Unlocking the mystery: How long should a blog post be?

28 September 2023
12 minutes

In short

Producing and publishing truly great content can mean the difference between growing your customer base and losing out to your competitors. Blogs and articles are one of the most effective formats for communicating what makes your brand special and unique. Plus, they are great for sharing and encouraging engagement on social media.

However, one question remains pivotal for bloggers and content creators: “How long should a blog post be?” It’s a query that lacks a one-size-fits-all answer and, instead, opens the door to a nuanced exploration.

Within this comprehensive guide, we will embark on a journey to unravel the mysteries of blog post length. Whether you’re an SEO enthusiast determined to rise high on search engine rankings or a content marketer striving to captivate your audience, this article is your roadmap to crafting blog posts that strike the perfect balance between reader engagement and SEO effectiveness.

With much to cover, let’s not delay another moment. Read on to discover what the ideal blog post length is and how you can master the art of reaching your audience with that perfectly-crafted, information-rich, utterly compelling content.

a vector that shows a person that is considering how long should a blog post be?

How long should blog posts be?

Before we dive into the intricacies of blog post length, it’s vital to recognise that the ideal length isn’t a universal constant. Multiple factors influence the decision on how long your blog posts should be. Here are some questions to answer to help you make the right decision.

What's your blog topic and how detailed does it need to be?

Imagine crafting a blog post on “The History of Artificial Intelligence.” To do justice to such a vast and intricate topic, you’d undoubtedly require a lengthy article that covers key milestones, breakthroughs and the future of AI, machine learning and so forth. Conversely, a topic like “5 Quick Tips for Home Gardening” might not necessitate as many words to convey its message effectively.

  • Pro tip 1: Conduct meticulous research on your chosen topic to ascertain its depth and the level of detail required.
  • Pro tip 2: If your topic is expansive, consider breaking it down into a series of interconnected blog posts for better reader retention.

Who is the audience you're writing for?

Consider the preferences and reading habits of your target audience. Are they seeking concise, actionable insights, or do they prefer in-depth, comprehensive guides? Understanding your audience’s expectations plays a pivotal role in determining the ideal blog post length.

For example, a B2B technology blog catering to industry professionals may thrive on lengthy, informative articles that delve into intricate details, while a lifestyle blog aimed at busy parents might opt for shorter, easily digestible content.

What goal are you trying to achieve?

Your blog post’s purpose is a driving force in deciding its length. Are you aiming to inform, entertain, persuade, or generate leads? Different goals may necessitate varying lengths to achieve the desired outcome effectively. So, an e-commerce website may publish shorter, product-focused blogs to drive immediate sales, while a thought leadership blog might require longer, well-researched posts to establish authority within the industry.

How long should blog posts be for SEO?

The ideal blog post length for SEO, while not set in stone, is a critical factor in determining a post’s search engine ranking and overall visibility. SEO, or Search Engine Optimisation, is the practice of optimising your online content to rank higher in search engine results pages (SERPs). When it comes to blog post length, several considerations come into play:

  1. Quality over quantity: While word count matters, the quality of your content should be the top priority. Google’s algorithms are increasingly sophisticated, focusing on user intent and the value a page provides to readers. Your blog post should comprehensively address the topic, offer valuable insights and engage your audience.
  2. Targeted keyword usage: SEO often revolves around keywords. Longer blog posts tend to rank better because they provide more opportunities to incorporate relevant keywords naturally. However, avoiding keyword stuffing is essential, which can lead to penalties. Instead, focus on using keywords strategically and maintaining readability.
  3. In-depth content: Longer blog posts (typically 1,500 words or more) can delve deeper into a subject, providing readers with comprehensive information. Search engines often favour in-depth content as it’s more likely to satisfy user queries thoroughly. Take a look at these fascinating stats from SEMRush on the impact of content length on organic performance.
  4. User experience: Longer posts should maintain a user-friendly format. Use headings, subheadings, bullet points, and images to break up the text, making it easier for readers to digest. A well-structured, lengthy post can enhance the user experience, positively impacting SEO. You can also include short videos throughout your content to break it up and bring concepts to life. 78% of marketers surveyed by Social Shepherd found that video directly increased sales — which is not a figure to be sniffed at!
  5. Competitive analysis: Analysing your competitors’ content can offer insights into the ideal blog post length for your specific niche. Look at what’s ranking well and the word counts of top-ranking posts.
  6. Diverse content strategy: Your content strategy should include a mix of short, medium, and long-form content. Shorter posts (around 500 words) can be excellent for quick updates or news, while longer posts can serve as cornerstone content for your website.

