What Is Ideal Length For Blog Post

Share

Ideal Length For Blog Post - an image of a meterIs there an ideal length for blog post? This is a question you will see discussed on the Internet quite a lot. First, I would like to stress that a post ‘should be as long as it takes to say what needs to be said’, and I am just repeating a simple nice sentence received as a comment on my recent blog at Wealthy Affiliate.

It is as simple as that. Do not manufacture it and make it larger by adding empty and superficial sentences only to satisfy some statistics which you have read about on the Internet.

 

[ César Franck: Prelude, Fugue and Variation, Op. 18 ]

Great thoughts can be expressed in few words of course. Did you know about David Rector’s thesis at MIT in 1966, with 9 pages only? And also about famous John Nesh thesis of 27 pages, which later brought him the Nobel Prize? To remind you, this is the main character from the movie ‘A beautiful mind‘.

But not everybody is on the level of John Nesh, and indeed there are some indications on the best blog length, which follow from statistical studies. I am going to present some of them below and with this we may come up with some rough idea about best blog length.


1. Statistics regarding the post length

Here is a graph frequently used on the Internet (the first one below), showing the average length of top ranking posts, from SerpIQ. Apparently the ideal length is around 2450 words.

But what is frequently overlooked is: in the same study there is a graph showing that the longer posts are in fact older, and this graph is given above. The vertical axis shows the age of posts (in years) studied in the analysis, and the horizontal axis shows their length. Being older, it is then at least partly logical that they are better ranked. This could to some extent be the reason for longer blogs being top-ranked on the upper graph.

So, it is fair to say that we cannot conclude with certainty that longer posts are as a rule better ranked just because they are longer. We can now go step farther and see some more statistics in order to get an idea about ideal post length.


2. Longer posts and number of backlinks 

There is another study by MOZ in which they analyzed their own 500 posts trying to find out any relation between the length and the number of backlinks. This is clearly an important information, and here are the graphs depicting some facts:

The lower graph shows rather convincingly that longer posts attract more backlinks.  However, one could argue again that, like in the Section 1, these longer posts are in fact older and that could (at least partly) be the reason behind the greater number of backlinks they have attracted, being longer available to the audience. Such an objection would indeed make sense. More studies are needed to get some clear picture on this issue.


3. Ideal post length in minutes

According to a research by Medium, posts that need 7 minutes to be read in average capture the most total reading time. See below graph from their study. The vertical line shows the number of seconds which visitors spend on the post whose length (in time units and given in minutes) is presented on the horizontal axis.

Ideal Length For Blog Post in minutes

They concluded that the optimal length (in time units) is 7 minutes. But they also give the following warning: “This doesn’t mean we should all start forcing our posts to be 7 minutes! There is enormous variance. Great posts perform well regardless of length, and bad posts certainly don’t get better when you stretch them out.” Nice statements indeed.

Now, we can recalculate this post length into length in words, and this would give between 1000 (for a post with a lot of photos and images) and 1600 words (for those without photos and images). So we have some good numbers now.


4. Longer content is more shared on social media

As  the title of this section says, from some research it appears that on social networks longer texts are more shared than short. See the graph from the given source showing the number of shares on vertical axis (in thousands) and the text length on the horizontal axis. It is rather convincing, shares on Facebook are by about double greater at the side of long posts.

Ideal Length For Blog Post - graph showing that longer posts are more shared


So in the end, can we make any conclusion about the ideal length for blog post? Indications seem to be strong in favor of long(er) texts. How long then? This may depend on what you want to achieve and what your market is. Just see the last section; if social media are your strong area from where you expect most of visitors, then go for long texts for sure. But regarding the other criteria mentioned above, I would say it is probably very good to be above 1000 words, but even better at 1500 or above.

Nevertheless, the page you are reading has around 920 words and I do not intend to make it longer only to satisfy statistics.

In the end, do you still remember this:

“I don’t mean to deny that the evidence is in some ways very strong in favor of your
theory, I only wish to point out that there are other theories possible.” – Sherlock Holmes in Adventure of the Norwood Builder, A. Conan Doyle.


Please leave a comment in the box below, I shall be happy to read it.

Read more about search engines optimization here:

Share

22 comments

  1. Fabulous article – I was looking for some more information and statistics on how long articles should be and I love that you analyzed it and even showed that it’s very possible that it’s only because articles are older that this skews the statistics a bit on long posts being better. I agree it should be as long as it needs to be to provide value, be interesting but also not be redundant. I usually find the sweet spot to be around 1000-1500 words for me – and every so often there’s an article where I have more going on or more steps I want to explain.

    1. Thank you maria, kind words indeed. In fact I am also typically in the word range you mentioned. Most likely the average number of words is around 1200 but I do not count.

  2. Greeting.

    Wow!! I like your article – it is very well written and easy to read due to the well thought layout.

    I have this question since I start blogging but I didn’t pay much attention about it. But now just because of your blog I get to know the best length of blog. Thanks for writing.

    I wish you best of luck.

