While I am no SEO expert, I have been blogging for years and I know what has worked well for me.
When asking how long should a blog article be, I will say the longer the better every time.
Why is that? I think shorter articles are not as informative. There is a place for shorter articles. For example, Seth Godin has a huge following and his posts are on the short side.
However, he can do that because of his huge following. He can share some of his wisdom and get his message across in 500 words or less.
Then you have someone like Tim Ferriss.
His posts tend to be on the longer side (unless he’s posting about his podcast.) This is because his topics are often meant to provoke thought and tend to require a lot of detail.
Whether shorter or longer posts make a difference in web traffic is always up for debate.
I will share my opinion on why I feel longer posts are more beneficial in terms of SEO purposes.
Why Longer Blog Posts Have Worked Best for Me
I had a fitness blog that I ran for years. When I started it, it was more of a personal blog detailing my workouts and eating habits.
Eventually, I began to write posts on various topics relating to health and fitness. My posts were almost always short (500 words or less.)
Yet, back then, I still received a lot of love from Google resulting in upwards of 1,500 visitors per day.
Then Google released their Panda update and my blog was labeled as a thin content website. I lost a significant amount of traffic.
Later on, I created a new blog on a totally different topic. I posted every day and my posts were typically 700 to over 1,000 words in length.
My posts began to get traffic with no effort from me in terms of social media or obtaining backlinks.
After awhile, I was receiving over 100 visitors a day. The niche wasn’t that great as I found it difficult to monetize. I started and blogged on the website for fun.
The point is, the longer posts are what helped to generate organic web traffic. I think shorter posts are seen as “thin content” and longer posts are considered informative.
The Many Benefits of Longer Posts
I feel like there are many benefits to creating longer blog posts. For one thing, a longer post is bound to be informative so long as you’re not writing fluff.
When my posts are over 1,000 words in length, it’s usually because I am really immersed in the subject and I’m trying to help my readers as best as I can.
Sometimes this requires a lot of research and other times it is from my own personal experience.
Here are some of the SEO benefits I feel longer posts help with.
Rank for More Keywords
When you write a blog post, your intent is usually to target a specific keyword phrase.
The great thing about longer blog posts is that you will mention your targeted keyword more than once within your content in a natural fashion.
You will also have variations of your keyword phrase written throughout your content which means you are likely going to rank for those variations as well.
More Opportunity for Internlinking Posts
If all of your posts are of high-quality and considerably long in length, there is an increased opportunity for interlinking your content.
Interlinking one post to another is a way of letting the search engines know that you offer high-quality content.
The act of interlinking your posts helps search engines when they crawl your site to learn about your other pages. It also helps your readers navigate your site and increase your page views.
Increase Your Page Views
Some may argue that people have short attention spans and will not read longer posts. Therefore, shorter posts work best.
I disagree. I do believe that people have short attention spans and they do scan articles. I do this myself.
However, I think scanning a longer blog post is better than a visitor clicking away from a shorter post. At least a reader who scans may still find what they are looking for.
Plus, it keeps them on your website longer and if they end up clicking around, even if they are scanning each post, it helps to increase your page views.
Search engines like Google use page views as a ranking signal. If people are not sticking around, it makes your bounce rate high and your website may be labeled as having thin content.
Longer Blog Posts Contribute to an Authority Website
In the end, you have to remember that you are writing for people, not search engines. There will be readers that read your content and will leave comments.
Some may even share your blog posts on social media websites. Comments and shares are also ranking factors.
All of these ranking signals, plus the length of time your website has been up, help to establish your website as an authority site.
My intent is to always write for the benefit of helping a reader. If something I have done on my websites can resonate with someone else or help someone else, then my job is done.
My advice from my own experience is:
- Write for people (not search engines)
- Enjoy the subject matter of your blog
- Write longer posts (avoid fluff)
- Interlink your posts when relevant
- Blog often
A lot of the things I’m learning have come from my training at Wealthy Affiliate. I used to do a lot of questionable things in the past that have hurt my web rankings.
I decided to start fresh and learn from folks with more experience and a successful track record. I am already experiencing positive results.
It definitely doesn’t hurt to increase your knowledge. Share your opinion in the comments below. I’d like to get different viewpoints about how long a blog article should be.
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