This is one of those questions that is frequently asked, but rarely does anyone get any sort of good answer. Of course, the vague, general answer is “as long as it needs to be, and not a word more.” Well, that is certainly true, but also about as unhelpful as it gets (and I’ve given that answer to people!). I recently found a well researched article by Orbit Media Studios, which actually gives some specific answers! I’ll like to the article at the end of this post, but I wanted to go over some of the information I found in it first.
They compiled research from a wide range of different places, and put together a list of the ‘ideal’ content length for everything from blog posts to domain names, and many things in between. After reading it, I immediately thought of how valuable this post is to me. For one, I can look at it myself when writing for my sites. Secondly, I can provide the information to potential clients, who often ask about the length of content I’ll be creating for them. Finally, it is useful because now I can actually give real answers to people when they ask me “How long should my blog posts be?”
So, How long Should Your Blog Posts Be?
Answer – 1500 words
Interesting, right? So, now the question is, why? According to the article, serpIQ analyzed high-ranking pages, and identified the length of each one. Using some stats that I won’t get into here, they found that more words almost always meant better rankings. The study took into account all text on a page, including navigation text, comments and anything else (just one more reason why comments are so important, learn more on my post about comments HERE).
In addition, they looked at a study done by MOZ, which analyzed 3800 of their own blog posts, and they found that the longer posts tend to get linked to more frequently. Of course, more organic links means more traffic from those sites AND better search engine rankings! Clearly, longer posts are more valuable!
***One personal note on this – If you’re making longer posts, don’t just ramble on and on. Make sure you’re still providing great content from the first word to the last. Also, make sure to format your posts so they are easy to read. (read more about formatting your posts in a blog I wrote HERE). ***
Ideal Lengths of Other Types of Content
In addition to blog posts, their study determined the ideal length for many other types of content. I won’t comment on them all here, but just to break them all down:
- Email Subject Lines – If you want optimal open rates, 50 characters or fewer
- A Line of Text – Easiest to read, 12 words
- Length of a Paragraph – 4 lines or fewer
- YouTube Video – 3-3.5 minutes will achieve maximum views
- Podcast – 22 minutes
- Title Tags – 55 Characters
- Meta Description – 155 Characters
- Facebook Posts – 100-140 characters will get you the most likes and shares
- Tweets – 120-130 characters will get you the most retweets
- Domain Name – 8 characters or less ranks the highest
In the post linked below, they go into how they determined all of this information. Some of it is well-known (meta description) and other things are quite surprising. I, for example, would have expected a slightly longer Facebook post to get more attention than one that is only 100-140 characters.
Well, despite the fact that this post is only about 650 words long, I’m going to end it here. Hopefully a lot of people will comment, to push the word count way up! lol. If you’re interested in looking at the other research, I highly encourage you to visit the post by Orbit Media Studios, which can be found HERE.