Blogging is an essential aspect of search engine optimisation (SEO).
A well-crafted blog post can significantly impact a website’s ranking on search engine results pages (SERPs).
A blog post is an opportunity for a website to provide valuable and informative content to its audience while also establishing itself as an authority in its niche.
The importance of blog posts for SEO lies in their ability to generate traffic, establish brand identity, and engage customers.
However, simply creating blog posts is not enough.
To rank high on SERPs, one must consider several factors that affect the length and structure of the blog post.
The Current State of Blog Post Length for SEO
The history of blog post length and SEO started with a focus on short posts (300-500 words) to boost keyword density.
But as search engines evolved, quality and user experience became key. Google’s Panda update in 2011 penalised thin content, pushing for longer, more valuable posts.
The 2013 Hummingbird update prioritised addressing user queries, not just keywords.
In 2018, the “Medic” update stressed expertise and trustworthiness.
In 2023, SEO values quality; a 1000-1500 word minimum is often recommended, but post length depends on topic, competition, and user intent.
Understanding User Intent for Blog Post Length
In SEO, user intent refers to the reason behind a user’s search query. Understanding user intent is crucial in creating effective blog posts that provide value to the reader and rank high on SERPs.
What is user intent?
User intent can be classified into four main categories: informational, navigational, transactional, and commercial investigation.
- Informational intent: The user is looking for information about a particular topic, such as “how to bake a cake.”
- Navigational intent: The user is looking for a particular website, such as a “Facebook login page.”
- Transactional intent: The user is looking to purchase a product or service, such as “buy iPhone 13.”
- Commercial investigation intent: The user is in the research phase and is looking for information to make a purchase decision, such as “best phone plans for seniors.”
How user intent affects blog post length
User intent plays a significant role in determining the length of a blog post.
For example, a user searching for a quick answer to a question may not want to read a lengthy blog post.
In contrast, a user seeking in-depth information on a topic may require a longer blog post to satisfy their needs. Therefore, the length of a blog post should match the user’s intent.
Additionally, creating blog posts that match user intent can increase the chances of ranking high on SERPs.
Google’s algorithm is designed to prioritise content that matches user intent and provides value to the reader. By creating blog posts that satisfy user intent, website owners can improve their chances of ranking high on SERPs.
The Role of keyword research in determining user intent
Keyword research plays a crucial role in determining user intent.
Keyword research involves identifying the keywords and phrases that users are searching for related to a particular topic.
By understanding the keywords and phrases used by the target audience, website owners can create blog posts that match user intent and address their specific needs.
For example, if the keyword “best dog food for puppies” is popular, the user intent behind the search query is to find the best dog food for puppies.
Creating a blog post that provides comprehensive information on the best dog food for puppies would satisfy user intent and increase the chances of ranking high on SERPs.
In addition, keyword research can provide insight into the competition and the optimal blog post length.
Highly competitive keywords may require longer blog posts to stand out and rank high on SERPs. In contrast, less competitive keywords may require shorter blog posts.
Long-Form vs Short-Form Blog Posts for SEO
When it comes to blog post length for SEO, website owners often wonder whether long-form or short-form blog posts are more effective.
The benefits of long-form blog posts for SEO
Long-form blog posts typically contain 2,000 words or more and provide comprehensive information on a particular topic. The benefits of long-form blog posts for SEO include:
- Improved search engine rankings: Long-form blog posts tend to rank higher on SERPs than shorter blog posts. This is because long-form blog posts provide comprehensive information on a particular topic and are more likely to match user intent.
- Increased engagement: Long-form blog posts can increase user engagement by providing in-depth information on a particular topic. This can lead to longer time spent on the website and lower bounce rates, both of which can positively impact SEO.
- Increased backlinks: Long-form blog posts are more likely to be shared and linked to by other websites. This can increase the number of backlinks to the website, which is a key factor in SEO.
The benefits of short-form blog posts for SEO
Short-form blog posts typically contain 500-700 words and provide concise information on a particular topic. The benefits of short-form blog posts for SEO include:
- Improved readability: Short-form blog posts are easier to read and digest, making them more accessible to a broader audience.
- Increased frequency of publishing: Short-form blog posts can be created and published more frequently than long-form blog posts. This can help websites to keep their content fresh and up-to-date, which can positively impact SEO.
- Improved social media sharing: Short-form blog posts are more likely to be shared on social media platforms, which can increase website traffic and improve SEO.
The trade-offs between long-form and short-form blog posts for SEO
While both long-form and short-form blog posts have their benefits, there are also trade-offs to consider.
- Time and resources: Long-form blog posts require more time and resources to create than short-form blog posts. Website owners must weigh the benefits of improved search engine rankings and increased engagement against the cost of creating long-form blog posts.
- User intent: The length of a blog post should match the user’s intent. If the user is seeking in-depth information on a particular topic, a long-form blog post may be more appropriate. If the user is looking for a quick answer to a question, a short-form blog post may be more appropriate.
- Competition: The competition for a particular keyword can impact the optimal length of a blog post. Highly competitive keywords may require longer blog posts to stand out, while less competitive keywords may require shorter blog posts.
Optimal Blog Post Length for Different Types of Content
When it comes to blog post length for SEO, different types of content may require different lengths to match user intent and achieve optimal results.
