Publishing high-quality content is often the sole focus for digital marketers and website owners across all sectors and industries.
It is a well-established fact that content has an impact on your search engine rankings. In addition, top-notch content helps you build an army of loyal brand advocates.
It is only natural that digital marketers spend significant time, effort, and resources to create quality content.
Content creation is often a strenuous process if you’re shooting for quality. Writers often have to work hard in order to ensure that their blog posts gain traction.
One of the baffling questions bloggers and marketers often encounter is – “What should be your average blog post length?”
They are often torn between writing shorter blog posts that grab the reader’s attention and longer blog posts that provide more value.
Statistics from several studies on this topic fail to provide a conclusive answer. This is because the ideal blog post length depends on who you are writing for. The end goal of your marketing strategy also affects the best blog post length.
Another thing that affects your average blog post length is the length of your top competitors’ posts on the same topic.
While evaluating the right word count manually can be tedious, there are tools such as Surfer that can do that for you. This tool analyzes the top-ranking posts on a specific keyword to evaluate the ideal blog post length.
However, word count and ideal blog post length will only make a difference when you have content that is meaningful and provides more value than the posts of your competitors. In the absence of substance, even longer posts won’t yield the intended results.
Before we delve further into the topic of blog post length, let us understand the process of creating written content.
Quality is Everything
Content creation is an elaborate and painstaking process. It is not merely the task of stringing together words to form meaningful sentences.
Anyone who is familiar with the concept of content marketing would agree that your content should give value to the reader. It should be unique, insightful, engaging, lucid, and error-free.
However, writing well in English can’t be the end of your content strategy. It requires a thorough understanding of your target audience.
Your blog posts and articles should be relevant to all those who visit your website. That is why it is important to include relevant keywords in your content. It helps drive a specific audience that is interested in what you have to offer on your website.
You also need to ensure that your articles are properly formatted with eye-catching subheadings, images, and videos.
In addition, successful content marketing also requires a proper distribution plan. Writing engaging blog posts is futile if no one actually finds them. You can use social media and influencer marketing to reach a wider audience.
It is important to note here that readers will only share your content when they learn something new or valuable from it. This puts further emphasis on the need for prioritizing quality.
The more shares you get, the stronger your inbound link profile becomes. This, in turn, establishes your website (and your brand) as an authority in your industry.
It is quite evident that when it comes to creating written content, quality supersedes quantity. The entire hullabaloo around ideal blog post length only matters when your content is above a certain standard.
Let’s now take a look at some statistics on ideal blog post length.
What Do the Numbers Say About Average Blog Post Length?
In 2016, Brian Dean and his team at Backlinko analyzed 1 million Google search results to identify search engine ranking factors.
According to the study, the average blog article length of Google’s first page results was 1,890 words. The study further pointed out that long-form blog posts significantly outperform short-form blog posts.
Image via Backlinko
In another study, Noah Kagan of AppSumo collaborated with BuzzSumo to analyze the social share counts of 100 million articles.
The figures revealed that blog posts with a blog post length between 3,000 and 10,000 got the most shares. The study recommended an ideal blog post length of 2000+ words if you want your content to become viral.
Image via OkDork
There have been several other studies that point towards the fact that long-form articles outshine short-form ones.
Does this mean an average post length of at least 2,000 words guarantees the best results?
Before you start creating long-form content, it is crucial to understand why such articles yield better results.
Why Does Content With Longer Average Blog Post Length Work?
An elaborate and well-researched article covers a topic in great detail. A well-written long-form article ensures that it is understood properly by the audience.
It creates an impression of enhanced quality — something that is often lacking in short-form blog posts. Such blog posts also enable search engine bots to understand what your content is all about.
Secondly, it is evident from Noah Kagan’s study that long-form content receives more social shares. People are more likely to share an article that is full of detailed insights and revelations.
This helps your blog posts earn more genuine backlinks, allowing them to even become viral. Search engines perceive this as an indication of higher authority and relevance on the topic, thereby improving your search rankings.
Lastly, a well-structured long-form post with articulate subheadings aids scannability. The attention span of your readers is forever on the decline. So they may not read through your blog posts word by word.
Instead, they will likely breeze through subheadings, pointers, and lists. Long-form content gives them the opportunity to do so even though they have a longer average word count.
So far, we have come to understand that long-form content is generally more successful. However, we are yet to pinpoint an exact figure that works well as the average word count for blog posts.
To answer this mind-boggling question, let’s take a look at the factors that affect the length of your content.
How to Determine Your Ideal Blog Post Length
Your average blog post length largely depends on two factors: target audience and subject.
Consider Your Topic
The first thing that influences your ideal blog post length is the extent of detailing your topic requires. Don’t make your article lengthy just for the sake of it. Your goal should be to make it relevant and useful, regardless of its length.
Consider Your Target Audience
Secondly, your best blog post length is also influenced by your target audience. You should have a clear understanding of user demographics including ages, genders, occupations, and preferences.
In addition to their needs and wants, you should also be aware of their level of interest in your content. Take a look at various metrics on Google Analytics to evaluate your audience’s interest and enthusiasm. These include Time on Page and User Flow.
For instance, a 2000+ word review of the latest smartphone that talks at length about screen resolution won’t engage readers.
