What’s the Best Length for Your Blog Posts?

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The answer to this question might depend on who you ask. I recently sat in on a webinar by BuzzSumo Director Steve Rayson that discussed blog post length and the role it plays in SEO and user engagement, and there seems to be agreement about a few key truths. First and foremost, blog post length won’t matter if the quality is rubbish. Furthermore, whether or not long-form or short-form content performs well will depend on the intent behind the writing (i.e., B2B or B2C).

In theory, long-form content does better in search results for a few reasons: the longer the content, the more backlinks you can insert; search engines will be more likely to understand what the content topic is about; long-form content tends to be high quality. Again, these statements are theoretical, and only sometimes true.

BuzzSumo conducted a study that pulled several thousand articles from top performing websites (Inc., TechCrunch, etc.). By data, it showed that the longer the content was, the more shares it received. However, most of the top performing articles from these sites were actually short-form content. This seems to indicate that there’s a lot of low quality short-form content on the internet being cranked out like factory products.

In truth, creating short-form content at a high quality can be incredibly challenging and time consuming, but very effective at drawing user engagement. The reality is that reading behavior varies on an individual level. Sometimes users prefer a long, researched article over a short list of content, but users always prefer quality.

There isn’t an ideal, standard length for blog posts. The best thing you can do is take a good look at the content you’ve produced and see what has or hasn’t done well. Are your highest quality pieces short-form or long-form content? Do you get more user engagement from listicles and quizzes, or researched articles backed with data? Once you determine the kind of content your readers want from you, you can move forward with creating the kind of blog posts that are ideal for your goals.

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HigherVisibility HigherVisibility is part of the Small Business Trends Publisher Channel, offering a full range of professional interactive marketing services. The mission of HigherVisibility is to provide clients “Valuable Solutions with Visible Results.” HigherVisibility works with companies of all sizes, offering advice on topics ranging from keyword research to algorithm updates.

3 Reactions

  1. The biggest problem I have writing blogs, is that my grammar is so poor it can look a child may have written it. I try and get a copywriter when funds permit, I just wish I could write in a natural and entertaining manner.

  2. If your blog post answers a specific question (how to do something or why X is important) that is of interest to your target market then the length will be a secondary consideration. Questions naturally require more or less answer depending on complexity, so blog posts should match.

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