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Short or Long Content? But What’s Right For You?


Nathan Johnson - April 28, 2016 - 0 comments

Deciding the perfect length for your blog posts is not an easy task. Each industry is a little different and subject matter plays a huge role in how long your article can be before you start repeating yourself. Some websites swear that 1,200-word blog posts are the best for SEO; others insist that short, 250-word posts are the best for getting attention. So, which is it short or long content? Use this guide to help you determine which is best for your brand.

The Benefits of Short Content

There are several reasons why websites prefer to post short content. Some even rank higher than competitive sites with longer articles. This is due to search engines looking at overall website size and frequency as part of their algorithms.

Short content is ideal for websites that:

  • Want to inform the public about regular, trending topics.
  • Need to quickly convey a message.
  • Are trying to get attention.
  • Plan on posting several posts throughout the week.

In addition, bloggers often prefer shorter content because it enables them to produce more throughout the week. This helps their website stay current and fresh.

The Benefits of Long Content

Quality plays a huge role in search engine optimization, and what better way to ensure quality than with a lengthy, comprehensive blog post? Long blog posts over 1,200 words have an advantage when it comes to search engine ranking because they have included more information about a topic. They have more room to naturally include more keywords or external links, both of which can significantly improve ranking.

While this is all well and good, that doesn’t mean long content is for everybody. Try to avoid long blog posts when:

  • You are simply repeating information.
  • A topic can easily be covered in a shorter post.
  • Being comprehensive means being unappealing to your target audience.
  • Other blog posts have covered the same exact topic as you.

Long blog posts are perfect for topics that simply can’t be covered well in short posts. For example, a peanut butter cookie recipe could probably be covered in 250 words, with plenty of space to add in your thoughts on the recipe. The history of peanut butter; however, is much more detailed and could easily fill up a long post without boring the reader.

I Just Want to Rank High on Google, Which Length is Better?

As far as search engine ranking is concerned, longer posts tend to perform better. While there are dozens of factors that can influence ranking, several studies have suggested that websites with more content are more likely to end up at the top of Google’s search results. This could be due to a number of factors:

  • Longer posts are more likely to get shared and linked to.
  • A wider variety of keywords make the site seem more relevant.
  • Comprehensive information is often seen as higher quality.

While the correlation between longer content and ranking is clear, that doesn’t mean you should sacrifice quality over quantity. If you are hoping to rank high on search engines, you need to be producing content that is easy to read, grammatically correct, topical and keeps people on the page reading.

Choosing Your Best Option

For most businesses, finding the perfect blog length is a matter of trial and error. Try writing several different blog posts and monitor your traffic results. Remember, most bloggers fall in the middle of 250-word and 1,200-word posts. Find what works best for your audience and what allows you to best convey your message. Afterwards, you can begin to focus on SEO.

To learn more about blog post length and how it can affect your search engine ranking, please contact us today.

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