What is the ideal size for a blog post? – WAU
Hello, dear readers. Are you prepared for a good dose of knowledge that will make you rethink your entire content and Digital Marketing strategy? Well, don’t say I didn’t warn you. I will present some real numbers below to prove everything I am saying. Some time ago I wrote an article about the ideal size […]
Hello, dear readers. Are you prepared for a good dose of knowledge that will make you rethink your entire content and Digital Marketing strategy? Well, don’t say I didn’t warn you. I will present some real numbers below to prove everything I am saying.
Some time ago I wrote an article about the ideal size of a blog post. I tried to state my opinion on the subject in just over 500 words and at the end of the content, do you know what I thought? This is still superficial.
Yes, this matter came back. Some time has passed, our strategy has been rethought and, after analyzing months of results from our blog, we have an answer. As I am a very good and modest guy, I already say that, at the end of your reading, you will think: “Okay. I need to change everything I’ve done! ”
This post will be extensive, I will present many numbers and you may spend some time to finish reading. In spite of this, one thing I guarantee you: you will finish this article fully understanding what I have explained and proved (this would not be possible in 500 words).
Without further ado, let’s get down to business:
Why you should be concerned with the size of posts
(If you already know this point, I suggest you skip to the next one. This part will be very introductory to the subject)
You created your blog, you have the idea of writing an article about something, you think of incredible content that will perfectly fit the journey of the customer that you designed and that will help your persona at some point in the sales funnel. That’s enough, right?
Unfortunately this is not enough.
There are some points that still need to be taken into account, such as:
- Definition of personas
- Use the sales funnel to identify the moment;
- Think about the buyer’s journey;
- Think about the size of the content;
Yes, I’m saying that you need to think about the final size of your article before you even start writing.]
How Websites Are Us (marketingdeconteudo.com) did
By the end of 2014, when our blog was one and a half years old, most of the content that was published had an average:
- 500 most basic words
- 1,000 words the most complex content
- More than 1,000 special contents.
There was no clear rule. If the content needed to be further developed, more words were written until the objective of that agenda was solved.
During this period, our blog has grown a lot and managed to establish itself in the market as a reliable source of knowledge about Digital marketing, Inbound Marketing and Content Marketing.
Despite this, after analyzing the constant changes in the market that are guided by the various updates from Google and what has worked on social networks, we realized that it was necessary to change the way we guided the production of content.
So, what is the ideal size for a blog post?
The subject is delicate and there are many different opinions. To say that a 500 word post will not do well is a lie. Below you will see some examples that will prove this.
But then, how do you solve this mystery of the size of the posts?
Before going into this very delicate point, I will explain how, in theory, the mechanics of post size work.
Small content (up to 300 words)
I will include this format to let you know that they really exist. Don’t be alarmed if you come across an article as short as these, usually articles that have between 200 and 300 words for clipping, short opinions, news comments or various events.
Normal content (300 to 500 words)
If you’ve been working with content marketing for a while or are relatively new to the concept, you’ve certainly heard somewhere that this is the ideal size (or at least it used to be). When evaluating a content strategy designed for Inbound Marketing, this article format is the most widespread. We publish many articles in this format.
In 500 words, or even less, it is possible to present a problem and a possible solution to it. Right? It depends.
Remember at the beginning of the post that I talked about it exactly? Just over 6 months ago I was writing a post about the ideal size of the posts myself and here I am again.
I am not saying that it is impossible to write something complete in content of this size, but it is certainly more difficult. There are people who get along extremely well and get great results with these contents. One of the best examples that exists is that of Seth Godin’s blog. On Typepad, Godin writes content of 300, 200 and up to 100 words.
(This is a blog post from Seth on Typepad. Yes, there are still people using Typepad!)
It works? For Seth Godin it’s great! But each case is different.
Extended content (500 to 2000 words)
In order to identify this format I decided to increase the number of words to cover a greater amount of possible content.
The most common is that long posts are between 700 and 1,000 words. Despite this, it is not uncommon to find some blogs with extended posts that reach up to 1,500 words. Nevertheless, these are just examples.
For that we will use a fantastic marketing blog! I don’t know if you know him, he’s Content Marketing (ok, no more jokes).
After a few months of conducting tests, listening to our readers’ feedback and analyzing results (below I will go into detail on what we are doing) we realized that a thousand word content was performing well and, therefore, more than 90% of what is currently published on our blog is more extensive.
By focusing our efforts on content with more than 500 words, we were able to go deeper in a more focused way on different topics and we stopped being superficial. The lack of word limitation favors the production of complete and well-founded articles.
To better illustrate the idea of content of this size, here is an example that has shown great results in recent months:
For a long time this was the post that brought the most organic traffic to our blog. We realized that posts in the 1000 word range are great for creating lists – similar to this guide – and instructional content.
Epic content (more than 2,000 words)
The possibility to exploit a certain subject and keyword to the maximum increases the chance of finding the content more easily. If it is produced with the focus on the correct use of some keywords and their respective variations, there is a great chance that an article of this size will occupy some of the top positions in the search engines.
“But Renato, nobody is going to read a 3,000-word post! This is crazy! ”
Is that really so?
Imagine that you are looking for information about the concept of Inbound Marketing. After conducting your brief search on Google, you will enter some blogs and read some articles until you find the one that is most complete and that addresses all your questions, correct? Well, I can’t abandon a subject until all my doubts are cleared.
Suppose you found our article on Inbound Marketing written by Vitor Peçanha, one of our founders. Without a doubt, it is one of the best content that has ever been produced on our blog. We recently updated the article with more information to make it even more complete.
When I find a well-written, scannable and complete content, I usually read it to the end, regardless of how many words it has.
Taking advantage of the hook of our Inbound article, check out some information about the post:
What is Inbound Marketing? – 5.7 thousand words – Average length of stay: 5:07
This is one of the biggest posts we have on our blog. There are almost 6 thousand words on the subject and the article performs better one week after another.
We analyzed the results of traffic origin of the post and started to realize the need to update the content according to the keywords that were searched by the readers.
1st Phase – Content publishing
As it is a very complex subject that needs a more in-depth and well-grounded explanation, the post went live with 2,000 words.
2nd Phase – SemRush and Competitor Analysis
In the second moment, we analyzed the main keywords that were bringing traffic to the post and, after analyzing the first 5 posts that ranked for the same keyword, we updated our post.
Another 4,000 words were added to the post. The content was updated at the end of April (At the moment it was marked with a red arrow on the analytics print). In the weeks following the update it became clear that the much more complete content was performing more and more every day.
Do you still have doubts that people dedicate time to a complete and quality reading?
Does the size of an article influence its ranking?
Yes, the size of the content will be one of the main factors that will influence the result of your ranking in the search engines. In view of only the factors that can be manipulated on page.
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