It is becoming a necessity for companies to generate content as one of the key digital marketing strategies. The recent trend in the use of Blog Posts for marketing prompted SEMRush to conduct a survey in the field. It was revealed that 84% percent of firms have a content marketing strategy and in most cases, blog posts are the most preferred format. It is also estimated that more than two billion blogs are published every year by bloggers and companies.
Therefore, SEMRush’s findings indicate that most organizations rely on organic traffic and search engine optimization when distributing content. Content marketers have realized how valuable and competitive SEO is for blog posts, a majority of them are constantly optimizing theirs.
Now, the biggest question here is: how long should a blog post be to rank highly or at least appear on the first page of the search engine results?
Just like you and I, Jasper.ai had the same question in mind and went a head to find answers from SEO experts and content creators. Below are the findings which may change your perspective about content marketing.
How long is long enough for Long-Form Blog Posts to rank onsearch engine result pages
When Yoast was asked about the number of words in a blogpost, the response was contrary to our expectations. It is believed that posts with as little as 300 words would still rank on SERPs. However, high ranking for the small number of words would only work with less competitive topics.
Jasper.ai kept on asking industry experts, and discovered that an ideal length for a highly ranking blog post on SERPs should be between 1500 to around 2500 words. However, respondents insisted that the length of a blog post should not be a standard of measure for SERPs as there will be variations based on the niche, industry and the subject matter.
In a study conducted by Orbit Media, it was revealed that on average, blog posts are progressively getting longer over time. Currently, an average blog post is 1,416 words long.
As a result, most of the readers and search engines are now preferring longer blog posts. This has pushed content marketers and bloggers to shift their focus to long-form content of at least 1000 words.
Katheriin Libert (Head of Marketing at Outfunnel) insiststhat after the five years in SEO and Content Marketing, she has realized thatlength matters a lot when it comes to SERPs. Libert said that shorter blogposts (1600 or less) may not rank highly in search engine results pages.
Adam Connell of Blogging Wizard also acknowledged that most of the SEO and content marketing experts prefer long articles since such length provides an opportunity to include the desired number of keywords (long-tail keywords).
Sometimes, you should be keen when creating content for your blog for the first time, it is recommended to leave room for the potential updates that could occur in the near future. Inkwell Content Services founder further indicated that content marketers and bloggers should not struggle with hitting the maximum word count. Some updates on the search engine results may affect the way content appears in the in results pages.
Should the length of blog posts be the only metric that influences Google rankings? No, this should not be the case…
A survey conducted by Backlink.io revealed that in some cases, not the blog with the highest number of words appears at the top of the first search engine results page. It was concluded that an average Google first page result contains 1,447 words from the top 10 results in a search.
So, what do you consider when determining the length of an optimal SEO blog post? Let provide a brief summary on the question.
What Factors to consider when determining the length of an SEO blog post
Apart from the length of a blog post, content marketers and other industry marketers also revealed the factors that influences the SEO ranking of a blog post apart from its length.
1. Focusing on search intent
Each of the SEO expert who responded to the survey emphasized on the value of creating content that focuses on the search intent. Accordingto Qhubekani Nyathi (SEO Pillar Content Expert at Wholesome Commerce), an ideal winning blog should constitute as many words as it may take to address thesearch intent and nothing less than that would yield the desirable outcomes.
Joseph Raczka (Content Executive at Twinkl) also reports thathis team creates content ranging between 500 and 4000 words. However, henoticed that ranking of this content has less to do with length and more to dowith the following factors:
- The relevance of the blog posts to search intent
- Quality of the content created
- Repetition or fluff within the content
After evaluating the top performing posts created by his team, Raczka realized that they ranged between 1800-2200 words. The best strategy of creating content that will rank is tofocus on answering your reader’s questions. According to Brendan Tully (Principal consultant at WP Speed) emphasizes that writing with a search intent means you are not treating your readers as dummies.
2. Subject coverage
Apart from putting search intent into consideration when creating blog posts, content creators must cover the subject matter in detail. A study conducted by Backlink.io also confirms that with this approach, be sure to get more and more readers to your platform. Therefore, it is clear that a comprehensive content (quality blog post) will rank higher than blog posts that are shallow when highlighting areas of the subject matter.
Manick Bhan (Linkgraph founder) also acknowledged that there is a direct correlation between the length of the content and SERP rankings. However, he added that while length is correlated to higher ranking, it doesnot really cause it.
Bhan further added that having authority over the topic of subject matter is what really matters most to Google. Interestingly, it is easier to express authority through creation of longer blog posts with multiple headers and relevant keywords. Bhan says that topical authority can be defined by your effort to ensure your website covers a particular topic. This is whatis regarded as high quality content.
3. Competitor posts
When not sure of the length of your blog posts for a particular topic, it is recommended that you check out the length of the articles and platforms competing with you. Akinduyo Eniola (SEO expert at Gurus Coach also suggests that content marketers should study their niches to see what is working and what is not working for their competitors. Just like Matt Diggity says, “You don’t want to be the black sheep on the search engine.”
It implies that when the Google search ranks your competitor’s articles highly, their style of writing and presenting content is resonating with what the algorithm wants. Therefore, it would be best of you take an idea from such content and platforms. However it also means that if your competitors’ content is ranking with around 1500 words, doubling the word count is likely to work against you.
4. SEO Tools
The increasing popularity of SEO has led to the introduction of tools that can help you with keyword research and content marketing. Examples of these tools include Surfer SEO and Clearscope. A content marketer may find these tools valuable since they provide an insight on the keywords, their combinations and a possible word count.
Chintan (a freelance B2B SaaS writer and Elite Content Marketer founder) said that his reliance to the SEO tools has enabled him to create quality content and has been able to attract more than 50,000 visitors every month.
Chintan added that one should not follow these tools blindly since they can be flawed at times. These tools are believed to be analyzing top-ranking pages. However, the rankings may depend on other factors other than on-page SEO. Chintan noted than domain authority can either lower or improve the website’s on-page SEO ranking.
Chantan had the following to say on ways that one can use toget the most of the existing SEO tools. “Simply put, optimize your content by using relevant subtopics and integrating keywords suggested by the tool.” Onsearch intent, Chintan stated that one can still appear in the top ten SERPseven when the content is below other ranking posts.
5. User-Friendly post features
Not every topic requires long-form form blog content, you may end up affecting your platform’s reputation if you focus on word count. Now, how can you make a shorter post (say below 1500 words) more appealing to the search engine algorithm and your target audience? Well, consider the followinguser-friendly features:
- Screenshots and images
- Embedded videos
- Readability aids such as bullet points
- Light and dark mode screen options
- Navigation tool.
Micaela (SEO and content marketer at Empact Partners) explains that readers will not mind the long pieces as long as navigation menu options are available for them to find what they are looking for with ease.
Nathan Hughes (marketing director at Diggy Marketing) also agrees that blogs with around 1500 words will still rank higher when organized and presented properly. Some of the tactics he mentioned include addition of the right of the right keywords, use of proper backlinks, adding alt texts and media-rich content.
No matter the length, your blog post should be fun and interesting to read. In the long run you will be rewarded by search engines since your readers are highly engaged.
How C180 can help with creating long-form SEO articles
Writing quality long-form blog content requires commitment. Writing such a lengthy content frequently can be time consuming and strenuous since it requires a careful keyword research and competitor analysis. We therefore recommend that you delegate the task to C180 team which is dedicated in ensuring you not only have highly engaging content but also appear on the first page of SERPs. Click on the link to learn more
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