What is the ideal length for a blog post? A lot of ink has already been written on the subject… Unfortunately, the answer to this question is far from being as easy as it seems because yes, when it comes to blog posts, size really matters. . If it was enough to give a magic number corresponding to the number of words to put in all your essays, the world of content marketing would be much simpler.
To be optimized for SEO, a blog post should be of sufficient length, but it should also be designed with a keyword strategy that will help you stand out from your competition in search results.
Rest assured, however, because, in this article, we will give you some keys to help you write your articles and assess the length of your digital texts. We will also explain the usefulness of integrating long-tail keywords into your content in order to optimize them for SEO.
To increase your visibility, is it the quantity or the quality that counts?
In natural referencing, for your article to rank well in search results, what is important is above all the quality of the content. In SEO, the length of an article supports editorial content and is not an SEO criterion in itself. However, according to several studies, there is a link between the quality of an article and its length. Here, for example, are the results of the Backlinklo study, published in 2020 and carried out on 11.8 million search results on Google:
This graph shows us that the pages arriving in the top 10 of Google search results contain an average of 1447 words.
We can easily justify the results of this graphic since high-quality content will often be supported by examples, studies, illustrations, references, etc. These are, on the other hand, articles that will require a lot of time, effort, and resources from the web editor.
Based on various studies, CoSchedule has produced an infographic that highlights several trends, including the following:
- 69% of professional bloggers write long content (articles over 1000 words)
- The number of words per article has increased over time
- Articles that work best for HubSpot and CoSchedule are around 2,500 words
Faced with the results of these various studies and to keep the reader’s attention, it is essential to find a happy medium. The objective, in fact, is to achieve a good return on investment, by attracting more traffic thanks to relevant content while optimizing the time invested in writing articles.
Post a good article: 4 questions to ask yourself to determine the number of words to write
1. What is the subject of my article?
Do you have an idea for an article? So one of the first criteria is to consider the level of detail that your subject requires. All useful and relevant elements must be found in the content of the article. On the other hand, it will be counterproductive to lengthen your words for the sole purpose of reaching more words.
Always keep in mind that the text should be natural. If you try to embroider around a topic, your audience will feel it and you risk losing credibility.
2. Who is the typical person who will read my article?
The second point to consider is the audience you are addressing your message to: the persona, as we call it in web marketing. You have to know your audience to be able to target them: their age, gender, consumption habits, profession, hobbies, etc. You will then be able to determine the type of web content that your reader would like to find on your website.
Don’t take the risk of drowning a brand new prospect in long and overly detailed articles. If your article is intended for people new to the field you are tackling, favor short but clear and precise articles that will make you want to follow you further in your web pages and have more information. On the other hand, a lead already convinced will seek content with high added value, in order to deepen his knowledge.
Valuable content will allow you to confirm your position as an expert as part of an inbound marketing strategy.
Content Marketing advice: use Google Analytics to determine the most visited articles as well as demographic information and therefore the profile of readers.
3. What is the end goal of my article?
Third, the text of the article is going to depend on your content strategy. Do you want to improve your conversion rate in order to increase your sales? Are you producing content to increase brand awareness? Indeed, determining the objective will guide you in your content writing in order to best guide the behavior of the Internet user for the rest of his actions throughout his way on your website. It’s part of the user experience (UX).
Once again, there is no point in risking losing a new prospect in texts that are too long and detailed. On the other hand, in order to position yourself as an expert in your field, it will be necessary to produce valuable content by being precise and complete. Also, remember that the layout and form of your article are important, so you should illustrate it with numbers, examples, graphics, etc. As we have seen above, the length of your article will be automatically affected.
4. What are my competitors doing?
Finally, take the time to check the articles already written on the same subject and the relevant keywords on which they are positioned. You need to assess the competition on the first page of Google search results to be effective: analyze their article titles, the number of paragraphs, their layout, their targeting …
If your competition tends to write high-value blog posts of around 1,500 words, it will be difficult to rank for the same main keyword if you only write 600 words.
Blog articles at the service of your SEO: write according to long-tail keywords
If you own a website, you surely know how difficult it is to be well referenced among existing sites. One of the benefits of writing blog posts regularly is adding quality content to your website that will help it rank better in search engines.
