26- Jul2017
Posted By: DPadmin
122 Views

How Long Should Your Content Be For Optimal SEO?

Content is king when it comes to SEO. You can’t have an SEO campaign without content; it’s the fuel that makes SEO work.

You’ve heard this all before, but it’s less often that you hear about the specific, objective qualities that make content effective. Millions of businesses and individuals are competing for visibility in search engines, and many of them are writing what is, subjectively, “good” content. But what makes that content “good”?

You can point to the writing style, the target audience, the practicality, and various other subjective factors, but today I want to focus on one specific, objective factor; is the length of your content a predictor of its SEO performance? And if so, what’s the ideal length of content to earn a high ranking in organic search results?

Page Content Minimums

Obviously, different types of content should be considered differently; for example, the core pages of your website don’t need as much content as your blog articles, since they won’t be addressing specific questions and instead will serve as anchor points for your brand. Still, every page of your site needs to have a certain “minimum” amount of content, or else it will be perceived as “thin.”

There’s no clear formula, or single answer for the minimum amount of content a page should have. Some sources suggest having at least 600-700 words of content on every page, which will allow you to include multiple variations of your target keywords and provide a decent amount of information to your readers on almost any subject. However, it won’t take you long to find a top-ranked page that features as little as 300 words.

As you’ll soon see, while content length is correlated with higher rankings, there’s actually another variable that has a stronger influence on rankings. However, for now, understand that at least 300 words is a good minimum to shoot for.

Blog Article Research

So beyond that 300 word absolute minimum, is there a benefit to having longer content? Let’s take a look at the data.

In 2015, Moz and BuzzSumo paired up to produce a content study I still find fascinating and relevant. They collaborated to analyze the number of social shares and links earned by more than one million pieces of content available on the web. One critical insight here is the disproportional distribution of shares and links; 75 percent of content pieces receive no links or shares whatsoever, while the vast majority of links and shares is limited to a minority of content pieces.

Almost in line with this effect, more than 85 percent of written content contains fewer than 1,000 words. However, consistently, content with 1,000 words or more tends to attract significantly more links and shares.

This effect isn’t limited to 2015. A recent report by SEMRushstudying ranking factors in 2017 also found that longer pages tended to rank higher. Researchers calculated a 45 percent difference in length between search entries that appeared within the top 3 rankings, and position 20 entries.

For reference, the average content length for top 3 rankings was about 750 words, while the average content length for position 20 rankings was about 500 words. These data points were gathered by studying more than 600,000 different keywords on a global basis, relying on SEMRush’s more than 1.5 million users.

Overall, it seems that the longer your content is, the higher its chances will be to earn a high ranking—but there are some complicating factors you also need to consider.

Benefits of Short Articles

Just because shorter articles tend to rank lower doesn’t mean short articles are inherently bad. In fact, some of them have some big advantages. For starters, some users prefer to read short content over long content (either due to time restraints or attention limits). If part of your target market happens to prefer short articles (under 500 words), it may be disadvantageous for you to exclusively publish long articles, since you may alienate some readers.

Short articles also offer much more concise answers to user questions; if you’re intending to optimize for specific long-tail keyword phrases, or if you’re trying to get your content featured as a rich answer, it may be better to have a short, concise entry.

Length vs. Density

It’s worth noting at this point that what may matter most isn’t necessarily the length of the content itself, but rather the amount of information available within that content – its density.

It just so happens that longer content naturally tends to include more facts (when it’s well-written) and information. For example, a 300-word, densely written article may have more valuable information in it than a 1,500-word fluff piece.

For that reason, I can’t simply encourage you to write longer pieces of content; the equation isn’t that simple.

The Bottom Line

Obviously, length is just one of many factors that could contribute to your on-page content’s eventual success. Still, it’s an important quality to consider. So what’s the right approach here?

Overall, longer content tends to perform better than shorter content, with pages having 1000 words or more performing best. However, shorter pieces of content (3-500 words) can also perform well, provided they’re densely and intelligently written.

It’s therefore wise to have a diverse mix of different content lengths available to your readers, with a slight skew to longer content, and always a commitment to publishing the best material you can.

