How long should a blog post be? This is something we often get asked. The truth is, there is no one answer.
From a content marketing point of view – word count should not dictate a blog post. When you write a post, it should be because you think, or research shows, that your target audience will find it beneficial, interesting and worth reading. From an SEO point of view, there are a range of factors which influence whether a content piece ranks.
Minimum word count
Technically, a blog post should not be shorter than 300 words to rank at all. This is because search engines only crawl content longer than 300 words. Anything shorter will not be considered by search engines like Google.
Trusted sources across the industry recommend that blog posts should be over 1,000 words to be beneficial to SEO. This is because more words provide more opportunity to include indicators and clues as to what your article is about and who it is for.
Another reason why longer pieces are often better is that they are less likely to be stuffed with keywords (a negative indicator which can be detrimental to SEO).
Blog post engagement matters
Google is now using sophisticated technology and many more factors to determine where and what blog posts rank for. Although not confirmed, it’s becoming apparent that user engagement is key to determining where a page ranks.
Improving user experience is not just about website design – you can improve UX by structuring a post, so it’s easier to read. Short paragraphs, subheadings and bullet points make longer pieces digestible – especially on devices such as smartphones.
Language and readability scores
It’s not confirmed that readability is one of Google’s ranking factors – but recent studies from recognised industry sources show that improving readability has a positive impact on rank.
To improve the readability of a blog post you need to make sure it is easy to read by most of the public. This means simplifying language, making sentences shorter and writing for a lower reading age.
If you want to make a blog post easier to read, try to:
- Write conversationally
- Use short sentences
- Use short paragraphs
- Use bullet point lists and subheadings
Here at TDMP, we use a range of industry tools to score and improve the readability of the content we produce or edit for clients. With these tools, we are able to provide before and after scores which put into context the edits we have made.
Keep your target audience in mind
As mentioned previously – think quality, not quantity. A good blog post or article should be written for your target audience.
If you’re trying to reach your audience; think about their journey through the sales funnel and the questions they may have at each level. Providing content at each level can help to build goodwill which in turn can lead to increased brand awareness or a future conversion.
Add images for interest
Break up long blocks of texts with images, graphics, GIFs and videos. Visuals can help you make a point, explain something complicated and help to keep readers interested and engaged.
You can take your own images or find images on free stock image sites. We often find our images on the sites below:
It’s about context
It’s not probably not going to be possible to make everything you write for your blog over 1,000 words – well, not without waffling on a few subjects. It’s okay to have shorter blog posts – especially if it's not important they rank. For example, if you’re updating your audience about team changes or something minor, it’s probably not a priority for it to rank number 1.
Make content linkable
One of the most important elements of SEO is link building. Links to a website indicate to search engine’s that content is high quality, relevant and trustworthy. The more links a site or blog post has, the more likely it is to rank.
When you create a blog post, think about who you would want to link to it. For example, if you’re a B2B business you may want to create a white paper which appeals to trusted bodies in your industry as a way of reaching your target audience. Great content attracts links - which improves search engine rankings and the overall authority score of a website.
Create content for social
If your brand has social network profiles, think about writing blog posts for these channels. Content marketing strategies for social networks are similar to those required to rank - you want posts to be relevant, interesting and engaging. What you create for each social media profile may be different also.
For example - what you create for a channel like LinkedIn might be more business focused, and technical - but a piece for a network like Instagram may focus on other mediums - like video content.
Optimise old content
If you’re unhappy with the visibility of past articles, go back and optimise them. When we work with new clients, we often go back and audit content. This helps to identify content which is worth reworking.
When we optimise, we look to update text, fix broken links and make sure the right keywords and search queries are being used. Sometimes we just re-organise layouts and address readability issues – making minimal changes overall.
Setting objectives and creating a strategy is essential to all types of digital marketing, including content marketing. TDMP’s content and SEO team work closely together, as both disciplines are now intertwined and reliant on each other.
When it comes to creating content – we’re flexible, working to the needs and resources of our clients. Some of our clients have their own writers who are available to develop pieces with guidance. Other smaller clients without resource use our in-house writers.