One of the best things you can do to improve your authority on the Web and search rankings is blogging. We recommend blogging frequently in order to boost the aforementioned results and to show your prospects that you are actively engaged in your business. One of the questions we are frequently asked is “How long should a blog post be?” Blogging is a little bit of art and a little bit of science rolled into one and there is definitely a “sweet spot” when it comes to the length of the post. There are two classifications for blog length, short-form and long-form. So which one works best?
Typically, short-form content ranges from 200 to 1000 words. The focus of this type of content is short and to-the-point – get as much information out in as few words as possible. The logic behind the use of short-form style is that user’s have short attention spans so we need to conform to that. In terms of SEO, Google sees more indexed pages and activity so the site will receive a small boost in that regard. But do these short posts perform better than long-form posts?
At a length of 800 plus words, long-form content delves more deeply into the subject being discussed. This meatier content attracts users by providing more useful information than is usually found in a short-form post. But the real question is which form performs better in search?
Well, if you acknowledge the fact that the more backlinks there are to a post the higher SEO ranking it will have then that seems like a good place to start. In fact, according to a study by Moz (SEO/marketing analysts) there is a direct correlation between the length of a post and the number of backlinks it has and the resulting search rank. The following graph shows that posts ranked #1 in search have an average of 2450 words.
SerpIQ found that the average length of the Top 10 Results are around 2000 words.
The evidence seems clear; if you want your post to rank highly in search then the long-form works best. Taking this a step further the more your posts are seen the higher your authority level becomes giving even more weight to long-form. But what about Social Media? Twitter only allows for 140 characters so would long form still be the best choice?
This is where the data becomes a little muddied. Studies show that both long-form and short-form perform well on Social Media as you can see in the chart below. The key point to remember is your audience and the subject matter you are covering. If your subject calls for in-depth analysis then go with the long-form and increase your search rankings and authority. If the subject can be covered in short-form then you may want to focus on the social media aspect. As you can see in the chart below both lengthy blog posts and short, snappy ones perform well on social media.
Overall, long-form blog posts would appear to be the winner because of the SEO and authority benefits but there is a place for short-form. If you would like guidance as to what would work best for your business please feel free to contact us!
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