If you’re a blogger, content creator, or content strategist, you may wonder how long a blog should be to rank higher and attract readers' attention.
If the blog is too short, it affects your ranking, and the readers leave unsatisfied.
On the other hand, you’ll lose your readers' attention if the blog is too long.
Even though there is no hard and fast rule to determine the word count of the blog, you can choose an appropriate length using different factors to hold the readers on your page and rank higher in the SERP.
Keep reading to find practical steps to determine the accurate word count of your blog.
What Is the Ideal Length for a Blog Post?
While there is no one correct answer to this question, the ideal blog length depends on the topic, SEO, readers’ awareness level, search intent, and purpose of the content. Generally, the length of a blog post is determined by the depth of information you provide.
Some topics may require longer, more detailed posts, while others can be effectively conveyed in a shorter format.
Hence, it is best to decide your content length based on various content and Search Engine Optimization factors. In the upcoming section, we’ll dive in and evaluate the deciding factors in depth.
How to Determine Your Blog Post Length in 6 Steps?
When it comes to blog post length, there is no one-size-fits-all solution. The optimal length depends on several factors like SEO, readers' awareness level, buyers’ journey, search intent, top-ranking pages, etc.
Considering all these factors, we compiled a 5-step process that helps you find the best length for your next blog. You can implement these steps simultaneously as you read them for better results.
1. Understand your Target Audience
Once you choose a blog post or article topic, the first step is identifying the target audience.
The job of your content is to provide all the information readers seek related to a topic. However, you may create irrelevant content when you don’t understand your target audience.
In general, all brands have a specific target audience. For instance, If you’re a skincare brand, ideally, your target audience will be readers who are looking to maintain healthy skin.
However, based on their awareness, this general target audience can be categorized into three levels, i.e., awareness, consideration and decision.
For example, a blog post on “How to build a skincare routine” will be more relevant to the target audience who are new to using products and following routines. It indicates they were in the awareness stage.
Whereas the same blog topic may not appeal to a reader who is already aware of all the skincare procedures. Explaining what a skincare routine is or how to do it might be unnecessary information to them. Readers in the consideration or decision stage may look for blogs like “best skincare products,” “XXX product review” etc.,
Hence, you need to understand your target audience's awareness level before writing a blog topic.
In the awareness stage, when readers are just gaining awareness of concepts, problem, or need, your blog post should educate them with fundamentals. In this case, the blog can range anywhere from 1200 - 1800 words.
In the consideration and decision stages, where people are actively researching and comparing options, in-depth blog posts that provide detailed analysis and insights can be valuable. The length of the post should match the needs and interests of your audience. Ideally, for this type, your blog can even exceed 2,000 words if necessary.
In case your blog is addressing specific Frequently Asked Questions, announcements, and updates, the article can be wrapped up within 1000 words.
One quick hack to decide this is to put yourself in your reader's shoes. Think about what information you would expect if you were the reader searching for this topic.
This will give you a clear idea about your readers’ expectations and the relevant depth of your content. Once done, jot down all the ideas that popped up. Now, to verify if all the ideas you’ve written are relevant, we will be using SEO in the next step.
2. Analyse Top-Ranking Pages
Analyzing the competitor's content is the go-to way of many writers, bloggers and content heads to determine the length of a blog post.
Blogs that rank on the first page indicate that Google finds that content relevant to the readers. So, researching and comparing the length of top-ranking pages is an ideal way to find an average word count.
You can manually enter the keyword in Google and analyze the top 10 ranking pages to find the average word count.
Or there are many SEO tools that save your time by eliminating the research process and providing all this information under one tab.
For instance, the Scalenut research tool lists down the top 10 ranking pages of specific keywords, highlights the word count, SEO score and provides a simplified view of the outline - all under one tab.
It also gives an estimated word count that you need to target while writing a blog for the entered keywords.
Instead of juggling between multiple tabs and scrolling endlessly to research your competitors, you can use tools like Scalenut to access the information in a few clicks.
After finding the similarities, such as word count H2 and H3 details, you can now estimate the average length of your competitor's blogs.
You don’t have to aim for the exact number, but the average word count of the top 5 or 10 pages is an ideal number to target. As mentioned before, the word count of the blog depends on the depth of the content. Hence, the next step is to find your readers’ search intent.
3. Search intent
Now that you know the best practices of top-ranking pages and target audience expectations, the next step is to conduct simple SEO research to ensure that the length matches your reader's requirements.
In this step, using a free Keyword research tool or Google Keyword Planner can be handy.
Understanding what readers are searching for and their intention behind the search can help you tailor your content length and outline to meet their needs effectively.
