Blogs are one of the best ways to get new eyes on your IT business website, they help your SEO, give you content for other uses (like social media posts), and encourage visitors to keep coming back to your website.
So, of course you want to make the most of them, which includes not only writing engaging content but knowing how far to go with a subject or when you should stop writing.
Is your 3,000-page article on the best ways to back up your computer losing people? Is that 200-word blog post about Office 365 too short to give much meaningful information?
What’s the perfect blog length to engage and convert?
It largely depends upon a few factors, such as:
- Your purpose for writing the blog (SEO, product promotion, etc.)
- Your audience
- If you want comments
- If you want social media shares
For example, if you’re writing a blog to help sell a product and you want people to comment back or click a “Learn More” button, you’ll want to go for a shorter blog length. On the other hand, if you’re writing specifically for SEO purposes to get a better Google ranking, longer is better.
Let’s dive in and go through specifics of length for each key blog objective, then we’ll give you some tips for writing longer blog posts.
The Best Blog Post Length for Each Objective
Blog lengths run the gamut from a brief 300-word post to a full-fledged 4,500-word article. Great content can be written either way, short or long, but the “perfect” blog length will depend upon your goal for that content.
Where it may get challenging is if you have more than one goal for your blog post, but knowing which length is better for which purpose can help you adjust and vary your lengths accordingly.
Best Blog Length for Social Media Sharing
If you want your posts to gain some traction when shared on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, or another social media channel, then you’re going to want to go longer, 1,500 or more words.
According to the Forbes article “How Long Should My Blog Post Be?”, posts that contain more than 1,500 words get 68.1% more tweets and 22.6% more Facebook likes than shorter posts.
But you may even want to go longer than that. According to OkDork an analysis by BuzzSumo of the social shares of more than 100 million articles over an 8-month period revealed the following statistics:
- 3,000 to 10,000-word content was shared the most often (8,859 shares)
- 2,000 to 3,000-word posts were the next most shared (just over 7,500)
- 1,000 to 2,000-word posts received less than 6,000 shares
- 0 to 1,000-word blogs got the fewest of social shares (less than 5,000)
Suggested Blog Length for Social Shares: 2,000 to 3,000+ words
Best Blog Length to Invite Comments
Many IT business owners have a goal of reader interaction when it comes to their blog content. They like to see users engaging and commenting back on their post. This is helpful in a number of ways:
- It invites questions about products/services
- Let’s you know what IT issues your visitors are facing
- Positions you as an expert when you respond back
- Creates a sense of community among your company, clients and site visitors
When it comes to inviting comments, it turns out that shorter is better. While a shorter blog may not get you many social media shares, it will invite user engagement.
In an article titled, “How Long Should Your Blog Post Be? A Writer’s Guide” by The Write Practice, it’s suggested that posts be no longer than 275 words if you’re looking for comments on your blog.
Another source, ChimpRewriter, also agrees that the shorter the post the better if you want to encourage comments. They point to a blog post that is just 151 words by Problogger that was specifically designed for community engagement, and received 27 comments. They repeat the “less than 275 words” recommendation.
Suggested Blog Length for Getting Comments: 150 to 275 words
Best Blog Length for Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
One of the main reasons that website owners add fresh blog content to their site regularly is that it helps their organic search rankings. If you have a local business, writing a blog about one of your services and sprinkling in keywords for your town can help you show up in those important local searches.
When it comes to blog length for SEO purposes, there are a lot of opinions out there. Let’s start with Yoast, the company behind the popular SEO plugin for WordPress sites.
In their article titled, “How long should a blog post be?” They recommend at least 1,000 words if you’re writing your post for SEO purposes.
Backlinko did a review of 1 million Google search results and based upon search engine results page (SERP) data. They found that content on page one of a Google search had an average of 1,890 words. Meaning medium to longer-length articles tended to rank better.
Answering the question in their article, “What Is the Ideal Blog Post Length from an SEO Perspective,” SiteProNews settles on 2,000 words. They note that both research and clients they work with point to that threshold of 2,000 for great SERP rankings.
Besides just the length, some other things you want to pay attention to if you’re writing your blog for SEO are:
- Use a good keyword concentration, but don’t be spammy with them
- Link using good anchor text to cornerstone content (i.e. Link the word “managed IT services” to that service page on your site, rather than just “click here.”)
