Well, the answer is yes. Technically your blog post should contain at least 300 words in order to rank well in the search engines. However, long posts will always rank more easily than those short posts. So there is no real definitive answer of how long should your blog post be for SEO in 2017. Longer posts require stronger writing skills that not every writer has when starting a blog. Still, these longer posts are important for your SEO strategy. Let me explain:
Why Longer Posts Rank Higher
There are a number of reasons why blog post length is important for SEO. It comes down to blog post identification (just made that up phrase up so feel free to use it). When you write those long detailed, informative posts, Google is better able to determine what your post and text is all about. If you optimize your post well, your keyword or key phrases will be in the text often, because it’s so lengthy. That means there is no need for keyword stuffing in those long posts.
Even better, you will probably rank higher in google for multiple long tail variants of the keyword you have optimized your post for. When you write your long post you will probably have multiple topics and in those topics you will probably have tons of these long tail variants. This gives you the opportunity to rank higher for all those variants showing up on Google. This will result in a growth of the organic traffic to your site!
Size or Quality?
This is a tricky topic. Size does matter, but quality also matters. I would consider length secondary to the quality of your post, the structure of the article, its readability, and its engagement level. You want your readers to actually spend time on your post checking out images, video or eye catching lists and stats.
What you have to understand is that even though someone might get more customers through blogging if they blog more than once a day, that the time required to post daily might not actually justify the increase in business. Would you rather get similar results for half of the work? Who wouldn’t? Personally I suggest weekly blog posts as a good place to start. If you really don’t have a content strategy set up yet, then monthly posts might even be the best place for you to start. This way you have time to focus on what your content will be and have a good foundation set up for the structure of your blog post. You will have a general outline of what your post will be about and contain. If you prepare like suggested, you will have a nice long, quality post filled with keywords and phrases to help you rank in Google.
What is your goal with your posts? You want to provide information to your readers, right? You want to answer their questions, right? Right! Longer content tends to do a better job at answering a person’s questions, which is exactly what Google wants to see. Again – just a simple reminder that with more text, more keywords will naturally be used thus giving you the opportunity to rank for multiple long tail variants of the keyword you initially selected for the blog.
Now – check out these statistics on the performance of long blog posts in search engine rankings:
HubSpot found that blogs between 2,250 – 2,500 words generated the most organic traffic after analyzing over 6,000 of their blogs.
That same study also showed that blogs over 2,500 words were shared the most on social media and earned the most inbound links.
How about BuzzSumo’s analysis of over 100 million articles that shows long-form content – specifically, 3,000 to 10,000 word content gets more shares on social media!
Or you can check out how WordStream increased their on-page time (from 1:33 to 4:35) and user engagement by incorporating long-form content on their blog!
How to Craft a Long Blog
In order to craft a 2,000+ word blog post, you will need to do your research, know your audience, and add value to the existing conversation online related to your topic.
Use Keywords in the Title & Description
Search engines and readers both use keywords to determine the relevance of your article to the information they are searching for. I would suggest using Google’s Keyword Planner to determine the volume of search traffic for your topic as well as target keywords. You can also find out what the competition is for those terms. You should choose a set of terms and long tail keywords that will help potential readers find your article when they are searching.
Remember – the article title is important but so is the article description. Keep the description to 156 characters or less and be sure to front-load the description with keywords to optimize for search.
You need to strategically choose article topics. Your topic should always be something that your target audience will find useful and a topic you can add value to. Consider your industry and all of the information you have gathered behind the scenes. You want to find something that seems like common knowledge to you but might just be a new concept for your potential customers.
Right now, I am testing out a new method, even as I write this post. I wrote a post called “7 Essential Elements of Ranking Higher on Google” and explained all 7 elements (including a bonus one). Now, I am writing a more detailed post about the first element in that post. Next, I will draft up another post about the second element in that post, then the third and so on until I hit number 8 (bonus one). All of these posts will be linked together so that way there will be more of a chance for the reader to read another article and my bounce rate will kick ass!
I will say it again and again…content is key. But it needs to be quality content. You want to produce rich content for the user to experience and provide them with solutions or perspectives they had not considered before. You just simply cannot produce rich content in a 250 word post. So you need to research what information is out there about your topic, get statistics and best practices, put them all together and include your own personal blogging experience and put it all together. Sounds easy right?
You want to keep your reader interested so you need to think about the structure of your post and write more appealing text. help the reader grasp the main idea of your post by providing headings, subheadings and clear paragraphs. If readers are able to follow your structure and like your post, they are more inclined to share, like, tweet and link to your post. And that will totally increase your rankings.
Some simple bullet points to guide you through creating a great structure for your blog post:
Include some sort of introduction (introducing your topic)
a body – this is where your main message is written
conclusion – summarize the most important ideas and maybe ask a question to invoke reader involvement
Write down what you want to write in these three sections and you will have a summary of your post. Then the real writing can begin!
Well, it seems there’s really no easy answer to the question of “how long should your blog post be for SEO in 2017?” But hey, you can always experiment with different blog post lengths, and find the sweet spot that’s right for your readers! The best advice I can personally give – Cover the topic as fully as possible with quality content. Don’t focus on your words only, it will distract you from writing quality content. Focus on providing value in your blog post and solving your reader’s problems and you’ll be well on your way to finding your ideal blog post length.
What length works well for you? Let us know in the comments!