Its no secret that having quality content is more important than ever. Google search results drive traffic and traffic converts into revenue. For this reason, many businesses have create ambitious posting schedules in an attempt to draw people to their site.
However, these plans don’t always work out to the company’s benefit. We look at how the length and style of a post can help your site to be well positioned in Google and also to establish your company as an industry leader with valuable content.
How Long Should a Post Be?
Posts online are usually considered to be either long form (or long content) – consisting of more than 500 words – or short content – being less than 500 words. There are pros and cons to both. Deciding on the length often depends on the point of the article. We’ll talk about both and when to elect either a short or long blog post.
Long Form Posts
In the past, long form posts were not seen as a valuable SEO marketing tool. As casual browsers might want to read a quick article, the feeling was that writing anything longer wouldn’t really be consumed. Additionally, search engines have specific algorithms for determining the “quality” of a page, and longer isn’t necessarily better.
The value of long form posts comes from the fact that you can deliver valuable content to your users. Long posts let you go deep into technical issues, tell an engaging story or present an interesting interview. Some companies have even found success with “gated long posts”, where a user must sign up to a mailing list in order to access the entire post. Long form posts can go a long way to establishing you as an industry expert.
Short Form Posts
Shorter posts – those of under 500 words – are great for quick and interesting reads, sharing news about an event or announcing a new product or release. Since they take less time to produce, you can produce more, which helps you possibly strike gold on some unexpected interest of your readers and also help establish a better search engine ranking.
The Role of Quality
You probably remember a time in the early 2000’s when ever site had a sidebar filled with randomly sized words. There was a time when things like keyword stuffing, content scraping and other poor substitutes for content could actually help a page to rank better. Things have changed since then, and none of these strategies are going to help your page be considered “high quality” by Google or any other analytics bots that check out your page. Duplicate content is also bad.
If your page is a cut and paste collage of other articles, these systems are able to pick that up. Even worse, if your competitors or clients notice you are doing things like this, your reputation will be damage irrevocably.
Don’t forget, your Google ranking means nothing if your human readers don’t see you as a source of reliable and valuable information. There are no shortcuts in producing quality content.
Scheduled automated posting systems are popular and they can make maintaining a website easier. Content can be quickly developed at one point in time and then automatically released slowly over time. These systems can be great but they also present a trap. In a rush to fill a posting schedule, some companies put out filler posts. Others sit on exciting news just because it didn’t come in on time for their posting schedule.
These decisions can also impact the length of the posts. It’s great to maintain a schedule, but also important to leave time for creativity and unexpected news.
Developing Quality Posts
A great practice for both long or short form posts is to start by writing a basic outline. Start with sub headings and main talking points. Each post should be easily explained in 1-2 sentences. If explaining it becomes more complex than that, it might be a better idea to divide the ideas up into several posts.
Always try to imagine what your potential clients will take away from this post. Does it really have something to say that hasn’t already been said? Does it answer a question people often Google related to your industry?
These are the posts that work on both levels; valuable to human readers and well ranked by search engines. No one likes to open a post that poses a question, and then – ten “filler paragraphs” later – basically tells them, “Do research to find the right answer for you!”
Article Length Recommendations
- Buffer: recommends the ideal blog post length should be 1,600 words.
- CoSchedule: recommends the ideal blog post length should be 2,500 words.
- Hubspot: recommends the ideal blog post length should be 2,250 to 2,500 words.
- Moz: recommends the ideal blog post length should be 1,125 words.
- ClickSeed: recommends the ideal blog post length should be 1,000 words.
- Yoast: recommends the minimum word count is 300 in order to rank, but ideal blog post length should be 1,000 words.
Recommended Article Length By Industry
- Financial technology – 2,000 – 2,150 words
- Finance – 2,100 – 2,500 words
- Manufacturing – 1,700 – 1,900 words
- Sales – 2,500 – 2,700 words
- Retail – 1,500 – 1,700 words
- Real estate – 1,800 – 1,900 words
- Home and garden – 1,100 – 1,200 words
- Tech – 800 – 1,000 words
- Gadgets – 300 – 500 words
- Marketing/advertising – 2,500 – 3,000 words
- Healthcare – 2,000 – 2,150 words
- Fashion – 800 – 950 words
- Recruiting – 900 – 1,000 words
- Food – 1,400 – 1,900 words
- Travel – 1,500 – 1,850 words
- Film – 1,500 – 1,700 words
Brining It All Together
As you can see, developing quality content is not as easy as it sounds. It could be that you’re an industry expert with lots of knowledge to share, but you don’t know where to start. If that’s your situation, fill out our contact form now. Put all that knowledge to work today, driving people to your company online all around the world.