How long should articles be written in a blog?

How long should articles be written in a blog?

How long should a blog post be is the question for which every blogger is looking for an answer now-a-days. The curiosity to have answer for this question came after Google announced that they will give importance to websites who will provide detailed explanation to user’s query.

Google is saying this from years that it gives importance to websites who solve the user’s search query in the best possible way. When a user searches something on google.com and when he lands on a website pertaining to that search then that website should satisfy his search-term.

When the bloggers came to know about the detailed explanation that google is looking for any search-query then they at once landed on the conclusion that detailed means lengthy articles. Some even came forward with the numbers stating that the minimum word limit for article writing should be somehow between 2000 – 2500 words.

Initially, people used to target minimum of 500+ words but in order to cope with the detailed explanation, now-a-days people are targeting 2000-2500 words.

Actually, initially some people suggested the word limit for article writing to be greater than 500. They said that the seo content length should be something between 800-900 words and it will be best if the content length crosses 1000 words.

So till now, I have seen bloggers claiming this seo content length changing from 300-500 words to something 10,000 words.

Trend in SEO Content Length Word-Count

Back in 2005, bloggers used to have the word limit for article writing as to be around 300. And then it has changed to something much bigger. Below is the trend of having the average length of articles that has changed in the years.
• Less than 300
• 300 – 500
• 500 – 1000
• 1000 – 2000
• 2000 – 2500
• 5000+ words

Please note that the above word limits are not suggested anyway by Google or any other search engine but these are only the hypothetical word-count that has been defined by bloggers.

I have called them hypothetical because the limit is defined by them only and you will not see any official recommendation by any search engine.

You might have noticed that after 2500, I have mentioned the word-count as more than 5k but I have not mentioned anything between 2500-5000. The reason is simple. Bloggers prefer the content length to be somewhere between 2000 and 2500 and according to them, if they will write above 2k words then also it will not make much difference unless and until you write really long and cross the content length of 5000 words.

If I had written the present article back in 2005 then going by the above trend, I would have stopped it by now because I am already more than 300 words :). But it’s not 2005 and secondly, my article is still incomplete.

Now-a-days, people have started claiming that on an average, the perfect blog post length should be around 2000 words. The extreme right on 2000 would be more plus, which means that the perfect blog post length articles should be little high than 2000 words.

More than 2000 means that it can be 2050 or it can be 2500 words too. Some bloggers have invented a new term, known as Monster blog posts. As going by the name, a monster blog post can be anything more than 5000 words or even, more than 10,000 words.

If you cross 10 thousand words then I would really call the blog post as monster because usually, no one writes such lengthy articles. And you can imagine that how much time you have to spend in writing such monster blog posts.

Bloggers claim that monster blog posts help in driving massive traffic, which to some extent is true as well. I have sad “to some extent” because if article itself does not keep any importance both in eyes of users or Google then even monster articles cannot help you. But if a writer is writing more than 10,000 words and putting so much time and hard-work then he might not be compromising on quality.

Infact, whether anyone writes a small post or lengthy detailed one, everyone tries his best to provide good quality content. It is different thing that how google treats that quality, whether that quality is really good in eyes of google or not.

How long should articles be?

The question still stands that how long should a blog post be written so that it suits to google and all other search engines. As I depicted above that the bloggers have come up with few suggestions related to the length of article for seo, but that’s not the ideal length in every scenario and every niche.

You will find that on some topics, well researched lengthy articles can be written while on other topics, you will not be able to write more than 300-400 words. So if you think that long articles is the only solution to rank on number 1 in Google search then you will just extend the 300-400 words by writing the trash language.

But do you think that google is so stupid that it will weigh your trash and will give you number one position. If google tries ranking the posts based on word-count then don’t you think that the rich contenting firms will ask all its content-writers to write bigger articles?

And if this happens then I think only bigger firms will dominate the search indexing and small blogs will never be able to make themselves in the google-index.

And then the content-writers salaries will rise like anything and they will get more salary than president of United States of America :). But thanks to the smart indexing algorithms of google that they have avoided such a worse situation and have saved enough money of content-marketing firms.

In order to prove my point, let’s take below example:
• You create a blog post with content length of more than 3000 words. But the post contains the junk data with repeating the same sentence in different ways. Further, you add the grammatical mistakes into the article and the page also takes minutes in loading.

