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How long should a blog post be? The Ideal Word Count for SEO (2021)

How long should a blog post be?  The Ideal Word Count for SEO (2021)

What is the best length for blog posts? How far should a blog post be?

These are issues that many bloggers, especially new ones, struggle with. After all, if you do not know whether you are aiming for 500 or 5,000 words, it is very difficult to write a blog post.

The good news is that blog post length does not have to be a big mystery.

I have written thousands of blog posts (of very different lengths) over the years. There are some proven principles I have learned along the way, I will explain them in this article.

We take a look at why post length matters, tackle a pervasive myth about post length and look at the ideal blog length in different contexts.

How long should a blog post be? The ideal word count for SEO in 2021

Why does postal length matter at all? And the ideal blog post length is … Post length for SEO post length based on content type How to write longer posts … Without the lint quality, content wins every time

Note: Please note that some of the links below are affiliate links and at no extra cost to you I earn a commission. Know that I only recommend products and services that I have personally used and are behind. When you use one of my affiliate links, the company compensates me, which helps me run this blog and keep my in-depth content free for readers (like you).

Why does postal length matter at all?

Some bloggers think that posts should have a length you like. And let’s face it, your blogging platform probably doesn’t limit you here. You can publish a post that is 50 words long – or a post that is 20,000 words long.

Realistically, however, readers have certain expectations for online articles. They’m definitely looking for something longer than a tweet or two … but they do not plan to read what is equivalent to a short novel.

Your blog readers want your post to quickly cover your topic – but they want you to go into enough detail to make it worth reading.

For most topics, it means at least 1,000 words — but if you create an in-depth guide, like my guide to starting a blog, you can look at well over 5,000 words.

Search engines aim to give readers the content they want – such long posts tend to do better in the search. We will dig more into this in a moment.

And the ideal blog post length is …

A huge myth is that short attention intervals require short pieces of content.

You certainly do not have to make all your posts 500 words or less to accommodate busy online readers.

Instead, it’s important to make your posts scannable.

That way, readers can easily find the information they are looking for. That means using short paragraphs, bold text to emphasize key points, and subheadings to “separate” the reader into different sections of your post.

Longer posts perform better in search results, which means that longer posts are what readers want.

The ideal blog post length for most posts is 1,500 – 2,500 words.

How many words are too few? I would recommend you to try to avoid going below 1,000 words for any blog post.

Want to start your blog (the right way)?

See My Ultimate Guide How To Start A Blog (On The Page).

Post length for SEO

Readers like detailed content … and that means Google likes it too.

Back in the early days of money-raising blogging, lots of bloggers targeted 500-800 word posts because they were quick to write and they could publish anything daily.

As the blog developed during the 2010s, long-form content became more and more popular, both with readers and with search engines.

For many keywords, the top 10 results in Google will all be around 1,500 – 2,500 words long.

Writing longer paragraphs means you can add more keywords (without making your paragraph sound unnatural). It allows you to give readers even more value, which increases the chance that they will share and link to your post.

Plus, influential bloggers are more likely to link to in-depth resources than to short posts that only foam the surface. All of this can help with your SEO.

Post length based on content type

Of course, there is no “perfect” post length. The right length depends on your niche and the type of content you create.

“The ultimate guide to losing weight” will not live up to its promise if it is only 500 words long. Likewise, “Five Quick Tips to Cut Calories This Week” will make readers yawn halfway if you spin it into 5,000 words.

To find out how far your post should be, search for your primary keyword on Google and take a look at the 5 best posts.

How long is a typical blog post when it comes to your topic? Find out the average number of blog posts, and aim to make your post a similar length.

In general, evergreen content will usually be longer than news-focused content — but this is not a fixed rule.

Guide articles

Guidance articles vary depending on their topic.

If you write a guide on something pretty basic (like “how to change your admin email address in WordPress”), then it will be quite a lot shorter than a guide on a much larger scale (like “how to start a freelancing – Corporation “).

How many words? Aim for 1,000 – 4,000 words, depending on the scope of the topic.

Listicles

Listicles (also called list entries) are hugely popular among both bloggers and readers. They are easy to write and read.

On sites like Buzzfeed, listicles can consist of lots of pictures or gifs and not too many words — but most bloggers produce list posts that are more in-depth. However, super long lists can be overwhelming for readers.

