We all know the magic number probably doesn’t exist.
But there is, however, a common theme in most of the popular articles.
If you have a humongous blog with huge following then a blog post with 2000 words and a post with 200 words can have the same effect.
When starting out, any advantage you can muster could help you a lot.
I did a ton of research while writing this post and most of the articles I found had no research data what so ever! Pretty much everything was guesswork.
Ton of people that wrote “you should write between 500 and 1000 words“. Why?!
It’s the same number over and over again. No one knows where it came from or why it’s good.
So I decided to find out the sweet-spot myself. Backed with hard data.
What’s the SEO advantage?
When looking at the top 10 results in Google there is a certain characteristic trait that a lot of the top results have.
Can you guess what it is?
The serpIQ analyzed 20,000 keywords and looked at their top 10 results. The average content length for the top 10 results were over 2000 words. The longer the content length the higher the ranking.
The most important thing to notice is that the shorter the article, the lower the ranking.
Why does Google like long articles?
Because you like longer articles!
Longer articles get more links
Google determines the value of a website from the amount of backlinks (links pointing to that website) and the amount of social shares (likes, tweets, +1) among many other things.
A common theme is that the longer the article is, the more “votes” (backlinks and social shares) people give it.
So there’s no surprise why Google prefers longer articles.
SEOmoz analyzed their blogs content and saw a correlation where posts with 1800 words and more got significantly higher amounts of linking domains.
People feel longer and more in-depth content is more valuable and they are more willing to link to it and share it on social networks.
Social Networks aren’t all about short messages
The statement “People don’t have time nor the attention span to read long articles” is once again completely false.
Even when looking at social networks like Facebook and Twitter where small, short messages are main ways of communicating. People still tend to share lengthy content more than short posts.
Neil Patel from QuickSprout looked at his 327 blog posts and divided them into two categories. Posts with less than 1500 words and posts with more than 1500 words.
He analyzed how many tweets and likes each post got:
On average posts with more than 1500 words got a whopping 68.1% more tweets and 22.6% more Facebook likes.
This once again shows the fact that great content gets shown gratitude and is thanked with a like or a tweet.
Plus people feel like they are sharing quality information with their peers, and often get thanked for it.
Analyzing the top blogs in your industry
The best way to find out what you should be doing is looking at what your competitors are doing.
So once again I analyzed the top blogs in my industry. I took 8 of the most popular blogs and looked at 5 of their most popular posts.
The magic number I found is 2003.
The perfect post in my niche is 2003 words long.
I wanted to take a little closer look.
Most of the posts written were somewhere between 1000 and 2000 words.
This data confirms everything that I talked about above.
What results can you get with great content?
The best strategy when starting a new blog is to give. And to give big.
Take your time, do some research and write awesome content.
It is also important to note that posts with videos, images and lists will get nearly 6 times more links than posts without them.
1. Posts with the average length of 2000 words get the most links. It’s great to aim between 1000 and 2000 words.
2. Don’t write long posts just to write a long post. I didn’t beef this up just so the word count would go up. If you do that, the content will suffer big time.
3. Long content isn’t just great for SEO, but most importantly it’s great for getting traction and building an audience. Create awesome content and people will read it. If not, no one will care.
4. Content is the most important part of a post, but adding images and videos will get you extra links.
5. Don’t just listen to what “experts” are saying. Look at the data and test it out yourself. To quote Brian Clark from Copyblogger:
“Funny thing, back when I started Copyblogger, the “experts” all said a blog post should never be over 250 words. So naturally I started writing 1,000 word articles, and the blog took off fast.”
What’s the sweet spot for your blog? Have you tested longer vs shorter posts? How long is your most popular post?
Like what you see?
If you do, sign up and receive email updates (it's free)