Blog posting may not be the award-winning writing your website is known for, but consistent and frequent blog posting is a much-needed practice for search engine optimization. Optimizing blog content for search engine visibility and rankings is a foundational tool for on-site SEO. The reasons are simple:
- New blog posts demonstrate your website is continuously adding original content.
- Blogs add more opportunities for people to search and find your content.
- Blog posts are an infrastructure to create landing pages for paid media.
It’s pretty much settled, right? Blogs are great tools for content marketing. But a frequent conversation I have with people in the industry often involves how much you should write on the blog. While past techniques and SEO tools have suggested short, persistent blog posting; current Google SEO best practices indicate a move from this annoying method. Instead, quality blog posts with more content seem to do much better for search engine and website rankings. Let’s explore-blog length a bit more in-depth.
What’s the best word count that makes excellent blog posts for website optimization?
I firmly believe in taking a completely separate approach to writing content for a blog and optimizing web page copy for search engine marketing purposes. When looking specifically at blog writing, length is a hot topic, yet remains ambiguously defined among SEM specialists.
What Search Engine Results Say
In 2017, Forbes concluded content length, among the top 3 search rankings, averaged at 750 words. On the other hand, average content length for lower ranked pages was around 500 words, considering over 6,000 unique keywords and 1.5 million online participants. The more you write, the likelihood someone will encounter your website when searching is much higher. It’s a numbers game.
Why Longer Blog Content is Better Content
There are three significant reasons extended blog content works, long-tailed key-wording opportunities, text-to-HTML requirements, and keyword density.
Lengthy unique content often contains more variety of language and more complex keywords. These are known as long-tail keyword phrases. These are foundational to your content marketing strategy by increasing backlinking potential and social media shares. Additionally, with the increase in voice search through Alexa, Siri, Google Assistant, and Bixby, long-tailed keyword phrases are rising in search queries among these engines.
Having a low, on-page Text-To-HTML Ratio can be problematic. A website that contains proportionally more back-end HTML code than the visible text people see on the screen. The search engine can potentially ignore anything lower than 10%, but a good rule of thumb is to aim for 20%; allowing for changes that occur in search engine algorithms or on your website. Tools, such as the site audit SEO tool, through SEMRush, will evaluate all pages needing content added to safely ensure they are crawlable by major search engines such as Google, Bing, and Yahoo. You should care about Google the most.
Keyword density is another factor. Keyword stuffing is almost a black hat search optimization technique anymore. The idea now is to gravitate towards more content where strategic and unique keywords are used sparingly throughout the copy. This technique gives search engine algorithms the sense the writing is organic, genuine, and generated for user experience in mind.
So… How Long Should My Blog Be?
It just so happens extended content tends to be editorial or informative. A 300-word, densely written article may have more valuable information in it than a 1,500-word fluff piece. However, the chances of this getting picked up in a search engine inquiry are smaller. You need to find a balance. Follow these simple rules:
- The minimum a blog should be is 300.
- The ideal blog, for SEO purposes, should strive for a 500-750-word count.
- Blogs with highly engaging, informative, educational content, or blogs designed for landing pages can be as long as 1800 words, but no more.
If you are still stumped, the SEMRush’s Content Template Tool will assess a blog topic and find similar content across the internet. The tool will then provide a goal word count which is the optimal length compared to your blog topic’s or targeted keyword’s competition.
Personally, I find blog writing to be primarily an SEO strategy. Therefore, I tend to aim for 750 words for each blog, regardless of purpose. While there are blogs which warrant more extended content, I never write less than 500. They just don’t get hits.
Write more. Post often.