How many words should I be writing to maximise the SEO benefits? Should I be writing 300 words? 1000 words? 2000 words? When it comes to writing your blogs, long-form content has been proven to engage the user better and be better for SEO ranking. So, how many words are considered ‘long enough’? It depends.
This blog post will explain different factors which are considered when writing a long piece. This includes the difference between a long piece of content compared to a quality piece of content. Moreover, what sort of piece requires to be longer and what kind of content can be shorter. In addition to the most useful features of a long piece of SEO, this blog post will explore the benefits of having a long content post.
Doing a Search Engine Results Page (SERP) Analysis
Nearly all SEO experts will have their own strong opinions and guidelines on what the optimal length of a piece should be. Usually, you will hear that 300-1000 is the best for ranking, or that 1500 words minimum is a must. At the end of the day, there is no universal optimal length for a content piece.
When it comes to knowing the optimal length for your SEO piece, it all comes down what industry you’re writing for. Each industry has a different typical content length and search query intent.
It is essential to understand the intent behind a keyword search. The question you should be asking is ‘does it require long form content to answer?’ Whether it is better to use less words and more images, or more informative wording, this should be addressed before writing your content.
The most effective method of understanding a user’s intent when it comes to Googling a keyword, is performing a SERP analysis. This involves finding out whether Google values the blog content for your specific topic and what the form of content looks like.
In performing the SERP analysis, take note of the length of the best performing content and whether it is lengthy or explained using a better method such as video.
Quality over Quantity
Writing great quality content which is also extensive is tough. When writing posts which have a high word count, the quality of text must be consistent. This means producing content, which is easily readable, structured well and contains original content.
1. Readability of your content.
Before you even begin writing a high word count post, planning is essential. The readability of your content relates to writing relevant content which is also easy to understand. This is done through writing to answer the questions a user may have. The answers to the questions are your writing. This should be clear, well-written and relevant.
A few simple tips to ensure that your content is readable involves beginnings each paragraph with a topic sentence. This allows you to set up your paragraph to expand on your topic sentence. Furthermore, it is important to maintain a flow throughout your content. This involves using transition words and removing words which can be deemed to be unnecessary.
As previously mentioned, a well-structured piece of writing is essential to ensure that the content is relevant and readable. This includes the use of headings. Letting your readers know what the paragraph is about through headings makes the piece more engaging. Ultimately, making your text much more pleasant to read.
Below is an example of how to structure your headings professionally and engagingly:
Measuring Content Performance
If you’re attempting to find that optimal word count for yourself, measuring your progress is essential. This involves using the key performance indicators offered by Google.
The word Count Myth
It is important to note that an acceptable word count is not about the length of the blog post which leads to a higher ranking. The ranking is based on how long the average post is that satisfies a similar group of questions. At the end of the day, there are many guidelines out there. An approximate word count is not required but may be ‘recommended’. Whether your blog post is 300 words or 2000 words, it is important to be creating valuable content consistently for your audience.
The benefits of having longer content
When questioning whether you should invest the time into writing longer blog posts, it is essential to understand the benefits of having longer content.
1. More Backlinks and content shares
Quicksprout have tested how many social shares they received on content which was both shorter and longer than 1500 words. This study found that posts with more content had 68.1% more shares on twitter and 22.6% more on Facebook. This correlation is also similar to length and backlink volume. Below is a diagram published by the study of the ratio of shares as just discussed.
This study leads us to believe that the majority of social media users value content which is explained in depth and is relevant. Writing longer pieces of content will more likely fulfil the values of users.
2. Dwell time
This relates to the amount of time a user spends on your site. Dwell time is an extremely useful tool for Google. It tells Google if it’s worth spending time on your website. Having a short dwell time will suggest that your content is irrelevant or written poorly. This has an effect on SEO ranking. Long dwell times are directly correlated with having longer content. Through ensuring that the quality of your pieces is consistent throughout the longer pieces of your writing, your dwell time will increase. This ultimately positively affects your SEO ranking.
Ultimately, the length of your content will vary based on the industry and type of post you are writing. Through ensuring great quality and consistent writing, you will see the benefits of writing longer pieces.
At HESK Digital, We’re experts in SEO, paid advertisements and analytics. We have over 3 decades of marketing experience and a senior team who has experience with major Sydney marketing agencies. We find it essential to keep up to date with and discuss developments in our field.
If you’d like to grow your business and leverage our wealth of knowledge on analytics and SEO, don’t hesitate to contact us for a free discussion on how we can help.