• In contrary to above, you created a blog post with just 400 words but the content is appealing. You cannot write more since the niche does not allow you to do so and thus, you have respected the niche and have posted 400 words only. These 400 words are enough to represent the article’s topic and the post solves the user query properly.

Now, from user point of view, tell me that which article you will prefer to visit?

The one that is just garbage and does not solve any purpose or the one which is short and crispy but caters to your query.

I know you will prefer the second one.

And have you heard google webmasters shouting – “Do not write for search engines but instead, write for users.”

This is where the shout comes into practical. So, the word count does not keep significance but instead the crispy and useful information that solves the user’s query.

But does it mean that the bloggers who are shouting that word limit for article writing should be more than 2000 words are just lying?
I have not said that the bloggers are lying you and that too, when they are showing you the proofs that longer articles tend to be more popular on first page of google search.

And what does Google mean when it says that you have to write detailed article?
Detailed means that the answer to user’s query should be explained properly. That’s what the search-giant means and that’s what that you should focus on.

For example: Let’s say that someone is searching for the download link of any Hollywood movie and 2 websites have posted the below variants for this user’s query:
1. The first website has written about the star-cast, the real names of the actors, the story of the movie etc.

2. The second website has not listed any of the above data but has nicely embedded the video link of the hollywood movie.

Now as a user, which search-result you will prefer?

Your query was to get the link from where you can download the movie and not the star-cast, the story etc. So you will prefer the second website and will just spam the first one.

Here, the long content has not helped you but the short and clear answer. And you know that google loves a website only if its users love it.

To support my example further, let me take you to some stats:
As per Return.Co research on blog posts content, the lengthy articles does not perform well everytime.

If you see in diagram below, some articles with fewer words have generated small bounce rates while lengthier articles have generated high bounce rate. It shows that the users are looking for quick and crystal-clear answers to their search-queries and not the verbose posts with no value.

Bounce Rate vs Word Count
Bounce Rate vs Word Count

Now, check the below picture which depicts the stats between word count and number of pages per session. You will see that some of the articles with fewer count of words were able to generate the higher pages per session number. This further shows that the visitors are looking for the quality rather than quantity and length of the post.

Pages per session vs Word Count
Pages per session vs Word Count

The below statistical diagram comparing the stats between average duration and word count also shows that it is not always that the lengthy posts perform well. Sometimes the short also tends to be better while at other times, the long content outranks the shorter ones. The bottom line is that it all depends on the quality of post written.

Average Duration vs Word Count
Average Duration vs Word Count

Average Post Length for different niches

The average post length varies as per industry. Some topics give you plenty of room to write lengthy posts while for others, you cannot cross word count in 4 figures as well. Viperchill study on blog post length reveals that the average length of posts vastly varies as per the industry. For example: for marketing niche, the average length of article comes to be something 1085 words while for Gadgets, its just 181 words.

Average Word count niche
Average Word count niche

Please note that the statistics that he landed on in above pic were by picking 5 famous blogs pertaining to every niche. And in order to calculate the average article length, he further picked 5 random articles from each of the above selected blogs and landed on the above chart.

The blogs he picked are illustrated below:

Average Post Length
Average Post Length

Another study from Snapagency revealed that the social shares of lengthy articles tend to be more than the shorter ones.

Word Count Social Shares
Word Count Social Shares

It is sometimes obvious that when people see the bigger posts then they get attracted towards them and they think that the post has been written by experts and after proper research; and in order to put more weightage on their social media profiles, they share those posts on their social media channels.

And if any content gets more social shares then it is a big plus in Google as google takes it a big positive sign because if someone is sharing your content then it means he is interested in your writing and he is also recommending that post to his followers.

Conclusion

Now when I have presented both sides of coin to you revolving my study on seo content length then its time for conclusion. At this time, you can see that the shorter articles are performing well at few places while at other places, the longer ones are getting more shares.

So, what is ideal post content length and How long should articles be written?
The correct answer now comes out to be that explain any topic in detailed-view but never ever compromise on quality. Write well and in details but the first thing that you should consider is the user-experience and what the user is looking for his query. And whether your post is answering his question completely?

When you think that the short answer will satisfy your user and the long content can disappoint him then at first instance, prefer the shorter copy.

Share your view that what seo content length generally works for you and how long articles you write?

2 thoughts on “How long should articles be written in a blog?”

  1. Hey Atul

    Resourceful information. I have read on many blogs is that Google is now looking at the long tail article which has detailed information in one place.
    Thank you for shedding the light on the actual facts.
    Keep up the good work 🙂

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