Deciding on the optimal length for SEO-focused content can be a perplexing task. Should you go for brevity or adopt a more extensive approach? Well, the length does matter. When it comes to search engine rankings, you’ll find articles ranging from 300 words to well over 2,000 words in Google’s Top Ten.
With numerous businesses vying for visibility, it’s worth examining how content length impacts SEO copywriting. The nature of the text often determines the ideal length, but above all, the quality of the content remains paramount.
What’s the Right Length for a Blog Post?
Just a few years ago, some SEO experts believed that blog posts should be around 250 words. Surprisingly, some even considered 250 words to be lengthy. Nowadays, the norm ranges from 1,500 to 5,000 words, and a blog post with fewer than 300 words is often deemed as “thin content.”
The Google Top Ten now predominantly features articles of 2,000 words or more. In simple terms, longer content yields higher rankings, as evidenced by a study jointly conducted by Ork Dork and Buzz Sumo. Lengthier pieces garner more shares and backlinks, with articles ranging from 3,000 to 10,000 words consistently performing well.
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Why Do Lengthier Blog Posts Rank Better?
There are several reasons why longer posts enjoy popularity: they tend to offer more comprehensive information and appear more valuable and relevant. A decade ago, Google’s algorithms were less sophisticated, and longer pages weren’t necessary as the algorithm couldn’t fully grasp editorial content, making it easier to manipulate search engine results pages (SERPs) rankings.
Longer posts can generate social shares, which influence ranking. A recent study by Moz and Buzz Sumo analyzed 1 million websites to determine the optimal content length for SEO. They found that 85% of online content consisted of fewer than 1,000 words. Hence, if you want your content to go viral, aim for longer posts of 2,000 words.
Which Ranking Factors Should You Consider When Determining Content Length?
As a website manager, your goals are likely clear: higher rankings and increased organic traffic, which ultimately translate into leads and sales.
According to recent research, longer posts generate significantly higher volumes of organic traffic. The ideal post length for SEO appears to be between 2,250 and 2,500 words.
You also want your posts to be shared and backlinked extensively. Longer content generates quality backlinks, which impact ranking factors.
However, this doesn’t mean that shorter content has no place. While a blog post of 1,000 to 3,000 words is generally a good length, the same doesn’t apply when users are searching for quick answers to specific queries.
Short texts ranging from 300 to 500 words are ideal for landing pages or category descriptions. You can link them to more detailed and extensive pieces of content when necessary.
How Does User Intent Influence Content Length?
Writers should strive for quality alongside quantity by considering user intent. Nowadays, Google prioritizes higher-quality SEO content in its rankings.
The search engine aims to provide users with the best results and recognized that longer posts are more valuable.
In SEO, user intent is deemed even more important than keywords. While specific keywords define the subject, user purpose relates to the type of content itself. For instance, if someone is searching for today’s weather, search results with fewer than 300 words will typically suffice. However, if a user wants more in-depth information, an optimal blog post length for SEO would likely exceed 1,000 words.
How Can User Intent Vary?
Algorithms like Google’s Hummingbird are designed to understand user intent and the reasoning behind specific searches.
User intent can be broadly categorized into two main types and further divided into two subcategories. Doing so can help determine the optimal length for blog posts more effectively. These categories revolve around whether the user is looking for specific information related to a keyword or seeking more general information on a topic. Additionally, the subcategories consider how specific or exhaustive the user’s search parameters are.
Accurately determining user intent requires conducting thorough keyword research.
Does Mobile-First Indexing Impact Content Length for SEO?
Mobile-first indexing is gaining significance in SEO rankings as Google aims to address current user trends and make the internet more mobile-friendly.
The fundamental idea is that Google prioritizes your mobile site when determining rankings. Although called the mobile-first index, it doesn’t imply exclusivity to mobile devices since desktop versions will still appear in searches when a mobile version isn’t available.
How Does the Mobile-First Index Influence SEO?
Websites offering a superior mobile experience receive higher rankings.
Shorter articles are easier to read on smartphones or tablets. Google acknowledges the value of SEO-optimized mobile-friendly content and rewards it with improved rankings.
What About Copywriting for Landing Pages?
While it is suggested that longer articles receive more shares, shorter landing pages are generally more effective. Keywords and their variations should be evenly distributed throughout the page for natural readability. Although users may initially search using just a couple of words, your SEO content should be informative and engaging.
For content aiming to be rated as a “rich answer” or optimized for long-tail keyword phrases, a shorter and more focused landing page text may be preferred.
What Length Is Recommended for Product Description Copywriting?
In most cases, shorter product descriptions are preferable. However, some products may require at least 750 words to provide adequate information. For instance, a pair of jeans could be adequately described in a few well-chosen sentences or approximately 75-150 words.
What About Category Description Copywriting?
Whether you’re describing a range of washing machines in 300 words or showcasing the latest luxury cars in 2,000 words, a good category page should contain detailed information that helps customers connect with your company’s products or services. The length of the category description itself doesn’t significantly impact Google’s positioning.
Approaching Destination Descriptions Copywriting
The length of destination guides or descriptions can vary significantly based on the goals of the content. However, longer travel articles are more likely to be shared, especially if readers feel that they have learned something valuable from each sentence.
While SEO content length is undoubtedly in today’s landscape, it is always less important than publishing high-quality content that offers something of value. Google searchers can recognize the main indicators of user experience, and excellent content written by a reliable copywriting agency will give you a competitive advantage.
Furthermore, creating evergreen content allows you to update and enhance it over time, further boosting your rankings, as we have done with this original piece.
Let’s Connect! If you’re looking to enhance your online visibility and drive more traffic to your website, it’s time to focus on creating SEO-friendly content. Don’t wait any longer – let’s discuss how we can improve your SEO strategy and help you achieve your business goals.