The blog post length for informative content
Informative content aims to educate and inform the reader on a particular topic.
The optimal blog post length for informative content is typically longer than other types of content, ranging from 2,000 to 5,000 words or more.
This is because informative content requires in-depth information and comprehensive coverage of a topic.
Long-form blog posts for informative content have several benefits for SEO, including improved search engine rankings, increased engagement, and more backlinks.
However, it’s essential to ensure that the length of the blog post matches the user’s intent.
If the user is looking for a quick answer to a question, a shorter blog post may be more appropriate.
The blog post length for transactional content
Transactional content aims to encourage the reader to take action, such as making a purchase or filling out a form.
The optimal blog post length for transactional content is typically shorter than informative content, ranging from 500 to 1,000 words or less.
This is because transactional content should be concise and to the point, focusing on the benefits of taking the desired action.
Short-form blog posts for transactional content have several benefits for SEO, including improved readability, increased frequency of publishing, and improved social media sharing.
However, it’s essential to ensure that the length of the blog post matches the user’s intent. If the user is seeking more information before taking action, a longer blog post may be more appropriate.
The blog post length for navigational content
Navigational content aims to help the reader navigate a website or find a particular page.
The optimal blog post length for navigational content is typically short, ranging from 300 to 500 words or less.
This is because navigational content should be quick and easy to read, with clear instructions on how to find what the user is looking for.
Short-form blog posts for navigational content have several benefits for SEO, including improved accessibility and improved user experience.
However, it’s essential to ensure that the length of the blog post matches the user’s intent. If the user is seeking more information on a particular page or topic, a longer blog post may be more appropriate.
The blog post length for commercial content
Commercial content aims to promote a product or service to the reader.
The optimal blog post length for commercial content varies depending on the product or service being promoted but typically ranges from 1,000 to 2,000 words or less.
This is because commercial content should be persuasive and informative, highlighting the benefits of the product or service.
Long-form blog posts for commercial content have several benefits for SEO, including improved search engine rankings, increased engagement, and more backlinks.
However, it’s essential to ensure that the length of the blog post matches the user’s intent. If the user is seeking more information before making a purchase, a longer blog post may be more appropriate.
Factors Affecting Blog Post Length for SEO
Blog post length is determined by various factors, and optimising blog post length for SEO requires understanding the role of these factors.
The level of competition in a particular niche can significantly impact the length of blog posts.
In highly competitive niches, longer blog posts are generally favoured because they provide a greater depth of information and analysis.
Longer posts have a better chance of ranking high on search engine results pages, as they are seen as more authoritative and comprehensive.
In contrast, in niches with lower competition, shorter blog posts may suffice, as there may not be a need to provide as much detailed information.
Readability is an essential factor when determining the optimal length of a blog post.
Blog posts that are too long can be overwhelming and difficult to read, while shorter posts may lack the necessary information to provide value to the reader.
The ideal blog post length for readability depends on the audience and the topic.
Generally, a blog post should be long enough to cover the topic comprehensively and provide value, but short enough to keep the reader engaged.
The complexity of the topic being covered can impact the length of a blog post.
For complex topics, longer blog posts may be necessary to provide in-depth information and analysis.
A long-form post may allow for a more comprehensive explanation of the topic, which can increase its value to the reader.
On the other hand, simpler topics may not require as much depth, and shorter posts may be sufficient.
Understanding these factors is crucial when determining the optimal length of a blog post for SEO.
By considering these factors, you can create content that provides value to your readers and helps you rank higher in search engine results in pages.
Best Practices for Blog Post Length for SEO in 2023
As search engines continue to evolve, so do the best practices for blog post length for SEO.
Ideal word count range for different types of content
While there is no set rule for blog post length, it’s generally recommended to aim for longer blog posts. According to research, the ideal length for a blog post is between 1,500 and 2,500 words.
However, the ideal length of a blog post depends on the type of content you’re creating.
For informative content, such as how-to guides and listicles, longer posts tend to perform better.
On the other hand, transactional and commercial content, such as product descriptions and sales pages, may require shorter, more concise posts.
When creating navigational content, such as FAQs and tutorials, it’s best to keep your posts short and to the point.
How to structure your blog post for SEO
Proper blog post structure can help improve your SEO and user engagement. Here are some tips for structuring your blog post:
- Use descriptive and compelling headlines and subheadings to break up your post and make it easier to read.
- Include relevant keywords throughout your post to improve your chances of ranking for those keywords.
- Use bullet points and numbered lists to make your post more scannable.
- Include high-quality images and other multimedia to break up your post and make it more engaging.
- Use internal and external links to provide additional context and value to your readers.
Tips for optimising your blog post length for SEO in 2023
Here are some additional tips for optimising your blog post length for SEO:
- Focus on quality over quantity. While longer posts tend to perform better, it’s important to make sure your content is high quality and valuable to your readers.
- Use analytics to track the performance of your blog posts. Look at factors such as time on page and bounce rate to determine if your post is engaging and valuable to your readers.
- Conduct regular keyword research to ensure you’re targeting the right keywords and topics for your blog posts.
- Keep your audience in mind when creating your content. Make sure your posts are written in a way that’s easy to understand and engaging for your target audience.
By following these best practices, you can optimise your blog post length for SEO in 2023 and beyond. Remember, the key to success is to create valuable, high-quality content that meets the needs of your readers.