How Long Should A Blog Post Be?

It’s one of the most common questions we get asked. The truth is that there is no one-line answer to this question. There are a broad set of variables which will ultimately determine what the optimal length of a blog post should be. This of course is all within the context of SEO.

If you are not concerned about your post ranking in the search engines, then the length of a blog post should simply be determined by how many words it takes to succinctly convey the topic you are writing on. That’s it. Nothing more, nothing less. In this post we’re going to look at how you can determine the optimal length of a blog post for SEO.

how long should a blog post be

Ranking Factors

There are over 200 ranking factors that Google takes into consideration when deciding to rank a piece of content within its search engine. Content length is just one of these factors, albeit a very important one.

There are others which are far less important. According to backlinko, factors such as page loading speed, HTML page size and Schema markup showed no correlation to search rankings.

Optimal Blog Post Length

So, if content length is such an important factor in getting a blog post to rank, how do we know what the right length is? Well, there are two ways to go about finding this out. The free method and a method using a tool like Surfer SEO.

Free Method

Start by typing your target keyword into Google. In this example we are going to use the term “content writing services”.

content writing services

Then copy and paste the web address of the first result into the Word Counter tool. This tool will then show the total word count for the page/post.

web page word counter

Rinse and repeat this for all the results on the first page of Google. Use a spreadsheet to capture the values and to work out an average word count. This value should be the benchmark that you use.

Paid Method

Using a tool called Surfer SEO you can seamlessly get a complete overview of the corresponding word counts of each piece of content ranking in the top ten search results of Google for a particular keyword term.

Surfer SEO maps out these values on a line graph providing a very useful representation. This will allow you to quickly understand what the optimal length of your post/page should be.

surfer seo word count

Conclusion

No matter the method you choose to use, establishing the optimal length of your blog post or web page is a critical part of SEO. If you write a post/page which falls well below the word count benchmark, the chances are that post/page will never rank on the first page of Google.

The only time this may happen is if your website has a relatively high domain authority or that particular post/page has a relatively high number of good quality backlinks. If on the other hand you publish a piece of content well above the word count benchmark and you rank for it, you have most likely ended up wasting resources on a superfluous content asset.

You could have saved the time/money on the surplus content and applied it to another post or page on your website. Being data-driven in discerning how long your blog posts and content pages will save you a lot of time and money in the long run and ultimately produce the best possible results for your website and overall business. There are blog writing services out there which can help you with this part of your website’s content strategy.

Marc Bromhall

About the author

Marc is the Co-Founder and Managing Director at Contentellect. Marc manages our growing team of project managers, writers and clients.


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