Optimal Word Count for a Blog Post — Is There Such Thing?
As a blogger, you need to continually come up with new idea and create fresh content. Updating your blog regularly is necessary to grow your traffic and retain existing readers or subscribers.
However, time is limited. This question makes sense on the first glance because if bloggers can get high rankings with shorter blog post or web content, why should they take more time to write?
After some thoughts, it appears that the question is not as simple as it seems.
Because this is an article series on SEO blogging, I’m going to emphasize on the impact of post length to Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and go a bit further beyond that.
Without further ado, let’s get started.
Post Length and Search Engine Optimization
Of course, post length has something to do with SEO. Although I’ve seen graphical sites and pages that rank high for specific search keywords because of the myriad number of backlinks to the page, generally web pages with textual content are going to rank on the first page.
For this reason, writing one or two sentences of content and hope a page to rank well on search engines is not the way to go.
Many SEO experts strongly opine that extremely long web pages are not going to rank better too. No one knows exactly the optimal length for a blog post and web pages in general, but it seems to be the best practice that you should create content with at least 250-300 words and avoid exceeding the 1000 words limit.
Be sure to read the following before you run and add filler to your blog posts or trim them down just to keep under the recommended length.
Understanding How Search Engine Works
Search engines, especially Google, serve their customers, i.e. search engine users. The users must have a good experience if the search engines want them to come back and use the engines repeatedly.
For this reason, there is no way search engines could dictate the rule. Even if there is such a rule, in the long run, it will be replaced with a more sophisticated algorithm.
Every user has different expectation about the length and comprehensiveness of the web content they are reading.
If you are able to think like your target market when using certain keyword in the search engine, you are going to do very well. Of course, right now you also need to know at least the basics of SEO so you can optimize the on-page factors of your blog posts.
Give the Readers What They Want
You may have heard about this at least a few times, but it is so frequently given as an advice for a reason. It works.
As many people who say they will stop reading or unsubscribe to your blog feed because your blog posts take too much time to read — too lengthy — there will always be at least the same amount of people who will remove your blog from their news readers if you don’t satisfy them with enough details in the content.
It depends on what the readers want. Social media users, for instance, don’t read but scan through before deciding if the content is well worth it to read. They act as a filter to many other content consumers. For this type of audience, comprehensive coverage of a topic is necessary to establish credibility.
On the other hand, if all the readers expect is short and to the point commentary of something, you’d better give them what they want…
Let’s not forget that if the reason why people follow your blog is because of your personality, the length of your blog post doesn’t matter at all, as long as you keep the personality alive on your blog.
Finally, variation is good. A long article, followed by a few shorter ones, may be what your audience needs to keep them interested in your blog. Whatever it is, you have to test and find out. And yes, the comments on your blog — if you choose to enable blog commenting — allow you to gain insights into this.
Post length is not as important as the idea and how you convey it. There are no such thing as exact number of words for web copy.
Getting the idea across to your audience is more important, and if you do it in a way they expect most, you are going to build your audience / feed subscribers.
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