- Stay on topic and don’t dilute your message
Suggested Blog Length for SEO: 1,000 to 2,000 words
Best Blog Length for Multiple Purposes
Most authors post blog content for multiple purposes, including SEO, social media sharing, and driving traffic to their site. We’d suggest varying your blog lengths from time to time, to mix it up a little, which can also help you get a feel for the blogs that bring you the best results.
Here are some statistics on the “ultimate” best blog length for a variety of purposes.
Digital marketing gurus, HubSpot took a look at their own blog posts to see which length of blog content gave them the biggest bang for their buck and their findings leaned towards the longer side. They found:
- 2,250 to 2,500 words was best for SEO
- Over 2,500 words was best for social shares
- Over 2,500 words earn the most link backs
So, their “sweet spot” blog post length was 2,500 words
CoSchedule did a similar deep dive into their content to see which posts did better overall. Their findings on the best overall blog post length showed that:
- Their top 10 traffic driving posts averaged 4,066 words
- Their top 10 shared blog posts averaged 5,313 words
- There should be an image about every 255 words
One other interesting point we found both in the study by HubSpot and by Coschedue was that the optimum headline had about 11 words.
Wondering how long a reader sticks around? Medium did a study of their optimal blog post and found that it equaled 7 minutes worth of reading time. That was the average time spent across all visitors of any post plotted against post length.
How does 7 minutes of reading time translate to number of words? According to Buffer that would be a post that’s 1,600 words long.
This data for the best length overall varied widely according to source, but overall it looks like content with 2,500+ words is the most impactful in a variety of areas.
Suggested Blog Length Overall: 2,500+ words
Tips for Writing Longer Blog Posts
It can be intimidating to think of writing a 1,000 or 2,500-word blog post, especially if you’re used to writing them in the 300-500-word range. But there are some things you can do to make it easier.
If you’re trying to come up with a long blog post all yourself, coming up with interesting points to make can be difficult. Looking up statistics can help emphasize a point you’re trying to make or bring you ideas for another paragraph or two.
For example, if you’re writing about mobile device management software, you could search on “How many people use mobile devices for work?” and see what pops up. Citing a statistic also enriches your blog content for the reader.
Break Up Your Content into Sections
Trying to write out one long idea into 2,500 words can be tedious for both you and your readers. Breaking up your topic into sub-sections can help spark more points to make in support of the main topic and will make it easier for the reader.
Using a clickable table of contents for each section is a great way to help your readers jump to the sections they’re most interested in when writing a longer form post.
Leave and Come Back to It
If you’ve been sitting in front of your computer for 2 hours trying to write a 3,000-word SEO optimized blog article and you’re getting stuck, step away for a while. Often that fresh air and extra brain space can give you the inspiration you need to get it finished easily when you come back to it.
Use Stories and Examples
If you’re trying to explain the benefits of a cloud back up system, it’s easy for writer’s block to set in after you’ve given a bullet point list of features. Try telling a story of how a cloud backup helped a customer. If you’re writing a story, either in the first person or as an example, often the words just fly off the keyboard and before you know it, you’ve written more than you realized.
“When Tom’s business was barely two years-old he suffered a massive data breach due to a phishing attack. The hacker planted ransomware on the system and when he walked in one spring morning, all his data was corrupted and unusable. He initially panicked, then called his new IT company. He had just signed up with them the week prior, but really wasn’t expecting much since he had only just contracted with them.
He soon found out that the first thing they had done after he signed up for his managed services plan was to do a full cloud-backup of his system. His panic quickly turned to relief when he realized recovering from the breach would take just a few hours.”
Try it yourself and see how easily a story just flows off your fingertips.
Use Formatting to Break Up Long Lines of Text
When writing long blog posts, you want to keep the content interesting, engaging and easy to read. You don’t want it to look like one long text book style page of nothing but Times New Roman 12 point.
Try the following formatting types to break up your content and make it more visually organized:
- Use bold, italics, and underlining, but keep them consistent per a sub header or sub-sub header.
- Use Header formatting (great for SEO), like Header 1, Header 2, etc.
- Add bullet lists for easy to read key points (like these!).
- Use separators to divide key sections.
- Add appropriate images and play with page design (i.e. adding them to the right or left of a block of text).
- Pull out quotes or key statistics by centering them, using bold/italic, or using the “quote” feature in WordPress.
- Use a highlight color to help your sub-headers stand out even more.
How long do you like to write your blog posts? Share your own blog writing tips below.