How long should a blogpost be?

How long should a blogpost be?

How long should a blogpost be?

June 01st, 2016 – 15 Comments

A blog post should contain at least 300 words in order to rank well in the search engines. Long posts will rank more easily than short posts. However, long posts require strong writing skills. Not every writer will be able to write readable blog posts of more than 1000 words. Still, these lengthy blog posts are of great importance for your SEO strategy. In this post, I’ll explain the importance of blog post length for SEO. And, I’ll give tips that will help you to make sure your lengthy articles remain readable.

Why do lengthy posts rank high in Google?

If you write a really long blog post (1000 words or more), you have a higher chance of ranking well in Google. At Yoast, we have quite a few articles containing more than 2500 words and these really help in the growth of our organic traffic.

There are a number of reasons why blog post length is important for SEO. These reasons all have to do with the fact that in lengthy texts, Google just has more clues to determine what your text is about. If you optimize your copy well, your keyword will be in the text rather often, because it’s so lengthy. No need for keyword stuffing in lengthy texts! You’ll probably have more headings, more links, and more pictures, in which the keyword will be mentioned.

Above that, you’ll probably rank for multiple long tail variants of the keyword you optimized your text for. In a lengthy text, you probably address multiple topics. Your article will have a chance to turn up in search results for all these long tail variants. Combined this will result in a growth of the organic traffic to your site.

Readability and blog post length

The downside of blog posts containing more than 1000 words is that they can become hard to read. You’ll need some proper writing skills in order to write easy-to-read articles of more than 1000 words. Also, large pieces of text could very well scare off your audience.

Learn how to write awesome and SEO friendly articles in our SEO Copywriting training »

SEO copywriting training$ 199 - Buy now » Info

Badly written, lengthy articles will not be read all the way through. People will probably click away from your site rather soon. These articles won’t be shared on social media and people probably won’t return to your website to read some more. In the end, badly written and lengthy articles won’t rank well in Google, simply because of the bad user experience.

The only way to write successful lengthy blog posts is by making sure your post is extremely nicely structured and easy to read. If your post is really long, add some kind of an index at the beginning of your post (like we do in our ultimate guides). Make sure your paragraphs are short and clear. Add lots of subheadings. Write in an attractive style. Your sentences should be rather short, you shouldn’t use difficult vocabulary and avoid passive voice.

Read more: ‘5 tips for a readable blog post’ »

Conclusion on blog length

Your blog post should always contain more than 300 words, otherwise your post will have too few words in order to rank in the search engines. If you’re an experienced writer you could write very lengthy posts containing more than 1000 words. Make sure structure and readability are flawless. If you aren’t the best writer, try to maximize the words of your post around 700-800.

Help is on the way!

Writing high-quality content is hard. Especially when your goal is to write lengthy articles in order to make your organic traffic grow. At Yoast, we are currently finishing up features that’ll make writing a bit easier. In the next major release of Yoast SEO (expected this month!) we’ll give our content analysis a make-over. We’ll add lots of checks that will help you to optimize the readability of your blog posts.

Keep reading: ‘SEO copywriting: the ultimate guide’ »


15 Responses to How long should a blogpost be?

  1. roshan sathe
    By roshan sathe on 13 June, 2016

    I don’t know much about blogs but one thing for sure I love your habit of giving replies for every query. Maybe that’s the reason your blog is a hit.

  2. Motorola
    By Motorola on 8 June, 2016

    Good article, great advices… I think even pros can learn something here!

    My best practice is: 550 Words :-)

  3. Mike Gracia
    By Mike Gracia on 6 June, 2016

    A agree with some of the sentiment expressed in the comments. It’s ‘OK’ to aim for a long post, as lots of studies DO point to it having a better chance, on average, of ranking well… However, the post should be as long or as short as it needs to be a good, informative and useful post.

    If a post seems laboured and cumbersome, then I think user-metrics will be poor, so I think the length will likely be harming the rankings in such cases.

    Of course if a post is of a decent length, reads really well and keeps the reader’s attention, then leaves them feeling glad they’ve read the post, ideally to the point they share or bookmark it, all the better!

    Of course Yoast are obviously promoting the use of long-form engaging content really,

    I just think the caveat is needed to avoid people thinking 1000 words of crap ‘SEO’ content will outrank 300 words of really useful content, as (hopefully!) it won’t!

    • Marieke van de Rakt
      By Marieke van de Rakt on 6 June, 2016

      I think we agree. Crap ‘SEO” content will not rank eventually. It could help a page to get high in Google for a short period of time, but it isn’t a sustainable SEO tactic.

