How long should a blog article be?
How long should a blog article be? # 070
That a blog can be an important medium in the digital marketing mix, I already discussed in one of the past podcast episodes. Anyone who equips themselves digitally and consistently implements the strategy will often have decisive competitive advantages as a small and medium-sized company. It is still the case that many of the competitors are slow to see the need to extend their own business online as well. Communication via a blog is an initial measure that, if implemented correctly, works.
A blog can be a very important vehicle for building visibility, retaining users or providing targeted information to your own target group. In the podcast episode about corporate blogs, I went into the blog topic in great detail, gave you arguments about the different purposes you can pursue with a blog and when the implementation makes sense in the end. Listen if you're interested. It is definitely worth it.
Content of this article
How long should a blog article be now?
As far as text length is concerned, you can hear a wide variety of values and opinions. An SEO would say at least 300-350 words, better but more. Another believes that blog posts should be short and crisp. The actual number or length of an article ultimately depends on several parameters, so that a general answer is not possible.
I generally recommend more detailed articles so that they are relevant. But, the length is ultimately not the decisive criterion. Rather, what counts is the content, quality, benefit and added value for the target group. Because, as I already mentioned in Podcast No. 3, you write content primarily not for Google or another search engine, but for your target group. I would like to emphasize this again at this point.
Correlation of length and visibility given
However, if you approach the topic objectively, you will find that on closer analysis, a certain correlation between length and visibility on Google cannot be dismissed out of hand.
In addition, there are studies that show that in many cases, the top-ranked websites on Google usually contain far more text content than the 350 words mentioned with. Depending on the industry, between 1,000 and 2,000 words, sometimes even more. An editorially created article should contain at least 250-350 words, but to use this as a general guideline for the optimal length of the text on a website would be simply wrong.
It is easiest if you simply implement a test for your industry and pick out a relevant keyword for your business and simply analyze the first ten search results a little more closely. Basically, you should always make yourself aware that you are better than the competition and that you are offering the target group the content and the level of detail that it expects.
Google is getting smarter and the users more demanding
Google is getting better and better at understanding content and using the algorithm to control it in the best possible way based on the search query. Therefore, not only the length, but also the relevance to the search query is important.
Longer articles usually discuss several aspects on a topic and so the probability is initially greater that Google will find more relevant information in longer articles and can record parameters that are used in corresponding search queries.
How long a blog article should ultimately be - and that's what it's all about today, not only depends on the relevance and content, but also on the competition and for what purpose the blog is used. So whether as a communication medium, as a service blog or whatever it is used.
Today's users have become much more demanding and flexible. To be better than the competition is an aspiration that every entrepreneur should have. Those who manage to differentiate themselves will be more successful in the medium and long term - even with their own blog.
Time vs. readability
The question arises as to whether people read articles on the Internet that are 2,000 words or more long. Whether shorter, to the point, and easily readable articles are better. I can't tell you, but ask your target group, take a look at the web analysis to see how long an article is usually read. If a long article with 2,000 or more words is read for only 10 seconds on average, the content, the structure or whatever the cause in this context must be analyzed and optimized. But if your target group is on the page for a minute or longer, for example, this shows that the content is eagerly consumed and read. Pay close attention to how your content is ultimately received. Google Analytics is the tool of choice here, which you should always have in mind. The Search Console, while we're already on the tool tips and basics, should definitely be in use with you.
The structure (with jump marks) and thus the structured structure with the H headings (H1-H6) is particularly important for long articles. This is because you can jump to your desired content very easily or skim through the text more easily and filter the content. But the correct structure of an article is not only important for detailed articles, it must always be guaranteed. The structure is very helpful and useful for man and machine, including Google.
The perfect blog article is divided into the following areas, regardless of length:
- cover photo
- Main text
- Article images / videos / other content variants
- Additional elements
- Calls to action
- Dividing mechanisms
If you want to find out more, listen to the other podcasts, as recommended, or ask your questions via Facebook or Twitter.
Don't forget your mobile
With all these considerations, one must under no circumstances forget the mobile channel. In many industries and on many websites, the mobile visitor flow is already 50 percent or more. Conversion rates on the move usually do not come close to conversion rates from the desktop, but this development must also be kept in mind.
Mobile is currently seen more as an information medium and less as a transaction medium. This is usually the case, but the question arises as to how long an article should ideally be if it is read on a smartphone or tablet. In order to do justice to users on the move, the measures just mentioned are essential. Outline of longer articles with H-remarks and also table of contents / outline with jump labels like here:
As far as the comparison of the mobile vs. desktop conversion rates is concerned, you also have to know that the values will turn at some point. The only question is when it will be. However, since a blog is not primarily “bought”, this is a question that should not be in the foreground at this point and should simply be seen as a reference.
It's not the length that matters, but….
Length is good when appropriate and effective. But what is at least as important is the choice, or rather the combination of the content formats. "Pictures say more than a thousand words. Or videos, which are becoming increasingly popular and consumed more frequently, are, among other things, sensible variations. If you want to find out more about content formats, follow the podcast recommendations here in the article or listen to our podcasts on a regular basis.
According to a study by the medium platform, the attention of your readers drops after about seven minutes. Assuming an average reading speed of 200 words per minute, the optimal article length, if we went after that, would be 1,400 words.
There are a lot of other clever studies as to which article length is optimal on the Internet. According to a study by serpIQ, the length of the content has a significant influence on your own ranking on Google. Google places longer articles significantly higher in the search results than shorter texts. In addition, there is a result of the Moz study, which says that longer texts also receive more backlinks. And if we go through the keyboard of the studies, marketing expert Noah Kargen comes to the conclusion in his study that articles with a length of 3,000 to 10,000 words are also shared more frequently. In this context, longer actually means better.
So basically the studies confirm what I said earlier. Longer articles, provided they are of high quality and well structured, usually have advantages over articles that may only have 100 or 200 words.
What is holistic content?
So this is what the perfect blog post length looks like
You can already guess it. There is no such thing as the perfect length or a blanket figure for how many words should ideally be included in a blog article.
Google itself confirms this thesis again, in the person of John Müller. He confirms my statement. It is not the number of words that is decisive, but the quality.
There's no minimum length, and there's no minimum number of articles a day that you have to post, nor even a minimum number of pages on a website. In most cases, quality is better than quantity. Our algorithms explicitly try to find and recommend websites that provide content that’s of high quality, unique and compelling to users. Don’t fill your site with low-quality content, instead work on making sure that your site is the absolute best of its kind.- John Müller, Webmaster Trend Analyst, Google Switzerland
It is important to weigh up and see what fits the target group and how detailed the article should be. Basically, if the quality is right, longer, more detailed articles usually have advantages. For an article to work, however, it is not just the length that is decisive. As we have learned, other aspects, such as the correct and structured structure, the content, etc. also play a decisive role. It is wrong to consider only one aspect. There is no fixed target.
And don't forget - it's not just the planning and implementation of the blog article that is important - the seeding - i.e. the dissemination of the content via a wide variety of channels - is just as important. If you want to build visibility, you also have to post regularly. So it is not enough to just post a high quality and detailed article every now and then. If you want to increase visibility on Google and your target group, you have to "stay on the ball" and release the appropriate resources for it.
Podcast - How long should a blog article be? # 070
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