A person looking at a tech review is probably expecting to quickly scan through the pros and cons before making a purchase. Such information is conveyed better in a concise manner with bulleted lists, tables, and charts.
On the other hand, a topic such as “photography tips for beginners” should give detailed and practical knowledge. An amateur photographer will likely want deeper insights into framing, composition, and lighting.
In this case, your audience is seeking to develop a new skill set. Thus, they are more likely to willingly invest several minutes and read the entire blog post. In such a case, the ideal blog post length will be longer.
Consider Your Brand
Another factor that you should consider is how familiar your target audience is with your brand. Long-form content creates a sense of credibility for prospective customers who don’t know you. This, in turn, reinforces brand trust and loyalty.
On the other hand, people who are familiar with your brand may not need much convincing before they convert into loyal customers. For such an audience, short-form content might be more useful in driving conversions.
Consider Your Goal
Lastly, you should also have a deep understanding of the end goal of your marketing efforts.
Do you want to purely generate brand awareness through your content? Or are you looking to drive conversions and increase sales?
Your final objective will also have an impact on the best blog post length for your brand.
It is difficult to define a single figure as the ideal average blog post length. Even though long-form posts largely outperform short-form content, the latter can’t be completely ignored.
However, it has been found that content of specific lengths works for different industries. Let us now take a look at the best blog post length for different industries.
Best Blog Post Length for Various Industries
The best blog post length depends on the type of audience you wish to attract. This, in turn, is determined by the industry or sector your products or services come under.
Let’s take a look at a study by Return that analyzed several blog posts from five different sectors.
Image via Return
Fashion and Beauty
It is clear that the best blog post length varies from one sector to another. According to this study, the average length of articles related to fashion and beauty is 669 words.
This is in sharp contrast to the previously cited studies that emphasize the importance of long-form content.
However, think about the type of audience that typically visits a fashion blog or a fashion retailer’s website. They are looking for quick insights into the latest fashion trends or styles.
So your goal could be to direct them to product pages, instead of having them linger on the blog itself. In such a scenario, an optimal blog length below 1,000 words works best.
Needless to say, such articles must be strewn with high-quality images and videos to captivate the reader.
Some people travel to experience new cultures, while others may want to explore distinct cuisines. When such an audience follows a travel blog, they expect to read in-depth information about new destinations.
They might want to scan through the article to find the part that appeals most to their sensibilities.
Thus, long-form content (1,500+ words) works best for such articles. Tempting pictures (preferably taken by you) and other visual elements further enhance the quality of these posts.
Some of the top travel blogs including Nomadic Matt always publish well-researched long-form content.
Fintech and Finance
Financial technology is a fast-growing industry that brings forward several emerging and complex topics. Subjects related to finance are equally complicated. That's why the best blog post length in these industries is longer.
Brushing past these subjects on a superficial level will fail to hook the audience. Long-form content is a winner in this sector. Some of the top fintech blogs such as Jessica Ellerm and Faisal Khan follow the same form of content.
Neil Patel recommends writing between 2,000 and 2,150 words for such blog posts. For finance-related articles, he recommends a blog post length between 2,100 and 2,500 articles.
It is also advisable to use several charts, graphs, and images to make these articles visually appealing.
Despite being a part of a vast industry, manufacturers aren’t likely to focus on content marketing. This is because most of their dealings involve B2B relationships.
Therefore, ranking high for keywords related to manufacturing is relatively easy. A blog post length of 1,700 to 1,900 words lets you give detailed information without overburdening your audience.
Home and Garden
The study by Return indicates a blog post length of 691 words for topics related to this sector is best. This is understandable considering the fact that such articles demand more visual elements.
The use of images and videos is more effective in communicating crucial information than solely text-based pieces. It is advisable to limit the word count to about 1,000 for such articles.
Gadget and Tech
Take a look at some of the most popular gadget review blogs such as Engadget and Gizmodo. Most of their posts are short and crisp, with word counts between 300 and 500.
Instead of giving elaborate details, such articles cover key points such as features, pricing, drawbacks, etc.
Marketing and Advertising
The topics pertaining to this industry require the extensive depth. Moreover, this is a highly competitive industry since every other marketer engages in content marketing.
That is why most popular blogs in this sector publish comprehensive blogs containing at least 2,500 words or more.
How Long Should Your Blog Posts Be?
Average blog post length has been a topic of hot debate. The only catch is that we can’t isolate a number as the ideal word count that guarantees the success of your content strategy.
Determining the best blog post length for your website requires a thorough understanding of your audience and your own goals. Try testing different lengths to see which ones seem to work best for you.
The quality of your content decides the kind of traction it is going to garner. A poorly-written article containing the optimal word count won’t find any takers.
Therefore, it is crucial that you prioritize quality over quantity and focus on creating meaningful content.
How do you estimate the best blog post length? Share your views in the comments section below.
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Great article, Shane!
Thanks for the great info! I agree it depends a lot on your industry, but also on your niche. Some audiences want long, comprehensive posts, while others just want short content they can get through quickly, which is why I think it’s so important that every marketer tests their content to see what length works best with their audience.
Really good info I always like to read and spread such information which is unique and in fact informative.