Content is king when it comes to SEO. You can’t have an SEO campaign without content; it’s the fuel that makes SEO work.

You’ve heard this all before, but it’s less often that you hear about the specific, objective qualities that make content effective. Millions of businesses and individuals are competing for visibility in search engines, and many of them are writing what is, subjectively, “good” content. But what makes that content “good”?

You can point to the writing style, the target audience, the practicality, and various other subjective factors, but today I want to focus on one specific, objective factor; is the length of your content a predictor of its SEO performance? And if so, what’s the ideal length of content to earn a high ranking in organic search results?

Page Content Minimums

Obviously, different types of content should be considered differently; for example, the core pages of your website don’t need as much content as your blog articles, since they won’t be addressing specific questions and instead will serve as anchor points for your brand. Still, every page of your site needs to have a certain “minimum” amount of content, or else it will be perceived as “thin.”

There’s no clear formula, or single answer for the minimum amount of content a page should have. Some sources suggest having at least 600-700 words of content on every page, which will allow you to include multiple variations of your target keywords and provide a decent amount of information to your readers on almost any subject. However, it won’t take you long to find a top-ranked page that features as little as 300 words.

As you’ll soon see, while content length is correlated with higher rankings, there’s actually another variable that has a stronger influence on rankings. However, for now, understand that at least 300 words is a good minimum to shoot for.

Blog Article Research

So beyond that 300 word absolute minimum, is there a benefit to having longer content? Let’s take a look at the data.

In 2015, Moz and BuzzSumo paired up to produce a content study I still find fascinating and relevant. They collaborated to analyze the number of social shares and links earned by more than one million pieces of content available on the web. One critical insight here is the disproportional distribution of shares and links; 75 percent of content pieces receive no links or shares whatsoever, while the vast majority of links and shares is limited to a minority of content pieces.

Almost in line with this effect, more than 85 percent of written content contains fewer than 1,000 words. However, consistently, content with 1,000 words or more tends to attract significantly more links and shares.

This effect isn’t limited to 2015. A recent report by SEMRushstudying ranking factors in 2017 also found that longer pages tended to rank higher. Researchers calculated a 45 percent difference in length between search entries that appeared within the top 3 rankings, and position 20 entries.

For reference, the average content length for top 3 rankings was about 750 words, while the average content length for position 20 rankings was about 500 words. These data points were gathered by studying more than 600,000 different keywords on a global basis, relying on SEMRush’s more than 1.5 million users.

Overall, it seems that the longer your content is, the higher its chances will be to earn a high ranking—but there are some complicating factors you also need to consider.

Benefits of Short Articles

Just because shorter articles tend to rank lower doesn’t mean short articles are inherently bad. In fact, some of them have some big advantages. For starters, some users prefer to read short content over long content (either due to time restraints or attention limits). If part of your target market happens to prefer short articles (under 500 words), it may be disadvantageous for you to exclusively publish long articles, since you may alienate some readers.

Short articles also offer much more concise answers to user questions; if you’re intending to optimize for specific long-tail keyword phrases, or if you’re trying to get your content featured as a rich answer, it may be better to have a short, concise entry.

Length vs. Density

It’s worth noting at this point that what may matter most isn’t necessarily the length of the content itself, but rather the amount of information available within that content – its density.

It just so happens that longer content naturally tends to include more facts (when it’s well-written) and information. For example, a 300-word, densely written article may have more valuable information in it than a 1,500-word fluff piece.

For that reason, I can’t simply encourage you to write longer pieces of content; the equation isn’t that simple.

The Bottom Line

Obviously, length is just one of many factors that could contribute to your on-page content’s eventual success. Still, it’s an important quality to consider. So what’s the right approach here?

Overall, longer content tends to perform better than shorter content, with pages having 1000 words or more performing best. However, shorter pieces of content (3-500 words) can also perform well, provided they’re densely and intelligently written.

It’s therefore wise to have a diverse mix of different content lengths available to your readers, with a slight skew to longer content, and always a commitment to publishing the best material you can.

