Blog writing isn’t essay writing. There isn’t a set length of words you need to reach to get a pass mark from the teacher. But how many words is enough, and how many is too many?
The ideal length for a blog post is exactly as long it needs to be.
What everyone seeks, including the search engines, is engaging, authentic and useful information. That’s how you attract readers, and that’s how you get articles shared.
When you try to reach a certain word count but don’t have enough content to warrant a long article, you’ll end up with pointless filler. When your goal is to provide value for the user, the word count will naturally follow.
Yes, search engines do seem to rank longer content
It’s true that the best-ranking blogs are in excess of 2000 words, but that doesn’t mean you should attempt to write War & Peace on a simple subject.
If the length of your article is scaring people away, your average time on the page might drop, your bounce rate might rise, share-ability declines and rankings may drop away. Likewise, if you have a super short and poorly researched article that doesn’t offer enough information, your reader will go elsewhere to find it.
Web audiences are looking for the most useful and relevant information in a minimum amount of time. Complex subjects shouldn’t be skimmed, just as simple topics shouldn’t be subject to twaddle.
What is the bare minimum?
According to Yoast SEO, your articles should be a minimum of 300 words. Any less than that and it will look like a couple of paragraphs – not an article. The theory is that the longer your articles are, the more likely you are to repeat your topic keywords to give Google a stronger sense of what your article is about.
How to get the right balance
A big block of unbroken text isn’t going to excite anybody. Sustained rankings are built around how users engage, so make your blog more digestible with visual optimisation. This can include breaking up content into sections with headings, adding bullet points, using diagrams and interspersing with images, quotes and graphic elements.
Just answer the question
Remember, when someone goes searching on the internet they are looking for an answer to a question. Whether you offer the short or long answer is up to you, just make sure you answer that question better than anyone else and engagement will follow.