I admit it, I was wrong. I’ve always wondered why all SEO tips and blogs indicate that you should write long-form content but personally, I never understood that.
Me personally, I like short form content; I like to get the information I am looking for quickly and in an easy-to-read manner.
However, that golden tip still rings true, much to my dismay and as that is: Long form content does rank better in Google (and it even gets more shares on social media.)
But… how long should a blog post be?
According to the data, most of the top 10 search results in Google have an average of 1500 words till 2000 words which means, if you want to have a fighting chance to rank (especially for competitive keywords) then you should always be aiming to reach that.
- But how do you expand a blog post to that amount of words?
- Why does Google rank these blog posts higher?
- Why is it that while the average internet user has an attention span of a few seconds, it’s recommended to keep them there for at least 5 minutes reading a 2000 word post?
These are all the questions (and more) that I will attempt to answer today in this post for you.
I’ve did some good research and have even reached out to some of my favourite SEO bloggers to get their opinion on this and hopefully, today’ we’ll be able to figure out exactly…
How Long Should A Blog Post Be?
One thing that I love to do and pay attention to is data, so let’s take a look at what the data says about this particular question.
Below, is a chart, supplied by Backlinko, that shows the number of words on average that the top 10 search results have.
You can see for yourself how long the posts are starting from the number one ranking to the number 10 spot.
Also, it’s not just Backlinko that have found these same results, most of the major SEO blogs did similar research and they have found the same results.
Take a look at what Neil Patel from QuickSprout found when he ran similar tests:
Just about the same thing right? So it must be the truth?
Keep in mind that these are averages and not exact truth. I do have posts that have less than 1000 words on them and they rank on the first page quite well.
However, I do trust these guys and you can’t deny the numbers so I would take their advice on deciding how long should your blog posts be and the answer is: anything above 1500 words.
Why Longer Content vs Short & Sweet?
Ok, now that we seem to have a “concrete” and “proven” number, let’s take a look at WHY and HOW you should write long form content.
Why Does Long Form Content Rank Better?
The theories seem to be pointing to the fact that a long form post packs more information, which is true.
A 200 words blog posts can never explain something so complicated as “how to learn affiliate marketing”. Such subjects can have a book written about them and a blog post that has only 200 words will not even begin to scratch the surface on the topic.
On the other hand, a post that is 2000 words long can really deliver some great points and advice on how to do something.
Typically, long form content are packed with great unique information, research and key data points that can only be explained by taking your time and explaining it slowly.
So yes, I do see the reason WHY long blog posts rank better.
It’s also worthy to note that a long post (which is packed with great information) probably took the writer behind it hours of research, writing and proofreading so they do deserve to get their post on the first page of Google.
Looking At My Own Data
According to my data, yes the top 3 posts that get the most traffic are in fact, the posts that have meat, i.e; 1500 to 2000+ worth of content.
Here are some of them (you can even click on them to see the post).
- How To Make Money As An Amazon Associate – 3456 words.
- Wealthy Affiliate Review – 4589 words.
- Fizzle Review– 1890 words.
How Can You Learn To Write Long Blog Posts?
Now if you’re a newbie reading this, I am sure you are looking at this and it’s probably overwhelming you. I know exactly how you’re feeling right now.
Back when I started, all these different ranking algorithms were different and it was recommended that at minimum you write 400 words per post.
(Back then, it was a struggle to even get those 400).
I remember looking at my editor, seeing I am only 150 words deep and I’m already out of things to write. But don’t worry about it; it gets better.
The more you write and the more you practice writing, the more proficient you will be in writing long blog posts.
Nowadays, I use 400 words in the introduction alone and write 1000 words a day like it’s my religion.
Practice makes perfect. It’s not a skill that you will learn immediately but I guarantee you that if you set out to write at least 500 words a day, in just a few weeks time; it will be super easy for you to write a good 1500 word post packed with value.
Also it helps to read a lot so if you’re struggling, make sure you spend at least 20 minutes a day reading. Ideally about a topic that you will be writing about.
Studying how others open blog posts, fill it out with their content and delivering a powerful ending is something that you should keep an eye on and learn how to do yourself.
Again, I know it’s hard to comprehend right now but trust me, do these 2 simple things and you will get better in a matter of days:
- Write 500 words a day
- Study other work by bloggers in your area of interest.
Once you get the hang of it all, then there are also methods you can use to plan out your article, thus giving you a clear idea of how to write a great piece of content.
- First, do some keyword research,
- Pick your title,
- Pick some sub topics to go along with it
- Write it all down in your text editor (I suggest Evernote for this)
- and make it a goal to write each piece individually to the best of your ability.
Once you’ve mastered that, it’s all about fine tuning your piece and before you know it, you have a 2000 word post ready to go.
I hope this post served as a quick answer (backed by data) on how long a blog post should be. As I said, I know it;s a struggle to write longer content but I promise you it gets easier the more you do it.
Also, be ready to start seeing some increase your organic SEO traffic. This is due to you ranking higher and also; I am sure the extra bump in traffic is going to give you the motivation to power through this short learning curve you are facing.
As always, be sure to let me know if you have any Qs. You can email me here, or leave a comment down below. I’d love to hear your thoughts on this.