What Is the Ideal Length for a Blog Post?
SEO is a constantly changing niche, with new updates, algorithms, and best practices being rolled out every month or two. That is why there is no single right answer to the question “how long should a blog post be?” However, to help you understand the market and its current trends, we will share some research findings from leading SEO experts as well as the main factors that determine the ideal length of a post to promote the growth of your blog.
One of the keys to a successful content marketing strategy is search intent. To write a great blog post, you should analyze what your audience is looking for and prepare content that will best serve their needs while answering related questions. Then, it naturally comes down to the quality of your posts and how well you cover the topic. To learn more about search intent and why it matters in travel blogging, watch this video from Travelpayouts Academy.
The ideal length for a post also depends on the type of content you create. Thus, informational posts aiming to build search engine authority while making use of long-tail keywords can be 1,000 to 1,500 words long. Guides and how-to posts that explain matters in more detail can ideally reach 2,500 words. So, the only question you really need to ask yourself when writing blog content is how to comprehensively cover your topic and then determine the ideal word count.
The Benefits of Long-Form Blog Posts
Long-form content has plenty of advantages for readers and bloggers. Even though writing a blog post may take you quite a bit of time, it can be a very efficient investment. Here’s why…
More Opportunity to Provide Value and Show Off Your Expertise
Many topics that the audience is looking for online are complex. Meaning that there are many factors influencing the situation. To find a solution to a problem, it is better to analyze it from different sides, including by exploring opposite opinions. A long-form post can bring far more value to the audience if it explores the topic in detail and from different perspectives. In this case, readers will find all the answers within a single blog post and will not need to keep searching for more.
Writing a long-form blog post naturally requires some expertise in the niche, so creating such content can help you quickly gather and establish authority.
Better Search Engine Optimization
Long-form blog posts have better chances of ranking high on Google and other search engines. First, they give writers more opportunities to add keywords, including long-tail keywords. With over 1,000 words, it is pretty easy to introduce a keyword in an organic way. You also have more chances to rank for a keyword if you repeat it and other related keywords throughout the post.
Second, long-form posts that offer relevant information tend to draw users’ attention for longer. This shows search engines that they can send more visitors to your page, as it provides value.
Third, long-form content allows you to implement all the best practices of search engine optimization. You can structure text into sections, include various headings from H1 to H4 and beyond, divide text into smaller paragraphs, add links to other useful sources, include visuals, and so on.
More On-Site Engagement
Long-form content gives you more opportunities to engage with readers, as it can bring more value. The average visit duration for a long read is naturally higher than with a short post, which can boost blog metrics and help grow search rankings.
For example, creating longer and more detailed content has tripled the average time on the page in this experiment, resulting in higher traffic and better monetization opportunities.
In addition, the company found that some of its most popular and successful posts were all long reads.
Greater Chances to Repurpose Your Content
Repurposing content is one of the most popular SEO strategies to make more out of your older blog posts that do not bring in as much traffic as they could. The longer post you write, the more opportunities you will have to repurpose it later on. For example, you can turn it into a cluster of smaller posts, which can greatly help establish your authority on a specific topic. You can also make an infographic, slideshow, or even a video of your post, turn it into an e-book to make money online, or share it as a guest post to gain more visibility.
By the way, you can learn how to determine which blog posts need to be updated and how to optimize your blog content. Watch the recording of our webinar with Laura Peters, entitled “SEO Tutorial for Travel Bloggers: Get More Traffic From Old Blog Posts”, or its recap.
Receive More Shares and Backlinks
Shares and backlinks are important for driving more traffic and increasing your outreach. Research shows that longer content tends to gain more shares on social media. Thus, articles over 1,500 words long were shared on Twitter almost two times more than shorter posts. Naturally, the more shares a post gets, the more likely it is to go viral.
Long-form content offers you more chances to efficiently promote a product or service and convert readers into customers. By placing an ad without proper context, you are unlikely to drive any traffic to the offer. In contrast, by explaining the benefits of the offer you promote in detail, you will have more chances to spark your readers’ interest and encourage them to check out the product.
How to Write a Long-Form Blog Post
If you are not familiar with creating longer blog posts, the idea of writing over 1,000 or even 2,000 words of content may seem challenging. It depends on your topic and expertise, but there are a few steps that will help you optimize the process and write an engaging post.
Step 1. Define the Purpose of Your Content
As soon as you identify the search intent of your potential reader, you can easily understand what you want to achieve with your content. It can be offering research findings, explaining a topic in detail, helping the user compare products or services, encouraging them to make a particular purchase, and so on. From there, you need to consider how this post will align with your content marketing plan and how you will promote it later on.
