How Many Words Should Your Content Be?

lengthThis 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.

Thanks for reading this post, I hope you found it useful. I'd love to hear what you thought about it in the comments below. If you're interested in publishing this, or any of my content, on your site I'd love to hear from you. Just contact me using my syndication request form HERE.

Also, If you're interested in receiving an occasional email from me with great information on how to write for money online, submit your email below. You'll also get a copy of my free report, "A Step-by-Step Guide to Finding & Landing Private Clients." Thanks again!

Michael

Comments

  1. Ellen says

    Thank you for this post, as this has been something that I have been thinking about. I was a little surprised, as I have been worried that my writing tends to be on the long side, and that well, it seems nowadays people don’t like to read too much. However, I do notice that they are not just talking about the blog post itself,, but things such as comments; which brings me back to feeling unsure again. I don’t know how many (if any as is usually the case since just beginning comments I will get).

    Being optimistic, do I want to write my actual post shorter then, leaving room for comment to achieve the optimal length?

    I guess what I am really asking is, since I am being lazy and not wanting to go into reading all the information you studied., do you have a suggestion for the post itself (as far as length)? Thank you,
    Ellen

    • says

      It really depends on the topic. You don’t want to sound like you’re just rambling on to have more words, but you don’t want to keep it short either. Personally, I like to have my content on my site be of all different lengths. Some posts are only a couple hundred words, and others are several thousand.

      You don’t really have to worry about it being too long, especially if it is high quality. Comments will just add more words, which is always good since they provide more opportunities for Google to find you.

      Hope that helps.

      Michael

  2. Ellen says

    Me again. I am, obviously; just beginning to write formally on line. So far, I write blog posts for someone else’s web page. Are there programs, etc. that I can use to count words for me, so I can keep track while I am writing?

    Thank you.

  3. Jonathan John says

    The SERPIQ post you mentioned actually recommends 2000+ words a post. I wonder where you got the 1500 figure from. 🙂

    • says

      The SERPIQ post says, “For most SERPs it looks like at least 1500 words is a good target…” This is in the second paragraph of their ‘final conclusions’ sub-heading. I’m not sure where you got 2000+ words, but I don’t see that in their post (I may have missed it).

      Thanks!

      Michael

Speak Your Mind

CommentLuv badge