictate how you should write, choose your optimal blog post length for the best outcome.
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