As content marketers in an SEO company in Miami, we used to wonder what the ideal word count is to make sure that the blog posts we produce for our clients rank well in the search engine results pages (SERPs).
You’re probably wondering the same thing when blogging for your small business: "Should I be writing long-form content, or is it better to keep my articles short?"
According to Backlinko, the average word count for the search results found on the first page of Google is 1,890 words. But this doesn’t mean that Google ranks long articles higher than short ones.
In fact, word count is not even a ranking factor.
No one wants to read poorly written, lengthy articles. So, your goal is to write well-researched, optimized, and engaging posts for your target audience.
According to Hubspot data, they found that 16 out of their top 50 read posts were under 1,500 words. This shows that you don’t need to write super long blog posts all the time; there's an equal opportunity to get your articles ranking even with a lower word count.
The key here is to follow SEO best practices, including:
For a more in-depth discussion of everything that goes into writing an awesome blog post that ranks well in the search results, check out this blog.
Many studies show a correlation between content length and backlinks. However, correlation doesn’t prove causation. One of the main reasons why people link more to longer posts is because they tend to include more ‘link-worthy’ points.
But, Ahrefs found that “the average number of backlinks from unique websites starts to decrease after 1,000 words.” This means that the longer your article is the fewer people will read it all the way through.
People nowadays don’t even read content online. Typically, they skim through to find the information they need.
So, how can you optimize your content for more backlinks even with a lower word count?
As the top Miami SEO company, we suggest that you keep your blog posts concise and straight to the point while making sure to include all the important ‘link-worthy’ points.
Google’s John Mueller tweeted in 2020 that word count isn’t a ranking factor.
What search engines are after is thoroughness. Google can better understand what your content is about if you discuss it more thoroughly. And, naturally, longer content tends to cover more subtopics than shorter articles. Because of this, longer content often ranks higher for long-tail keywords.
How can you make your blog posts more thorough?
Instead of trying to cover every subtopic a subject has on a single blog, you should first determine your target audience’s search intent. This way, you can optimize your blog’s thoroughness by including what’s important to them, while leaving out what isn’t.
You can also run a content analysis gap to find out which of your ideal customer’s needs aren’t being met by your competitors’ content.
Pillar pages are supposed to cover significantly more content than a regular blog post, which is why they typically need to be around 4000 words.
A pillar page aims to cover a certain subject in depth and links to clusters of related content.
When writing a pillar page, you want to cite multiple sources and link out to all your related posts on the topic. This helps drive more traffic to your pillar post, while also supporting the cluster content.
Listicles are a crowd favorite! Why? Because they’re so easy to read! They’re direct to the point and concise – exactly what works well with users online.
Listicles should be around 2,300-2,600 words. We believe that’s enough word count to build a complete and high-quality list for your readers.
When writing listicles, keep in mind that the more examples, the better. You also want to include images, links to sources, and explanations.
Since “how-to” blog posts involve explaining the process of doing something, a good word count for it would be between 1,700 to 2,100 words, depending on how difficult the topic is.
When writing a “how-to” blog post, remember that readers are coming to you for instructions, not inspiration. Make sure that your article is concise, clear, and tells your audience exactly how to perform an action or process.
Typically, when users search for what, who, or when, they’re looking for a short answer or a quick explanation. So a good “what is” post should be around 1,300 to 1,700 words. In fact, 30% of Hubspot’s most-read “what is” posts contain less than a thousand words.
Yoast recommends that the minimum blog post length should be at least 300 words.
When it comes to writing content for your business, your primary concern shouldn't be word count. Instead, you should be thinking about how you can deliver high-quality content that addresses the needs and wants of your target audience. Only then will word count matter.
At Digital Resource, our team of content marketing specialists and SEO experts will work together to create a custom content strategy that will not only put you at the top of the search results but also generate more leads and sales for your business.
Contact us today to start optimizing your content!