In conclusion, there’s no clear answer to the question of how long a blog post should be for SEO content length. It depends on various factors, including your niche, competition and the depth of information you want to provide. While longer posts often perform well, the key is to focus on relevance, quality and user experience. Strive to meet your audience’s needs and answer their questions thoroughly, and you’ll be on the right track for SEO success.

What are the benefits of long-form blog posts?

The average blog takes 3.5 hours to write, so if you are going for a high word count you want to know it’s worth it! Although the ideal blog post length is a subject of debate, long-form content offers several distinct advantages:

Longer blog posts lead to more time on page

When readers engage with lengthy, informative content they tend to spend more time on your website. This not only signals to search engines that your content holds value but also provides an opportunity to nurture the reader’s interest and guide them towards conversion.

Top tip: Include compelling visuals, interactive elements, and multimedia to enhance reader engagement and encourage longer dwell times.

More words equal more social shares and backlinks

In the digital realm, comprehensive and well-researched articles often attract more social shares and backlinks. When your content is perceived as a valuable resource within your niche, other websites are more likely to link to it, thereby bolstering your SEO efforts.

Long-form content improves SEO

Search engines favour content that provides in-depth information on a topic. Longer blog posts enable you to incorporate more relevant keywords and phrases, thereby enhancing your chances of ranking higher in search engine results pages (SERPs).

Infographic of how to use compelling elements to keep your target group interested in your content

The downsides of long-form blog posts

While long-form blog posts offer a variety of benefits, they come with their share of challenges:

Longer blog posts can be time-consuming

As mentioned above, the process of creating extensive content, from research to writing and editing, can be time-intensive. It’s essential to weigh the potential benefits against the investment in time and resources.

Top tip: Consider outsourcing content creation to professional writers or agencies to streamline the process and maintain consistency.

Long-form content may not be as shareable

Lengthy articles may not garner as many social shares as shorter, more digestible content. Readers on social media platforms often prefer quick, informative snippets.

To overcome this challenge, break down long-form content into smaller, shareable segments, such as infographics, videos, or tweetable quotes. Studies show that blogs with infographics, for example, are 80% more likely to be read.

It can be difficult to stay on topic

Maintaining focus and relevance throughout a lengthy blog post can be challenging. Straying off-topic or losing reader interest are potential pitfalls.

Pro tip: Create a detailed outline before you start writing. This roadmap will help you stay on track and ensure your content remains cohesive and engaging.

a photo of a person who is doing his research before starting to write long-form blog posts

How to write long-form blog posts

Now we get to the fun part! Crafting compelling long-form blog posts is an art that involves meticulous planning and execution. Here’s a step-by-step guide to help you master the process:

Do all your research before you start

Extensive research is the foundation of long-form content. Gather data, statistics, expert opinions and credible sources to support your narrative. Make sure any research is cited, accurate and current.

Top tip: Organise your research findings using digital tools or note-taking apps for easy reference during the writing process. Here are some great recommendations for content marketing research tools.

Pick strategic keywords to use in your article

Conduct keyword research to identify relevant terms and phrases that align with your blog’s topic. Then, strategically incorporate these keywords throughout your content.

Create a brief and detailed outline

Develop a clear and comprehensive outline that sets out the structure and flow of your blog post. This will serve as a roadmap for your writing process.

Clearly label headings and sections

Break down your blog post into distinct sections with clear headings. This improves readability and allows readers to navigate your content easily.

Pro tip: Use header tags (H1, H2, H3, etc.) to structure your content for both readers and search engines. You can see how it’s done well by checking out this article’s structure 🙂

Use images to break up paragraphs

Incorporate relevant images, infographics, and multimedia elements to break up lengthy paragraphs and provide visual appeal.