How many words? Aim for 2,000 – 2,500 words, depending on how long your list is.

Articles for lead generation

Detailed, well-researched posts will help you position yourself as an expert. They give readers true value and it encourages people to sign up to hear more from you.

HubSpot found that the posts that generated the most leads were, on average, just over 2,500 words long. This was higher than the most popular posts on their blog, with 2,100 – 2,400 words.

How many words? Aim for about 2,500 words.

Pillars (or Ultimate Guides)

Pillar poles (often in the form of “ultimate guides”) are a special type of evergreen poles. They aim to be an in-depth guide to a large topic area, such as an entire category on your blog, within your niche.

Usually, they will link to a number of your other posts on this topic and act as a hub on your blog. These are the types of posts that get linked to and shared a lot.

How many words? Aim for about 4,000 words.

Remember that you do not have to hit these length recommendations every time. Think of them as an average number of blog posts. Some of your posts will be a few hundred words longer, some will be a few hundred words shorter.

How to write longer posts … Without fluff

What if your blog posts are usually 800 – 1,000 words? You want to make them longer so you can provide more value to your readers and improve your SEO, but how exactly do you do that?

Some bloggers talk about “fluff” (or “padding”) to mean wordy content that does not add value. Saying the same thing over and over again, or using lots of words to convey a single concept, is fluff.

It’s annoying to readers, which means they might go straight back to their search results to choose another post that might see your page ranked less favorably by Google.

Instead, when you try to extend a draft or rewrite an existing post to make it longer, you can:

Add more items to your list entry

A really easy way to make a list look longer is to simply add more items to your list. “Ten ways to …” can become “Twenty ways to …” – doubling the length.

Of course, you will not elaborate on your list of weak examples. Make sure the new items you add are as good as the ones already on the list. If you are struggling, try one of these other techniques to add to your list instead.

Include more examples

An easy way to add value and length to a post that gives advice is to include more examples. Depending on your topic, these may be:

Examples from your personal experience. Quotes from other bloggers, books, news articles or other resources. Screenshots or photos and a written explanation of them. Case studies from clients you have worked with – a great way to market your services. Links to Products or Services – This can be a great way to include affiliate links.

For example, if you have a post on “how to choose a blog niche”, you can add examples of well-known blogs succeeding in different niches.

Add more detailed advice

Sometimes you might give a brief overview of how to do something in your post. To make your post longer (and more valuable) you can go into detail. It could mean:

Provides step-by-step instructions instead of a section summary. Suggests different ways readers can use your tips. Give warnings about common mistakes or misunderstandings. Share experiences from your own experience. Explains when your advice does not apply or who should not use it.

Give tips to move on

If your post is aimed at beginners, you can add extra advice to readers who want to move on. This can be an extra “tip” for different parts of the post or a suggestion for “Go ahead” or “Next step.”

Another approach to this is to provide a “recommended resource” for each part of your post and explain why you are proposing that resource.

This can be a great way to link to your other blog posts – or promote your products or services. You can also link to other bloggers or to resources you are affiliated with.

Answers to frequently asked questions

To find some good questions to answer, search for your keyword on Google and look for the “People always ask” section. For example, what comes up for “make money blogging”:

Answering these questions can help your post get more search engine traffic.

Excerpts from various posts appear when a user clicks on one of these questions to see an answer, and your post may end up being one of those displayed here.

It often makes sense to place your FAQ section near the end of your post so readers can easily skip it if the questions are not relevant to them.

Quality content wins, every time

In the end, what really matters is not your word count. It’s the quality of your content.

Well-thought-out, detailed, well-researched content will always win over slap-dash content that simply repeats a few basic tips.

Aim to make your posts approximately 1,500 – 2,500 words: this is generally the best length for blog posts.

If it’s a straightforward topic, 1,000 words is fine. (And it’s okay to include even shorter posts from time to time.)

If it’s a big topic, feel free to make your post as long as you want — just make sure your post is well-structured so readers can easily participate.

Regardless of your blog post length, create the best content you can. Start with a strong overview of blog posts – and everything should fall into place from there.

Want to start your blog (the right way)?

See My Ultimate Guide How To Start A Blog (On The Page).

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