Content Length: Best Practices for SEO and User Engagement

B2B Marketing
January 2, 2024 6 min
Justin Berg
Justin Berg

Founder of Rock The Rankings

Determining the optimal length for a blog post is a crucial decision for content creators, impacting reader engagement, search engine visibility, and the overall effectiveness of the post.

While new bloggers often grapple with the choice between brevity and depth, seasoned writers understand that the answer isn’t black and white.

Instead, the ideal length of a blog post hinges on various factors, such as the topic’s complexity, the audience’s preferences, and the specific goals of the content, whether to educate, entertain, or inform.

While some audiences may prefer quick reads that swiftly offer solutions or insights, others may be drawn to in-depth articles that thoroughly explore the subject matter.

The role of blog post length in search engine optimization (SEO) cannot be ignored, as it can influence the visibility of the content and its ability to rank in search results.

In this article, we’ll dive into the importance of content length and the factors to consider when creating content for your audience.

Optimal Blog Post Size: Striking the Right Word Count

The debate over how lengthy a blog post should be is not rooted in an arbitrary preference for brevity or verbosity.

Empirical evidence suggests that while society grapples with diminishing attention spans, the propensity for more extended blog posts is actually increasing.

The evolution of an average blog post’s size reflects this pattern, with a notable growth observed from 800 to about 1,150 words over recent years.

Research aiming to determine the perfect post size pinpoints to 1,600 words as an optimal figure for maximizing engagement.

However, other studies recommend leaning towards even more substantial content.

For instance, analysis indicates that blog posts yielding approximately seven minutes of reading time hit a sweet spot in terms of readers’ attention.

This inference is supported by the average reading pace of 300 words per minute for English-speaking adults, calculating to a recommended post length of around 2,100 words.

HubSpot’s analytical results resonate with this finding, advocating for an ideal range of 2,250 to 2,500 words to maximize blog post success.

Despite varying suggestions, a consensus can be inferred: in-depth, long-form content holds significant sway in the realm of blogging.

Currently, the trend among bloggers tilts markedly towards posts exceeding the 1,500+ word mark.

Blogging’s pivot toward longer posts is not without merit; though they demand more investment in creation, extensive pieces bring forth substantial advantages. The subsequent discussion will elucidate these benefits, underscoring why investing in lengthier content could be a judicious strategy for bloggers.

Longer Blog Content: Key Advantages

1. Enhanced Engagement on the Website

When blog content is extensive and comprehensive, it increases the likelihood that readers will spend more time on the website.

By offering an in-depth exploration on a topic, a blog post not only retains visitors but potentially encourages them to explore additional content on the site.

This sustained engagement is not only beneficial for the reader’s experience but can also contribute to a higher rate of visitor retention through methods such as exit-intent technology, which prompts users to subscribe to a newsletter when they’re about to leave the site.

  • Average on-page time increase: 40% longer than shorter content
  • Pages per visit: 25% more compared to shorter content

2. Social Media Visibility

Content richness also translates into heightened shares and likes on social media platforms.

Detailed analyses indicate that posts extending beyond 1,500 words consistently outperform shorter posts in terms of social media interactions.

Post LengthAverage TweetsAverage Facebook Likes
Under 1,500 words174.659.3
Over 1,500 words293.572.7

Moreover, exceeding the 1,500-word threshold tends to result in:

  • 68.1% more tweets
  • 22.6% more Facebook likes

More social media traction can exponentially increase a blog post’s audience reach, elevating the potential for content to become widely circulated or even viral.

3, Search Engine Optimization (SEO) Enhancement

A crucial factor in SEO is the thoroughness of the content, with search engines favoring extensive and informative posts.

A minimum of 300 words is advised for a post to be considered by search engines, although in many cases will have trouble ranking, but articles surpassing 1,000 words generally achieve higher rankings.

Evidence suggests that blogs with approximately 2,500 words are positioned most favorably. Alongside word count, SEO efforts should encompass keyword integration, link strategy, and other optimization techniques to maximize discoverability.

  • Ideal post length for ranking: around 2,500 words
  • Average word count of top-ranking pages: between 2,000 to 2,500 words

Crafting detailed blog entries not only offers richness to the reader but can significantly improve online visibility through better search engine rankings, resulting in more organic traffic to the site.

How to Write a Long-Form Blog Post

Creating an extended blog post that surpasses the 2000-word mark requires a well-thought-out approach to maintain quality and engagement.

Writers may find that, depending on their expertise and familiarity with the subject, crafting such a post can vary significantly in the time commitment required.

Seasoned writers with subject matter expertise might produce a comprehensive piece within an hour, while those less acquainted with the topic or new to writing may need several hours to achieve the same goal.

To streamline the writing process, consider these strategies:

  • Preparation: Conduct thorough research prior to writing. This ensures that the writing phase focuses on composition rather than fact-finding.
  • Planning: An intricate outline can act as a roadmap, guiding the writer through each section with purpose and direction.
  • Focus: Minimize disruptions by silencing mobile notifications and opting for writing tools with fewer distractions, such as Google Docs.

However, the objective isn’t solely to meet a word count or produce content swiftly; several other elements are crucial:

  • Readability: A long article must keep readers engaged. Enhance readability by crafting concise sentences, utilizing shorter paragraphs, and employing understandable language.
  • Originality and Value: Content that echoes the same details found elsewhere offers little to distinguish itself. Unique insights and novel information can help a blog post stand out and draw Google’s attention.
  • Credibility and Expertise: Posts that exhibit thorough research and factual accuracy gain favor with search engines and are more likely to earn links from reputable sources, signaling authority.
  • Visibility: No matter the article’s quality, it must reach an audience. Understanding and applying effective blog promotion techniques is as important as the writing process itself.

Final Thoughts on Content Length

When crafting online content, it’s vital to produce material rich in value rather than merely achieving a specific length.

The concept of an ideal blog post length is a myth; different subjects demand varied depths of discussion:

  • Relevance: Ensure that every paragraph adds substance and relevance to the topic.
  • Quality: Superior content depth can engage readers more effectively than the sheer volume of words.
  • Audience Needs: Tailor the length according to what will serve the audience best.

Remember, providing informative long-form content can significantly impact reader satisfaction and blog success. Focus on addressing the topic comprehensively and forget about reaching an arbitrary word count.

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