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How long should a blog post be?

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.

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’ »