Content is king when it comes to SEO. You can’t have an SEO campaign without content; it’s the fuel that makes SEO work.

You’ve heard this all before, but it’s less often that you hear about the specific, objective qualities that make content effective. Millions of businesses and individuals are competing for visibility in search engines, and many of them are writing what is, subjectively, “good” content. But what makes that content “good”?

You can point to the writing style, the target audience, the practicality, and various other subjective factors, but today I want to focus on one specific, objective factor; is the length of your content a predictor of its SEO performance? And if so, what’s the ideal length of content to earn a high ranking in organic search results?

Page Content Minimums

Obviously, different types of content should be considered differently; for example, the core pages of your website don’t need as much content as your blog articles, since they won’t be addressing specific questions and instead will serve as anchor points for your brand. Still, every page of your site needs to have a certain “minimum” amount of content, or else it will be perceived as “thin.”

There’s no clear formula, or single answer for the minimum amount of content a page should have. Some sources suggest having at least 600-700 words of content on every page, which will allow you to include multiple variations of your target keywords and provide a decent amount of information to your readers on almost any subject. However, it won’t take you long to find a top-ranked page that features as little as 300 words.

As you’ll soon see, while content length is correlated with higher rankings, there’s actually another variable that has a stronger influence on rankings. However, for now, understand that at least 300 words is a good minimum to shoot for.

Blog Article Research

So beyond that 300 word absolute minimum, is there a benefit to having longer content? Let’s take a look at the data.

In 2015, Moz and BuzzSumo paired up to produce a content study I still find fascinating and relevant. They collaborated to analyze the number of social shares and links earned by more than one million pieces of content available on the web. One critical insight here is the disproportional distribution of shares and links; 75 percent of content pieces receive no links or shares whatsoever, while the vast majority of links and shares is limited to a minority of content pieces.

Almost in line with this effect, more than 85 percent of written content contains fewer than 1,000 words. However, consistently, content with 1,000 words or more tends to attract significantly more links and shares.

This effect isn’t limited to 2015. A recent report by SEMRushstudying ranking factors in 2017 also found that longer pages tended to rank higher. Researchers calculated a 45 percent difference in length between search entries that appeared within the top 3 rankings, and position 20 entries.

For reference, the average content length for top 3 rankings was about 750 words, while the average content length for position 20 rankings was about 500 words. These data points were gathered by studying more than 600,000 different keywords on a global basis, relying on SEMRush’s more than 1.5 million users.

Overall, it seems that the longer your content is, the higher its chances will be to earn a high ranking—but there are some complicating factors you also need to consider.

Benefits of Short Articles

Just because shorter articles tend to rank lower doesn’t mean short articles are inherently bad. In fact, some of them have some big advantages. For starters, some users prefer to read short content over long content (either due to time restraints or attention limits). If part of your target market happens to prefer short articles (under 500 words), it may be disadvantageous for you to exclusively publish long articles, since you may alienate some readers.

Short articles also offer much more concise answers to user questions; if you’re intending to optimize for specific long-tail keyword phrases, or if you’re trying to get your content featured as a rich answer, it may be better to have a short, concise entry.

Length vs. Density

It’s worth noting at this point that what may matter most isn’t necessarily the length of the content itself, but rather the amount of information available within that content – its density.

It just so happens that longer content naturally tends to include more facts (when it’s well-written) and information. For example, a 300-word, densely written article may have more valuable information in it than a 1,500-word fluff piece.

For that reason, I can’t simply encourage you to write longer pieces of content; the equation isn’t that simple.

The Bottom Line

Obviously, length is just one of many factors that could contribute to your on-page content’s eventual success. Still, it’s an important quality to consider. So what’s the right approach here?

Overall, longer content tends to perform better than shorter content, with pages having 1000 words or more performing best. However, shorter pieces of content (3-500 words) can also perform well, provided they’re densely and intelligently written.

It’s therefore wise to have a diverse mix of different content lengths available to your readers, with a slight skew to longer content, and always a commitment to publishing the best material you can.

Source: How Long Should Your Content Be For Optimal SEO?