  3. Hi Jovo,
    Thank you for your informational post!
    I was intending to create my first few blog posts, and wasn’t sure how long is the ‘right length’. I think that over 2k words is a little too high for me at the moment, and for now I will focus more on what I want to write and keep them to about the same lengths. I will certainly bookmark this page for my further reference when I need to improve my blogging again.
    Thanks so much for your help Jovo!
    Regards,
    Seany

    1. Hi Seany, the ideal number of words is just a statistical parameter. I myself do not think much about how many words to have in a text. Better think about the content. Thank you.

  4. Very good blog I especially enjoyed the music that was playing in the video. Your content was very well written and also quite informative. Continue what you are doing with your articles. I see you becoming one of the major players out here. Keep up the good work. I didn’t see a way to subscribe to your site, can you add one sir I would greatly appreciate it.

    1. Thank you for kind words about my text on ideal length for blog post, and for the warning about subscription. This is on my list to do and it will be done soon. Best regards.

  5. Hi Jovo! interesting article! It is indeed very tricky to know exactly what Google are taking into account when ranking a page/post. There can be many variables in place but one thing I am really curious about is… everyone speaks about quality content. But how is it possible for algorithms decide what is quality and what is not? It is very subjective don’t you think? Also, there is not a person behind every page deciding subjectively what is good and what is not. I am very curious about that

    1. Hi Stefan, the quality content is primarily for readers and only partly for Google crawlers. Regarding visitors, think about average impression they take with them when they leave your text. It is individual of course but it is not so difficult to see if something is quality or not. But machines are also good in assessing the quality. They have over 200 criteria. Some of them are listed in my another text about how to improve page rank.

  6. I’ve seen sites where less than 1000 words perform well in search engines. I think it comes down to the user’s interaction with the content. After reading your guide, I’m probably going to aim for around 1500 words. If I’m competing for a spot against a competitor I might try to at least make my content a little longer than theirs just in case there’s a ranking factor.

    1. Hi Alec. These are statistical data, so these facts should be kept in mind. If you feel you have material to add then do so, but not only to satisfy statistics. Thank you for the comment.

  7. Interesting question. I think the main thing to always keep in mind is whether you are providing value to the reader. Some topics are just short topics because you are just addressing a single point. Other topics need a lot more detail and can be broken down into subtopics. Those types of articles are like several smaller articles joined together, all creating something more useful than the sum of its parts.

    It’s interesting to see that the ideal post length is about 2450 words. I think Google realises that longer blog posts are more likely to be most helpful to readers because they are going to be full to the brim with helpful information. Of course, there are other factors too, such as how well-written the content is, how user-friendly the website is, in general, and also may other factors (far too many to mention here).

    That being said, I have had some much shorter blog posts rank well in Google. I suppose it depends on just how competitive your chosen keyword is. If there is a really low competition keyword that also doesn’t get many searches, but you can think of 400-500 words to say on the subject, why not just churn a new blog post out and see if you rank.

    But for the keywords that are slightly higher competition (but still low enough) which get more searches, it’s definitely worth trying to write something much longer. It’s quite a reasonable thing to aim for if you break it down into enough subtopics. I mean, if you can think of 6 subtopics, plus an introduction and a conclusion, and you write 300 words for each, that’s 2400 words. It’s really no more difficult than writing 8 individual 300-word blog posts. That’s the way I look at it anyway.

    I’ve written over 300 words in this comment. Took me a few minutes. It’s easy once you get typing…

    1. Hi Marcus, thank you for such a great comment here. There is an issue of old articles, which I mentioned in the text, they are usually longer so this might have affected the statistics at least partly. The same is with the number of backlinks, the older articles have had more time to collect more backlinks. These are statistical data, so having successful short articles is surely possible and this should not come as a surprise. Indeed, your comment comes as a small blog post, many thanks.

  8. Dear Jovo,

    Wow! This has been quite a very informative Blog Post you have written. It has helped me immensely since I thought I should always strive for each Blog Post I wrote to be within the 1500 word range or above. Now, I realize that I should complete a Blog Post not in length of words per se but in such a way I get the full message of what I wanted to say across.

    Thanks for the useful tips. 🙂
    Looking forward to more methods like this for me to think and dwell upon for improvement. 🙂

    Wishing you all the best with your online success above and beyond the horizon,

    ~Angel

  9. Hi Jovo,

    Your site is very helpful for people like me who wants to move up the search engine rankings. You have done good research on how to maximize traffic and earn more revenue.

    I will be checking in from time to time to get more helpful tips.

    Hope you can create a post that focuses on how to generate revenue using social media.

  10. This was a great article – I’m sure there are millions of bloggers out there that are looking for the answer to this question!
    I found it really interesting about the backlinks – I don’t use any on any of my sites and I manage to achieve decent rankings. I suppose it’s down to the article length and the age of my site then maybe?

    1. Hi Chris, great to read your comment. Good that you manage with your sites, both the length of article and age are indeed important as you can see from my text. Many thanks.

  11. Hi Jovo,
    I think it is very good and informative article of writing blog post. There are some statistics of how to improve on my writing blog and besids it could be helping me to improve my writing teachnique. Now I know what I should do and what I shouldn’t. Thanks a lot!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *