Whether your answer to the titular question is along the lines of “Huh? Perfect length for your blog posts? What?” Or something like “1,582 words!” It doesn’t really matter. The bottom line is that the length of your blog post is very, very important for your content marketing.
If you don’t write your blog post to the perfect length, you risk one of two things. First, you might not give your readers (or Google!) enough information to make your post uniquely valuable. Second, you might give them too much information, making them lose interest and trot off to check out friend updates.
To see just how crucial it is to craft your blog posts to the perfect length, google something like “how long should a blog post be?”.
How does doing that show you the importance of the length of your blog posts?
- Your results may vary, but I got 333,000,000 results
- They include those from a who’s who of search engine optimization, digital marketing, media outlets and blog writers:
- Neil Patel
They all include data that supports their contention for the ideal length of blog posts. Most outline a perfect length in numbers of words, and at least one offering a perfect length in reading time (7 minutes).
The Two Main Sources of Data Supporting the Perfect Length for Your Blog Posts
Many of the results you get in a search for the ideal length of a blog post will cite one or both of two highly regarded studies on the matter.
- The serpIQ Post “How Important is Content Length?” – (The post was written in 2012 and no longer seems to be online. You may be able to see it here on the Wayback Machine: How Important is Content Length?).The first of many well-researched and informative graphs in this post points to an average content length for the first position on the first page of SERPs of just over 2,450 words. And an average content length for all first page results of approximately 2,260 words.
- The BackLinkO Post “We Analyzed 1 Million Google Search Results. Here’s What We Learned About SEO” – In a post covering a number of factors that influence Google search results (of course including the importance of backlinks!), post author Brian Dean points out that SERP data shows the average Google first page result contains 1,890 words.
The Obvious Conclusion. Based on these two extensive studies, there is one obvious conclusion if you want a first-page rank for your post. The perfect length for your blog post is somewhere between 1,890 and 2,260 words.
At One Point in Time It Was Obvious that the World Was Flat
Despite the mounds of research behind both of those very reputable studies, they can still be misleading. Research on “1 Million Google Search results” and “broad sets of 5,000 keywords”, seem massive. But the sheer volume of daily Google searches makes the research database nearly infinitesimal.
15% of Daily Google Searches are New – That means 15% of search terms entered into Google every day have never been used before. If 15% doesn’t seem that large, it translates to over 500 million searches every day for which Google must produce results for the very first time. So how do we know what the perfect length of a post is to rank in a search that’s never been searched before?
But the volume of never-before-used search terms, and the unfathomable number of total searches are just one part of the story behind why it’s almost impossible to give a word count as the perfect length for blog posts.
So is There a Perfect Length for Your Blog Posts?
Rand Fishkin points out a number of other reasons why the numbers of words in a post doesn’t work to determine the perfect blog post length, including:
- What keywords does the research apply to?
- Do the keywords that you’re targeting have similar results?
- Correlation is not the same as causation. So, it’s not because a post is 2,450 words that it ranks number one.
Based on these points and others, Fishkin tells us that the perfect length blog post doesn’t exist.
Then Why Did We Tell You that the Length of Your Blog Post is Very, Very Important?
Interestingly, despite saying there’s no perfect length, Fishkin also answers this question in his post.
“You should match your goals and your content goals with searcher goals. That’s how you should determine the length that you should put in there. If you are trying to help someone solve a very specific problem and it is an easily answerable question and you’re trying to get the featured snippet, you probably don’t need thousands of words of content. Likewise, if you are trying to solve a very complex query and you have a ton of resources and information that no one else has access to, you’ve done some really unique work, this (2,350 to 2,425 words) may be way too short for what you’re aiming for.”
As a result, your blog post should be long enough to answer a question or concern, or at least add value to the answer/concern, that your searcher seeks. Too short, and the answer won’t be complete, too long and the answer won’t be consumed.
In between, just like the porridge that’s neither too hot or too cold for Goldilocks, lies the ‘just right’ length of your blog posts.