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I wouldn’t worry too much about how long your blog posts are. As long as they cover the topic well, it doesn’t really matter.
However, it’s easy for me to say that. I regular churn out 3,000-word articles without even thinking about it, because I’m used to it.
I recommend that if you’re new to writing, and you struggle to hit the high word counts, thoroughly plan your posts beforehand, and try to hit 1000 words for each post. if you have more to say, then write more, but don’t strive to write 5,000 posts just because you think it’ll rank better.
Does the length of a blog post affect its SEO?
Yes, but to what degree is unknown. Google like to keep us in the dark about things like that.
In general, make your blog posts over 800 words, but if a post goes over 5,000 words, it would be better if it were split up.
Google’s thinking is that a long blog post will provide more information to the user, and therefore be a better result to show them.
Whilst the AI is good, it’s not perfect, and it may not realise how pertinent your anecdotes are, and they certainly won’t get all of your jokes. Keep them short, and to the end of the article.
Will a short blog post be bad for SEO?
Not necessarily, but remember that in order to do well on the SERP, you need to have the best article for your keyword. If your post is only a few hundred words, then Google will pick a longer blog post that has more information.
Don’t assume that your information is better than your competitors, just because they have a slightly different opinion to you – if they can write more useful content about their weird assumptions that you don’t agree with, they may still rank higher than you. Google doesn’t pick favourites unless you pay it.
It does make assumptions sometimes though, and one of them is that a post that’s under 800 words doesn’t have enough information to rank well.
Why it picked 800 words, I have no idea, but that seems to be the cutoff. I assume it’s to reduce the amount of spam it has to wade through.
Of course, there are exceptions, but it’s good practice to keep your articles to 800+ words.
Competitive keywords, especially those with buying intent such as ‘the best x to x’ often need to be a few thousand words long. Someone is potentially going to be spending money here, and Google needs to perform well.
I don’t typically write product reviews, but I do have some tips for writing kick-ass ones here that won’t make your viewers mad.
There can be easy wins here. If your competitor has a list of top tens, you do top twenties. If the content is good enough, you’ll rank higher.
But it has to be quality. Don’t pick the first twenty products you come across and rank them in some arbitrary order. Buy and use the products. Actually useful content.
Can a blog post be too long for SEO?
Yes and no.
Google won’t penalise an extremely long post, but your readers will probably stop reading. For example, I will happily read 10 tips, to 50. Maybe even 100. But who can be bothered to read 1000 tips for training your dog? Write a book instead.
That being said, if the top posts are all extremely long, it would be best to try and at least match the article length.
How do you know how long your blog post should be?
I start by writing as much as I think is necessary to cover the topic, and then I check out my competition and see how our blogs compare, length-wise.
Make sure to read the post too. If it’s 10,00 words, but only a paragraph is relevant, then your 1200 word article is probably fine.
How to increase the length of your blog posts
- Read competing articles, and see if there are any glaringly obvious topics that you forgot to cover
- Add in real-life experiences. I like to keep them to the bottom in case Google thinks they’re irrelevant, but they can be great for building trust, and helping your reader get to know you.
- Do one article covering two similar topics. Some topics simply don’t require a whole article to themselves. Ranking one longer article for two keywords is easier than ranking one 400 word article for one keyword.
See if you can get a relevant interview
You can find potential interviewees in niche-specific Facebook groups. Say what the articles about and ask if anyone’s up for being interviewed.
How to cut the length of your blog post
Sometimes words aren’t that relevant. Sometimes a few well-chosen, unique stats are far more useful to the user.
Clear, user-friendly, and great for reading on small screens like phones.
Have someone else read it through
If you’re an expert in your niche, you may not have explained everything clearly enough for a beginner. Ask a friend to have a look and ask if there’s anything that they didn’t understand.
This is a great trick, because not a lot of writers remember to keep everything super clear for complete beginners.
Final thoughts on how long blog posts should be
The general rule of thumb is that longer is better, but you need to remember that as soon as Google thinks you’ve strayed too far from the keyword, it’ll stop reading.
That 4,000-word article will be judged solely on the first 300 words.
Ironically, this article will be a pretty low in word count, but i don’t really have anything more to say on the subject. That’s just how it goes sometimes!