Step 2. Do Research
To write a detailed piece, you need to gather as much information as possible. Better yet, you need to analyze different sources of information and compare various opinions to understand the topic as thoroughly as possible. Linking to research findings will make your content look more professional and help establish your expertise on the topic.
Step 3. Write Enough to Explain the Matter
To bring value to the audience, it is important to cover topics comprehensively. The more information you present, the more likely you are to answer the audience’s questions and solve their issues.
Step 4. Structure Your Content
Make sure your text is readable, especially if it is a long read. You can structure your post with headings and subheadings to establish a hierarchy of information. This will also help the user scan the text faster and focus on what is most important to them. Divide your text into smaller paragraphs and explain one idea per paragraph. It is also great to write shorter sentences and remain concise. Add bullet points, italics, etc. to highlight more important ideas. To check the readability of your texts, use such tools as Grammarly or Readable.
You can illustrate your content with images and videos if appropriate. Visuals have higher chances of attracting attention and illustrating your point.
Step 5. Promote and Repurpose
Driving search traffic takes time. To speed up the process, you can promote content on social media and third-party websites. Doing so can increase your outreach, improve your blog metrics, help you build a community, as well as gain backlinks and shares, which will all contribute to a higher ranking on Google for your blog.
Long-form content also provides plenty of opportunities for repurposing. Later on, you can turn a long post into a bunch of smaller posts, create infographics, and so on.
Tips for Long-Form Blog Posts
Creating long-form content can be daunting, especially at first, when you are just growing your skills. However, following the best practices from leading SEO experts and bloggers can help you focus on the most important factors and achieve better results in a shorter time.
Keep Paragraphs Short
Making your text readable is key to increasing the average time on your page. It is easier to perceive a post broken down into smaller paragraphs than one long text. So, structuring your content with paragraphs will encourage visitors to stay longer and read the text till the end.
Try to convey one idea per paragraph. This will make your text more cohesive and can also facilitate your work if you need to rewrite or restructure your content. Ideally, a paragraph should be about three to four sentences long, unless you need more to explain the idea. To find the ideal length, ask yourself if the paragraph efficiently gets your point across or requires more explanation.
Break Your Content Into Sections
Long reads usually cover topics from multiple sides and include complex hierarchies. That is why it is always better to divide your content into sections. As a result, readers can quickly scan through the post, understand the scope, and find the information that interests them the most.
To break your content into sections, use headers H1 to H4. They guide the reader through the text and highlight its structure. Headers beyond that can complicate the hierarchy and impede readability. Without headers, text can be hard to navigate.
Organize Your Content Logically
The longer your post, the more reasonable it should be. Otherwise, it will be hard to follow your point till the end. For starters, make sure your blog post has an engaging introduction, comprehensive text body, and a summary at the end.
Your sections should also have a logical sequence. To avoid confusing your readers, do not jump from one idea to another. Taking a reader step by step through a complex matter will help them understand it and increase your chances of converting the reader into a customer if you write promotional content.
For example, if you intend to write how-to guides, it is always a good idea to start by explaining what this guide will help readers learn and achieve. After you have caught their attention, walk the reader through the basics as well as through the more complicated issues, so they will not become overwhelmed by terminology and so on. In the end, draw the main conclusions that will remind the reader of the key points you described.
Don’t Sound Too Formal
Depending on your niche and audience, you may need to develop a different tone of voice. Informational blogs posts are better off written in a friendly and conversational tone, as doing so facilitates perception and allows you to explain complex matters in simple terms. The highly technical language is unlikely to keep your readers’ focus for long unless it is an academic text. So, try to produce well-researched, actionable content that is focused on providing value to real users without overwhelming them with unnecessary formalities. Besides, such texts are easier to read and edit.
Eye-catching images, infographics, and videos can help increase user engagement regardless of your topic. They are also great at explaining complex matters in simple terms. For instance, graphs allow users to quickly perceive and compare numbers, infographics help show the connections between items, photos attract attention and convey emotions, videos are a perfect way to describe the benefits of a product or service, and so on. You can also use quotes in the form of images to draw your readers’ attention to the most important information.
For more tips on how to create high-quality long-form content, take a free course from Travelpayouts Academy.
Long-form content has many advantages. It takes longer to write, yet allows you to achieve many marketing goals, such as increasing user engagement, growing your ranking on search engines, building expertise in the niche, and more. Adding longer pieces to your blog can boost your content marketing strategy and bring more value to the reader so they will come back for more.