For a long time, people have said that long form content performs better than short form. Meaning, write longer content if you want to rank higher in Google. But what’s long and what’s short? Hubspot says that long form content is anywhere between 1,000 to 7,500 words.
Wordstream says anything that’s over 1,200 words long. Online cv writing service in london says anywhere between 700 and 2,000 words. You see, there’s no such thing as an optimal blog post length or a threshold in terms of word count. I mean, we can’t even seem to agree on what long form even means. Now, because there’s hundreds, maybe even thousands of articles recommending to publish long form content for your greatest chance at success, we wanted to put this myth to rest.
In this blog, we’ll put some common misconceptions around blog post length to rest backed by an analysis of 900 million pages of content. Stay tuned. Now, on the surface, there are 2 logical reasons why people think that longer content performs better than short content. Reason #1 is that longer content leads to more backlinks.
Is Potential Link Worthy
This seems logical because the more content you have, the more potential link worthy points there’ll be. But our analysis of 900 million pages doesn’t exactly support this theory. We found a clear positive correlation between word count and referring domains for content that’s up to 1,000 words long. But if we zoom out, you’ll actually see that there’s a strong negative correlation between backlinks and word count for content over 1,000 words.
Our theory is that the correlation partly comes down to a balance between thoroughness and succinctness. People generally don’t read full blog posts. So if your guide is 20,000 words long, then the most important points that people might reference are likely to be buried in your content. And if people aren’t reading your content, you won’t be getting links.
Longer Content Gets More Organic Traffic
The second thing that many people believe is that longer content gets more organic traffic. Again, this makes sense at face value because longer content, assuming it’s not filled with fluff, will include more subtopics which may lead to more organic keyword rankings. And our data supports this. There was moderate positive correlation between word count and organic traffic. But this is only up to 2,000 words.
Moderate Negative Correlation
There was actually a moderate negative correlation for content that’s longer than 2,000 words. So, does this mean that you should write content that’s up to 1,000 words to get as many backlinks as possible? And then should you update your content so it’s longer but no more than 2,000 words so you can rank for more keywords? No, and I really hope that wasn’t your conclusion. As Google’s John Mueller said, word count is not a ranking factor. I don’t think this is something you should take into consideration when writing your content.
How Long Should A Blog Post Be?
The answer is “as long as it needs to be to cover the topic in depth.” This might come off as a bit of an annoying answer, but that’s only true if you’re still stuck in the mentality that blog posts need to be a certain length in order to rank high in Google. Fortunately, there are content writing processes that are going to naturally guide you to an optimal blog post length.
We have a full blog on content writing for SEO, which will walk you through this process and come to your “as long as it needs to be” answer. I highly recommend watching that blog and I’d love to hear your comments on whether you think long-form content is still the route you should go when writing blog posts. I’ll see you in the next tutorial.