Let’s cut to the chase. The simple answer from the research is clear:
In general, blog posts should be more than 1,000 words. And longer content is more likely to rank higher in Google searches.
The longer answer is a bit more complicated.
Of course, blog articles should only be as long as they need to be. Some posts can get their message across in 300 words. And many people argue that no one is reading anything online that takes more than a few minutes to read. But the fact is, when researching online, most readers want more information than a 300-word article can convey.
Most topics also need extensive research to provide the kind of in-depth information that a variety of readers might need.
We also need to consider your overall website goals. You don’t want to just create one article on a topic and be done. Some topics require multiple articles to gain accurate coverage and depth. And you know we are big fans of consistent blog posts because posting on a regular basis, drives more traffic and leads than any one single post ever could.
That’s why the most successful blogs publish weekly posts at around 1,000 words or more. This length keeps reading time under six minutes on average. Your readers are 94% more likely to read your posts to the end when you keep it within that six-minute margin.
When you dig down into a topic, there are usually lots of angles to cover. For example, in this post, not only do we need to show you how many words your blog post should be, but we also need to cover other factors that go into making a post something readers will devour, such as these:
- A blog post should be well over a minimum of 500-700 words to cover the topic adequately— at least 1,000 words.
- Longer blog posts need to contain actionable information that will help their readers solve problems.
- To retain readers’ attention, though, you need to split up the text in smaller, scannable chunks— with attention-grabbing subheadings, visuals and bullet points.
- Blog post length, however, isn’t the only factor that helps your blog move up in the search engine ranks.
- To rank well, you must publish posts often — at least two to four times a week.
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Write 1,000-Plus Word Blog Posts as a Rule of Thumb
With Google’s search engine algorithms getting smarter by the day, they have come to see synonyms — words that mean the same thing — as keyword equivalents. Furthermore, they look at related words and phrases as complementary to that topic.
Naturally, the more in-depth your post, the more likely you will rank #1 for your main keywords in search engine queries. The same is true with synonyms and related terms.
For example, a longer blog post about “How to Care for Your Cherry Tree All Year Long” will usually involve care for the blossoms in the springtime, as well as specialized care for the different varieties.
Subheadings, therefore, could include:
- Cherry Blossom Tips for a Successful Spring
- Picking Cherries in the Summer
- Fall Cherry Tree Care
- Wintering Cherry Trees Successfully
- Tips on Caring for Each Cherry Variety
- Sour Cherry Care
- Caring for Yellow Cherry Varieties
- Black Cherry Care Pointers
- Sweet Red Cherry Care
All of the parts in this hypothetical blog post deal in some way with the major topic. (This is how we research and write for our blog and our clients as well, btw).
Google’s algorithm will pick up on those related words, phrases and paragraphs to rank the post higher than shorter posts that tell you only a few basic facts that you probably know from common sense anyway.
Regardless of Word Count, Blog Posts Should Provide Useful Information
Google algorithms prefer helpful and informative posts plugged into their ranking criteria. Google didn’t rise to the top of the online search platforms by disappointing readers.
Early on, it took the lead in penalizing blog posts stuffed with keywords and little actionable information. As the algorithm underwent improvement down through the years, it “learned” to recognize an informative post through its logical structure and natural keyword usage.
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Make Longer Blog Posts Easy to Read and Share
You’re not only writing for search engines. Many bloggers make that mistake, concentrating on the keywords more than on making their 1,000-plus-word posts easy for human readers to finish.
Not only do you want your readers to finish your posts, but you also want them to share those with their friends and colleagues. Believe it or not, backlinks from shares or mentions are often more valuable than getting the keywords right.
Here are some ways to make your readers want to read and share your blog posts:
- Make sure you’re meeting your target customers’ needs. People aren’t reading your blog posts for fun. They’re looking for information, trying to solve problems. To find topics that will grab their attention, start with your customers’ needs, likes, pain points and goals. Then create blog posts that address those needs. Once you do that, your readers will want to share your posts with others who have similar needs.
- Break up the text into smaller, scannable chunks. Readers today have a short attention span. Start with your subheadings. Title each section clearly. Keep each section relatively short — less than 350 words if possible. Use bullet points to draw your readers’ eyes to lists.
- Vary sentence and paragraph length — but err on the side of brevity. If a shorter word, sentence or paragraph can do, don’t tack on extra words to meet your target word count. Instead, provide more in-depth information on the topic. The same goes for words. You’re not showcasing your command of the dictionary. If a simpler, shorter word will get your point across, use it.
- Use active voice verbs and the power word “you” whenever possible. Active voice verbs — like their name sounds — move the action along, keeping your readers on the edge of their seat. Wouldn’t you rather read “You need to use data to drive your revenue” rather than “Data should be used to drive a business’s revenue?” So do your readers. Talk directly to your reader and keep the action moving.
- Use visual content to break up the monotony. Studies show that visuals entice people to read your content by a factor of 80 percent. The more images or videos you can intersperse with your written content, the greater likelihood there is for a reader to share your content — up to two times as often on average. All the latest video marketing trends are geared towards enticing people to sharing and engaging with your content.
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Other Factors Affect Your Blog Posts’ Search Performance
Simply writing blog posts of 1,000 words or more won’t cut it in today’s competitive digital environment. You need to publish relevant blog content regularly.
Consistent publishing builds trust in you, your brand and your products. But don’t take my word for it. The statistics tell the story. A content marketing strategy that emphasizes consistency yields 13 times the likelihood that you’ll see a positive ROI.
Frequent Blog Posts Drive Better Results
Finally, you need to publish blog posts often to get the traffic you need to rank high in searches for what you sell. Our studies concur with other industry results: Companies that publish two to four blog posts each week show the best results in both visits and conversions.
Size doesn’t matter. Your industry doesn’t matter. Whether you sell to other businesses or directly to consumers — it doesn’t matter. When you blog that many times per week, you’ll see a dramatic result.
“But,” you say, “I barely have enough time in my day to do what I started my business to do. How in the world can I write a lengthy blog post twice a week — let alone four times a week?”
Glad you asked. A blog writing service can help your business realize a higher return on your marketing investment than practically any other marketing campaigns.
A blog writing service specializes in writing quality, keyword-optimized blog posts of the proper length to hit the SEO sweet spot. With an average yield of three times more leads than paid search ads, the ability to increase your website traffic by 2,000 percent, and six times more revenue than websites without a blog, it pays to outsource your blog writing to a proven professional. It’s an excellent investment in your business’s future.
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