  4. gmtairperth
    By gmtairperth on 3 June, 2016

    Great article Thanks for the great advice I generally write a minimum of 300 words following the green traffic light signals. I think I would struggle to get to 1000 to 2500 on a regular basis I will give it a go but I try to keep quality and informative information on my topic.

  5. Legitsmallbusiness
    By Legitsmallbusiness on 3 June, 2016

    Having lengthy articles can help at times but it is not a must that your article should be as long as 1000 words. I think the length of article that will rank has to do with your niche. For niches that are not crowded, an article of 500 words that is well optimised can rank 1st in search engine.
    In conclusion, if you want to write a lengthy article, ensure that it makes sense to your readers. Otherwise, the bounce rate of your website will be high.

  6. Tauseef Alam
    By Tauseef Alam on 2 June, 2016

    I personally don’t believe in the theory that articles with 2500+ words rank well. I myself tested it on one of my blog which is about web hosting. I wrote about 50 articles on that blog. All of them with 2500+ words. None of my competitors has that many word count per post but still my blog is struggling with top rankings.

    Backlinks are still king. Strong link and domain authority can still rank a 300 words post well in Google.

  7. Ray Adams
    By Ray Adams on 2 June, 2016

    Love your graphics. You follow all the good advice you have given. Nice short paragraphs. Helpful headings along the way. Easy to read prose. Structured and safe for skimming! Thanks for several helpful pointers which I will embed into my thinking. More of the same, please.

  8. Smartsocialbrand
    By Smartsocialbrand on 2 June, 2016

    Very informative article on “How long should a blog post be?”
    This blog has provided the exact information about the length of the blog post and how the content should be written for lengthy blog posts.

  9. SEO
    By SEO on 2 June, 2016

    Hi Yoast,

    Thank you for your article, it’s let me know how to do with blogspot.

  10. A.C. Ross
    By A.C. Ross on 2 June, 2016

    Can you provide some links to the evidence that “Your blog post should always contain more than 300 words, otherwise your post will have too few words in order to rank in the search engines.”? I often tell my clients to limit their posts to 250 words because of short visitor attention spans, but my info may be outdated. I understand that ~10X the word count earns more backlinks, but I’d love to be able to provide documentation about the lower end of the range as well. Thanks.

    • Marieke van de Rakt
      By Marieke van de Rakt on 2 June, 2016

      It’s hard to give real documentation on this subject. At Yoast, we draw the line at 300 words. Years of research in SEO taught us that articles with fewer than 300 words are hard to rank.

      I do understand your concerns about visitor attention spans, but limiting a post up to 250 words would not be my advice. I would focus on writing strong introduction in which the topic is properly introduced. And I would advise to add a decent text structure to the post. For product pages, 300 words is much too long though, so for e-commerce sites, I would advice shorter articles.

    • Marieke van de Rakt
      By Marieke van de Rakt on 2 June, 2016
  11. Michael Field
    By Michael Field on 1 June, 2016

    Hi Yoast,

    I’m not entirely disagreeing, but do have a caveat to this approach which I’m not sure was evident enough in your post.

    A blog post should be as long as it needs to be. Restricting yourself to guidelines like word counts distracts you from simply writing and producing engaging, readworthy content.

    Let me provide an example.

    I did a search for “best hotel views” and got the following results back;

    1) http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2343732/The-12-best-rooms-view-The-hotels-world-offer-magnificent-sights-stepping-outside.html
    2) http://www.elitetraveler.com/finest-dining/interview-with-brett-graham-head-chef-at-the-ledbury
    3) http://www.travelchannel.com/interests/top-hotels/photos/10-gorgeous-hotel-views

    Neither of these blog posts or articles are particularly long with one of those results only having an introductory paragraph of 33 words with alt tags used to build up the remainder. (They all abide to your 300 word rule in their own ways though!)

    Whilst I do agree there is factors in word counts that can improve the likelihood of your content ranking, your core focus should be about quality, rather than quantity.

    Mike

    • Marieke van de Rakt
      By Marieke van de Rakt on 2 June, 2016

      I totally agree. I usually start my post with ‘the quality of your post is the most important’, but I did not put enough emphasis on it in this post. You should have a decent amount of text to rank in the search engines, but the topic of your text should allow for a lengthy article. You should never a longer article only for SEO reasons… never make more content of something that’s just explainable in a short article.


Check out our must read articles about Content SEO