I have been testing blog posts with different lengths just to see the difference in traffic. I have seen a difference between the blog posts that were on the longer side versus the ones that were shorter.
But remember, that’s just the preliminary results that I’m offering. I have done deeper research into this (like testing if the tone of the content affects how many visitors I get, the headlines, etc.).
So, what is up with all these SEO blogs talking about the reasons why you should have longer blog posts.
Do they really make your website look more authoritative in the eyes of Google?
Or are they just misleading you so that you are not able to update your website more often (Google loves websites that are updated with new content regularly)?
Let’s take a closer look and check it out.
The Length of Your Blog Post Used to Matter in the Past
Let’s time travel back to 2014 when keyword density was still a thing that SEOs used to focus on. And you kept finding blog posts on page 1 that literally exploited this by repeating a particular keyword over and over again.
So if a blog post that mentioned the keyword “cosmetic surgery” only once wouldn’t seem as relevant as a blog post that mentioned the same keyword 10 times. It wouldn’t matter if the quality of the information was better or worse than the other websites.
And if you had written a long blog post, then you had more chances to use your target keyword without going overboard with the keyword density. This would make your website look more authoritative and also have the perfect amount of keyword density to rank you on top of page 1.
Well, it was only a matter of time until Google realized that this resulted in a poor user experience because people were not able to find the information that they were looking for.
And so, with an update, they mentioned that any website that is stuffing keywords in their blog posts will likely be penalized or at least drop in rankings. And since then, people have been focusing on the next best thing – LSI keywords.
So, Does the Length of My Blog Post Still Make a Difference in the SERPs?
Well, ever since people started using LSI keywords, aka, synonyms of keywords or keyword variations, the length of their blog posts have increased. LSI means Latent Semantic Indexing. It is used by Google to identify the synonyms of different keywords and decide whether a particular page is relevant to a search query.
So for example, if you used the keyword “nose surgery” and “rhinoplasty surgery” in your blog posts, then Google would see your website as relevant for any person searching for either of those keywords.
This way, you won’t have to keep repeating “rhinoplasty surgery” 10 times in your blog posts and make people think that you are a madman. Instead, you can use LSI keywords and end up ranking for a lot more keywords than you were targeting.
So the question remains about the length of your content.
Does Google have a minimum word count that you should always be aiming to exceed? Or anything similar that will help you gauge?
Unfortunately, no. Google has not mentioned any minimum word count for getting a website indexed.
But, obviously, I wouldn’t leave you hanging in the middle of nowhere. I do have my own research that matches the research that was already done by reputed sources like Moz and Quick Sprout. They show that the pages that rank the highest in search engines, usually have more content.
Taking a Different Approach to the Correlation Between Blog Post Length and Rankings
After testing a couple different websites, I found out that content is much more important in the SEO/Internet Marketing industry compared to other industries. The highest ranking websites that I have for high traffic SEO keywords, on average had at least 2,100 words per page.
And the data from Quick Sprout also supports my findings.
They claim that for the top 10 results for any keyword on Google has at least 2,000 words of content. And it is not far-fetched. Although it might a bit lower for different industries but 1,600-2,100 words is the usual ballpark that you will find more websites in.
Alright, so now we know that the longer your blog posts are, the higher you will rank.
But the main reason why we are focusing on SEO is to get conversions, sales, etc.
So, do longer blog posts convert better than shorter ones?
Do Longer Blog Posts Convert Better Than Short Blog Posts?
Most companies that are blogging on a consistent basis, aren’t doing just because they feel a moral obligation to give back to the society. They are doing it to get more leads that result in sales from the internet.
And so, it makes sense to know beforehand that the time you will be spending writing that 2,000-word blog post will convert as good as you want it to.
But unfortunately, there is no concrete answer to that question. It varies depending on the industry.
You really have to test which one converts best for you. In some industries, a shorter copy would work like crazy and if you try out the same thing in a different industry, it is possible that you might not get any results at all.
You might see that longer blog posts might work like gangbusters for Neil Patel from Quick Sprout. But try to look behind the scenes and see what he is doing and why he is getting those results.
Neil says that his company first surveyed people about their biggest objections they had with the services. And then they wrote blog posts addressing those objections. And not only that, they also went ahead and sent AdWords traffic to the landing pages to test out different headlines and see which ones get the best response.
My personal tests were preliminary. I didn’t compare the conversions between different blog posts. I just compared the overall traffic they got.
But in the upcoming weeks, I will be looking closely at the conversions. This will be an interesting test.
Do Longer Blog Posts Get More Backlinks?
Yes. It is quite possible that the length of a blog post might determine how many backlinks it would receive. A longer blog post would receive more backlinks simply because it might cover more topics in-depth.
And despite all the shenanigans that you might be reading about the quality of backlinks (by the way, having low-quality backlinks is a great way to get your website penalized), they are still a major factor into where your website ranks.
So, it is very clear that you will need to test out what length of blog posts work best for your industry. And for that to happen, you will need to make sure that you are tracking everything and comparing everything.
That way, you would easily be able to tell which pages are performing well and which pages are flops. And based on that you can decide the average length of your future blog posts.
Remember, you want to make sure that you are ending up with higher conversion rates with blogging. You don’t want to keep blogging with no return.