If you’re a blogger, you most probably have wondered how long you should make your blog posts so that they favor both search engines and your audience. I find that we are always trying to figure out the ideal blog post length.
If you make the post too long, there is a probability it may tire out your audience, and they may not read your content to the end.
On the other hand, if you make it too short, search engines may penalize your website by ranking it lower amongst your competitors.
To make things short, the ideal blog post length is technically between 2,100 – 2,400 words, but before you go writing a 2400 word blog post, just know that several factors determine the recommended size of an article.
Here they are.
Factors That Determine The Ideal Blog Post Word Count
1. Your Audience
What does your audience like?
If you already have subscribers, you probably know what kind of content length they mostly show interest in.
Also, on which social media platform do your posts get a higher number of shares?
For example, if it’s LinkedIn, longer posts will be practical as users interact more with content that provides in-depth knowledge about a particular subject.
However, the same cannot be said for Instagram, where shorter posts do a lot better.
2. End Goals
What is most important to you? Is it ranking higher on SEO or pleasing your audience.
You can achieve both, but the needs of the more preferred end goal will have to take precedence.
For SEO, a longer post is ideal. According to Yoast, 1000 words or more is perfect; however, posts above 2500 words do exceptionally well.
Longer posts enable search engines to comprehend what your content is about. You also get the chance to naturally incorporate more critical phrases within your content without it seeming overstuffed.
You may include more subheadings and inbound and outbound links to boost your organic traffic.
If your content is below the recommended length, search engines such as Google are most likely to classify it as ‘shallow content.’
This refers to content that is less likely to offer the reader comprehensive and valuable information.
Google’s priority is to offer value to its readers, and if your posts are not up to standard, you’ll get penalized and rank lower.
3. Post Type
According to Hubspot, there are different types and formats of blogposts, including listicles, how-to’s, what is, and pillar pages. To expound on each of these:
Listicles – These are blog posts that provide a list of several points or items, usually with some additional detail to each of them. The recommended length is between 2300 – 2600 words for these blog posts. It makes sense that these blog posts are this long because if you provide a list of something, the longer the list gets, the more information the reader receives. In case you are listing products, the users get to learn or choose from a variety.
Example listicle: 15 Best Home Office Gifts for Him
How-to’s – These are posts that describe how to perform a given task. Its length will be determined by the complexity of the subject at hand. If it is a simple and straightforward topic, you could do a minimum of 300 words. But if it needs intricate details for the reader to understand, then the post can be as long as 10,000 words. Remember, you ought to provide value for your readers to gain favor with them and Google.
Example how-to: How to Save Money Fast [50 Easy Methods]
What is – These are blog posts geared towards answering a given question; as such, most readers hope to find the answer or explanation quickly. Such posts range between 1300 – 1700 words. Beyond this limit, you may frustrate and tire out users, leading them to abandon the post and your website altogether. The post you’re currently reading is a ‘what is post,’ with 1347 words.
Pillar page- This blog post seeks to provide an all-rounded guide to a given topic. It equips readers with everything they need to know about it, and all other blog posts created tend to stem from it. Therefore, it should be comprehensive. For such a blog post, 4000 words are ideal.
Example pillar page: How to Start a Blog in 2021 (Easy-to-Follow Guide)
How to Achieve the Optimal Blog Post Length
As seen above, the longer the blog post, the better for you, especially when it comes to SEO. However, length is not the only qualifying factor.
Your post should be resourceful and offer real value to online users. Therefore, filling your content with fluff or unnecessary information to attain the recommended word count does not make the cut.
To create long and sound posts, you should first analyze what you intend to achieve with the post.
You should then pick your targeted keywords. Search engines like Google make it easier to find relevant keywords by providing different variations to a given keyword. This can give you more ideas on what to include in your post.
You should then come up with a catchy heading and subtitles that may be included in the blog post. Though you may end up changing the subtitles in the course of writing, they help create a ‘skeleton’ that allows you to stick to the article’s primary purpose.
If you are short of ideas, you may research highly ranked blog posts with similar content to derive inspiration from what to include in your post. However, ensure that your content remains unique.
Ubersuggest is another great keyword research tool that can give you many keyword ideas and headings in your articles.
What if You Can’t Achieve The Ideal Blog Post Length for SEO?
Sometimes you may not have that much to write to attain the ideal blog post length. There is no need to panic in this case, as not all posts need to be super long.
According to Hubspot, your posts can still rank, even with a lower word count.
You only need to ensure that you provide appropriate backlinks, include Google’s featured snippet, add alt-text, use the right keywords, and include proper media in your content (images, video, social media, e.t.c).
Not to forget, your site’s loading speed ought to be fast enough.
As reported by webFX, your site should take two seconds or less to load. Otherwise, 53% of users may abandon your site if it takes more than three seconds to load.
Google ranks slow-loading websites lower. Considering that websites’ current average loading speed is 10.3 seconds on desktop and 27.3 seconds on mobile (source: Backlinko), too many websites are affected.
Luckily, the factors that lead to a slow-loading website can be addressed.
Disclaimer: Some links below are affiliate links, where I may receive a small commission on purchases at no cost to you. You can read my full affiliate disclosure here.
Here are 3 ways I improved my site speed:
– Chose fast web hosting: I use Cloudways as my web host, and my site speed has been excellent. I moved from Bluehost and haven’t looked back. Join Cloudways today
– Use a caching plugin: I use WPRocket to speed up my website as well. It implements 80% of the best web performance practices from the get-go, so you’ll notice a faster page speed as soon as you install the plugin. Get 10% OFF through this link
– Correctly resize images: I use the free online tools of BulkResize and Compressor to resize the photos for my blog. A 25KB photo will load a lot quicker than a 1MB photo.
So there, we’ve answered what the ideal blog post length should be in 2021.
It always depends on the type of article you’re writing, your goals as a blogger, and the audience’s reception.
A good quote for blog post length is that “quality is more important than quantity.” So always aim for a high-quality post instead of a high word count.
Remember to never do keyword stuffing as this can affect your overall SEO, and do not write fluff to achieve a higher word count.
Apart from that, you should be good to start writing!
What’s your average blog post length? Have you found that longer posts do better?