In general, all the keywords are categorized based on four types, i.e., informational, transactional, navigational and commercial intent.
For informational queries, users are looking for answers or explanations; hence, mid-length blogs that range between 1000 - 1500 can work well. Content targeting this keyword should deliver valuable insights and address the readers' questions directly.
On the other hand, for navigational or transactional queries, users are looking for specific products or services. Hence, longer blog posts that dive deep into product comparisons, reviews, or recommendations can be more effective.
These posts should provide comprehensive information, including features, benefits, and pricing details, to help readers make informed decisions. Hence they can range anywhere between 2000 - 3000 words.
It's also important to consider the competitive landscape for your target keywords.
If you're writing about a highly competitive topic with many existing long-form articles, it will be beneficial to create a longer blog post that offers unique angles or additional insights.
In this stage, the competitor research conducted in the previous step will be beneficial.
You can find gaps in your competitors' content and cross-check them with the raw outline you created in the first step. This will help you cement the overlooked content gaps and add more relevant insights to your blog post or article.
The ultimate goal is to provide your readers with value and ensure they find the information they're looking for.
Whether your blog posts are short and concise or longer and more in-depth, what matters most is that they serve their purpose effectively.
Competitor, target audience, and SEO research all together help you curate well-knit content that has a perfect length supported by SEO yet meets the reader's expectation wisely.
4. Create an Outline
Now that you have all the research insights, creating an outline helps you to finalize your word count.
By now, you will know how long your blog should be based on the top-ranking page practices. However, you must outperform your competitors by providing additional unique insights to rank higher.
Creating an outline will help you to understand how long a blog can extend depending on search intent, SEO and reader awareness level. Create a blog structure by mentioning all the H2, H3, and H4.
From the length of the outline, you can determine the estimated word count of the blog. Calculate the approximate word count within which you can wrap up the blog.
If it exceeds the average word count of the competitors, analyze the outline and see if you have diverted from the topic anywhere. If not, you can proceed with the new word count and outline.
5. Focus on Articulation
Regardless of your blog post length, it's important to prioritize how you present the content.
Ensure your content is well-structured and easy to read. Use subheadings to break up long paragraphs of the text and make it more organized.
Remember your readers first skim the blog before they read it ( just like you did with this blog). So, incorporate visuals such as images, infographics, or videos to enhance the overall presentation.
Ultimately, focus on delivering valuable information in a consumable manner. This helps you to reduce the bounce rate irrespective of the blog length.
What is the Ideal Length of a Blog Post?
Short-form blogs: 1200-1800 Words Blog Posts
A 1200 - 1800 word blog post allows you to dive deeper into a topic, providing more thorough information and analysis. This length is suitable for subjects that require detailed explanations of a concept or step-by-step guides.
It gives you the space to express your ideas and provide examples, ensuring your readers have a comprehensive understanding of the topic.
In fact, Hubspot reported that their 16 most popular blogs had less than 1500 words. So, this is an ideal length to pack necessary information in one blog without boring the readers.
This word count limit is also best suited for tutorials, guides, or articles with educational and informative intent.
Additionally, short blogs ranging between 600-1000 words are perfect for providing quick updates, news, or summaries of longer articles or reports.
However, it's important to maintain a clear structure and break up the content into easily digestible sections to keep your readers engaged till the end of the content.
Pros and cons of using Short-form blog content
Long-form blog posts
2000+ word blogs
When it comes to blog post length, the possibilities are endless. If you have a complex or multifaceted topic that requires thorough exploration, consider going beyond the 1500-word mark and aim for a 2000+ word masterpiece.
With this longer format, you have ample space to delve into every detail, provide relevant examples, and leave your readers with more comprehensive information.
However, remember that it's crucial to maintain a clear and cohesive structure throughout your blog post to keep readers engaged.
Break up the content with subheadings, bullet points, and other formatting techniques to make it easier to navigate.
By doing so, you'll ensure that your readers can easily digest the information and stay engaged until the very end.
So, if you have a wealth of valuable insights to share and want to establish yourself as an authority in your niche, go ahead and create a 2000+ word blog post that will captivate and educate your audience.
Over to You
There is no one correct answer to the “What is the ideal length of the blog?” question.
The word count of a blog or article can vary depending on several factors, such as the complexity of the topic, the intent of the search query, and reader engagement.
Instead of aiming for an exact word count, attempt to keep your blog within a specific range like 1200-1800 or 2000-3000
Moroever, while determining the word count, don’t entirely rely on the competitor's blog. Do your research and arrive at the range.
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