Top tip: Optimise images for faster loading times to enhance user experience.

Vary sentence structure

Avoid monotony and losing your audience’s attention by employing a variety of sentence lengths and structures. This prevents reader fatigue and maintains engagement.

Include bullet points and numbered lists

Use bullet points and numbered lists to highlight key takeaways or steps. This makes your content scannable and reader-friendly.

Write readable text in active voice

Craft your sentences in an active voice to create concise and engaging content. Passive voice can make your writing feel convoluted and less reader-friendly.

Keep paragraphs short and include transition words

Short paragraphs with clear transition words (words which link ideas and themes in different parts of the text) help maintain a smooth flow of ideas. This enhances readability and comprehension.

Top tip: Use transition words like “however,” “in addition,” and “therefore” to guide readers through your content seamlessly.

Add your original perspective

Infuse your unique ideas, views, experiences, or insights into your long-form blog posts. This personal touch sets your content apart and establishes your voice and authority in your niche.

Analysing blog performance and optimising blog post length

In the quest to determine the ideal blog post length, data-driven insights are your compass. Analysing blog performance not only helps you understand how long your blogs should be but also guides you in refining your content strategy for maximum impact. Here’s why this analysis is crucial and a guide on tools and metrics to help you optimise your copy.

Why analysing blog performance matters

  1. Improves reader engagement: The length of your blog posts significantly impacts how readers engage with your content. Analysing performance metrics provides insights into whether your audience prefers shorter, punchier pieces or longer, more comprehensive articles.
  2. Increases SEO effectiveness: Search engines reward quality content that keeps readers engaged. Analysing performance data helps you gauge if your blog post length aligns with SEO best practices and contributes to higher search engine rankings.
  3. Boosts conversion rates: The ultimate goal of your blog posts might be to convert readers into customers or subscribers. Analysing performance can reveal which blog post lengths are most effective in driving conversions.
  4. Enhances user experience: Understanding how readers interact with your content informs decisions on content structure, readability, and user experience. It ensures that your blog posts are tailored to your audience’s preferences.

The best tools and metrics for analysing blog performance

Great marketing depends on fabulous content, which in turn depends on getting a deep understanding of how your content is performing. Here are some of the best tools out there for analysing how well your content is resonating with your leads and customers. We’ve also included some key metrics to track.

Google Analytics

Pageviews: Track the number of page views for each blog post to identify popular content.

Average Time on Page: Determine how long readers spend on your blog posts, indicating engagement levels.

Bounce Rate: A high bounce rate may suggest readers aren’t finding what they expected, potentially due to content length.

Conversion Tracking: Monitor conversion rates for different blog post lengths to identify which ones drive the most conversions.

Heatmap tools (e.g., Crazy Egg, Hotjar)

Scroll Maps: Visualise how far readers scroll down your blog posts to understand where their attention drops off.

Click Maps: Identify which sections or links within your blog posts receive the most clicks, helping you optimise content placement.

Social media analytics

Shares and Likes: Analyse social media engagement metrics to see if longer or shorter posts resonate better with your audience.

Comments: Consider the quality and depth of comments on your blog posts as an indicator of reader engagement.

Email marketing platforms (e.g., Mailchimp, HubSpot)

Open Rates: Assess which blog post lengths lead to higher email open rates.

Click-Through Rates: Analyse how different post lengths affect click-through rates on your website.

A/B Testing

Content-length variations: Conduct A/B tests by publishing two versions of a blog post with different lengths. Track metrics like time on page and conversion rates to determine which length performs better.

How to optimise blog post length

Here are some straightforward things to consider to help you make the most of your blog content.

  • Start with audience segmentation: Analyse performance metrics by segmenting your audience based on demographics, interests and behaviour. Then tailor your blog post length to suit different audience segments.
  • Monitor trends over time: Track performance data over several months to identify trends. For example, if longer posts are gaining traction over time this could indicate a shift in reader preferences.
  • Conduct regular competitor analysis: Analyse the blog post lengths of your competitors who rank well in search results. Benchmark your performance against theirs and consider adjustments to stay competitive.
  • Iterate and experiment: Continuously experiment with different blog post lengths. Analyse performance metrics for each variation and use the insights to refine your content strategy. Your heat map tools should prove useful here, as will Time on Page in Google Analytics.

