How Long Should a Blog Post Be?

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Should blog posts be 500 words or 1,000+? What is the best content length for search ranking? There is a correlation between long blog posts and search performance, but that doesn’t mean every blog should be thousands of words. Read on to learn how to find the ideal blog post length for your unique needs.

Do Long Blog Posts Perform Better?

On average, a blog post of 1,000 words will perform better than a blog post of 400 words. This is because a longer blog post seems heartier and more authoritative. Readers are more likely to backlink to a longer blog post because it has more ‘meat on the bones.’

With this in mind, not every topic merits 1,000+ words. Some might need 3,000 words to fully cover the subject, while other topics only need 500 words of discussion. There is no ideal blog post length because every piece is unique. You’ve got to find what works for your audience, your industry, and the topic at hand.

Minimum Word Counts for Blog Posts

Blog posts should be at least 300-400 words. Anything under that might as well be a social media post or a snippet in a larger blog post. If you can only find 250 words to cover a topic, approach it from a different angle. Find supplementary questions that might tie into the topic, and use those as subheadings in the piece. Google may pick up that question and answer section for a featured snippet, giving the post significantly more exposure. 

Maximum Word Counts for Blog Posts

The maximum word count for a blog post is whatever it takes to cover the topic. If you’re writing an in-depth guide about something, you may need 2,500 words to relay the information. If you’re writing a quick how-to guide, 700 words may be pushing it. A recent study revealed a strong connection between content length and backlinks. That connection tapers off after 1,000 words. Blog posts of 2,000 words received fewer backlinks than those with 1,000 words. Thus if you can keep longer content around 1,000 words, you should yield a better search ranking.

Note that you can convert a longer topic into a series of blog posts. Rather than having one long blog that’s 2,100 words, you may have three shorter blogs that are 700 words each. This makes the content appear more approachable and easier to consume. If someone reads the first post and wants to learn more, they can continue to the second post.

Using Search Intent to Determine Content Length

The search intent you’re targeting should influence the content length. Is someone trying to thoroughly research a specific product, or are they looking for short information about how to use it? Put yourself in the perspective of the reader. Would they want more or less information that you currently have planned? This can steer you in the right direction. Learn more: Types of Search Intent and Writing Content That Fulfills Search Intent.

Finding a Balance between Length and Readability

No matter what you’re writing about, readability is critical. It takes 4/10ths of a second for someone to form an opinion about your content. If they can’t find their answer or at least a path toward their answer, they’ll click out and move on. Keep this at the forefront of your mind when deciding the ideal blog post length for search ranking. Concisely cover the topic without extra fluff. If it fulfills the reader’s intent, the word count is probably sufficient.