Don’t forget — Quality over quantity! While blog post length is essential, always prioritise the quality of your content. Length should enhance, not detract from the reader’s experience. A well-written, engaging shorter post can often outperform a lengthy, poorly structured one.

a photo of a question marks for FAQs in blog post length

Blog post length FAQS

Word and character counts are super important when it comes to content creation. Here are a couple of important FAQs to help you on your way.

How many words are 1000 characters?

The number of words in 1000 characters depends on various factors, including spaces, font size and type. However, as a general guideline:

In English, an average estimate is that 1000 characters with spaces equate to about 160 to 200 words. If you’re counting words without spaces, 1000 characters might translate to roughly 200 to 250 words in English.

Keep in mind that this estimate can vary widely based on the language you’re using and specific content formatting. For example, languages with more complex characters or scripts may have different character-to-word ratios.

To get an accurate word count for your specific text, you can use word processing software, online character counters, or text analysis tools, which provide precise word and character counts. These tools consider spacing, formatting, and language intricacies, offering a more reliable count than a general estimate.

How many pages is 1600 words?

The number of pages that 1600 words occupy depends on various factors, including font size, line spacing, margins and the specific formatting requirements of the document. However, here’s a rough estimate for standard formatting:

For an essay or paper using a standard 12-point font (such as Times New Roman or Arial), with 1-inch margins on all sides and single-spaced lines, 1600 words would approximately fill about 3⅓ to 4 pages.

If the document is double-spaced, which is often a requirement for academic papers, 1600 words would roughly fill about 6⅔ to 8 pages.

Please note that these estimates can vary based on formatting preferences, so it’s essential to follow any specific guidelines provided for your writing assignment. Additionally, different fonts and styles can slightly affect the word-to-page conversion. Always check the requirements provided by your instructor, publication, or organisation for precise formatting instructions.

What is the ideal length of a blog post?

As mentioned above, the ideal blog post length varies based on factors like topic, audience and goals. While there’s no definitive answer, long-form content often ranges between 1,500 to 2,500 words, but shorter or longer posts can be effective depending on your strategy.

Is a 500-word blog too short?

A 500-word blog can be effective for concise topics or quick updates. However, it may not provide in-depth information or SEO benefits compared to longer posts.

What should be the maximum length for a blog post?

The maximum length for a blog post depends on your content’s comprehensiveness and your audience’s preferences. In some cases, this can exceed 3,000 words for in-depth guides and tutorials.

How long should a blog post be for the highest engagement?

Engaging content should strike a balance between providing valuable information and maintaining reader interest. This often falls in the range of 1,500 to 2,500 words, but quality and relevance matter more than length.

Creating the ideal blog posts to engage and convert your audience

As you can see, the ideal blog post length remains a dynamic and context-dependent concept. While there’s no one-size-fits-all answer, understanding the nuances of blog post length and its impact on SEO and reader engagement empowers you to make informed decisions that best serve your content strategy, and therefore your audience.

By harnessing the benefits of long-form content and mitigating its challenges, you can craft blog posts that captivate your audience, enhance your SEO efforts and establish your brand as an authoritative voice in your industry. So, whether your blog posts span 500 words or 3,000, the key lies in delivering value, relevance and a compelling reader experience.

Analysing blog performance is critical for optimising blog post length. By leveraging the right tools and metrics and adopting a data-driven approach, you can strike the perfect balance in blog post length to achieve your content marketing goals. So, let data be your guide as you craft compelling, reader-focused content that captivates, engages, and converts.

Mastering the art of blog post length is a skill that can elevate your content strategy to new heights. So, whether you’re producing concise, impactful blogs or comprehensive, long-form guides like this one, remember that the true measure of success lies in delivering content that resonates with your audience and accomplishes your goals.

All this takes time of course, and not every marketer has the hours in the day to create, optimise and distribute the content that will help them grow their business. If you would benefit from some extra content marketing and creating support get in touch with our team today. We’d love to help.

Check out our latest report!

Read the 2024 localisation report here.

Email to colleague

Related Reads