To do this, it is important to write your blog posts by following a natural referencing (SEO) strategy. And what constitutes the principle of natural referencing are the keywords! But how do you position yourself well on a generic keyword and face big competitors? Long-tail keywords can be the solution to your problem.
What is the long tail in SEO?
The long tail or long-tail keyword, in English, is a concept used in the context of natural referencing. It designates the set of keywords made up of three words (or more). Long-tail keywords generally have a lower search volume than general keywords but are also less competitive. Indeed, they are specific and therefore searched few times identically by Internet users. However, if each of these requests generates low traffic, by cumulating the search volumes of these different long-tail keywords, you will then obtain a significant share of visitors to your website.
The difference between generic keyword and long-tail keyword
When we talk about keywords, we can distinguish two categories: generic keywords and long-tail keywords. For example, a generic keyword might be “Digital Marketing” while a long-tail keyword would be “Best Guide for Digital Marketing “.
- Generic keywords have the highest search volumes and are therefore very competitive. They are also poorly qualified. Indeed, these keywords target a very broad issue and your website may not meet the demand of the Internet user.
- Long-tail keywords have a much lower search volume, they are less competitive but much more qualified. They usually consist of at least three or four words or more and are specific to a piece of information. Internet users use these keywords when they have a clear idea of what they are looking for on the Internet.
Benefits of using long-tail keywords
Internet users use long-tail keywords because they want to find a precise answer to a specific need. To do this, they type their request with more and more words or even ask a question.
- Better reference your content: when you want to create content, it is important to reference it well because search engines analyze the positioning of keywords. The strategic places where to insert them are the title, the meta description tag, the content, the image, etc. To properly reference your content you have to use SEO techniques but these are complex and it is better to call on experts.
- Meet the demands of voice search: the use of voice assistants on smartphones is increasingly common. Most often, we use it when we have our hands full and we want to ask a question or do research on a product (for example, when we are in the kitchen, to obtain a recipe) … Our goal is to receive the best possible answer to our question on the first try.
- Improve your conversion rate: Long-tail keywords generally help attract more qualified traffic to your website and thus improve your conversion rate (percentage of visitors who have taken any action on your site). We explain ourselves. Internet users who search using a long-tail query are generally precise in their request. They know what they are looking for and therefore are more likely to be interested in your products and services. By positioning yourself on these same long-tail keywords, you will attract these Internet users that it will be easier for you to convert.
Long-tail keywords and SEO
Long-tail keywords improve your SEO. If you position yourself on a keyword that is too generic, you may be faced with too large competitors, with which you cannot compete (like Amazon for online stores). By focusing on long-tail keywords, you will probably attract less traffic because you will meet a more specific request but your visitors will be more qualified.
How do you find long-tail keywords?
- Take into account the Google suggestions: when you do a search on Google, the search engine systematically offers you a series of words that could correspond to your search. These suggestions allow you to find long-tail keywords related to your generic keyword.
- Use Google’s associated searches: once your query has been typed into Google, the search engine offers you associated searches at the bottom of the page. These are searches similar to the one you are doing but which have been carried out by other Internet users. The suggestion list is an important source of information to help you find keywords on which to rank.
- Improve your local SEO: If you own a physical store, optimize your local SEO. Google can take into account the position of Internet users when performing a search. Adding the name of the city in which you are located after your keywords allows you to be better positioned in search results.
- Use Tools to Find Keywords: There are many free tools available to help you find long-tail keywords. For example, AnswerThePublic is a tool that allows you to get long-tail keywords in the form of questions. There is also Ubersuggest which gives you long-tail keywords from your generic keyword. Another tool can also be SEMRush which allows you to analyze your competitor’s keywords and much more etc.
- Do research: by going to the forums, you will see the questions that Internet users ask themselves as well as the words they use. For those who have an e-commerce site, Amazon’s suggestions will be useful to you and see the different keyword suggestions related to your product.
It is impossible to isolate a single number as the perfect number of words to write in an article regardless of the context.
Determining the ideal size for your article to reach stems from careful consideration and analysis of several criteria: the subject of your article, your objectives, your audience, and your competitors. You will likely need to experiment with several formats to be able to analyze their performance to determine which ones work best and suit you.
Writing blog posts is a great way to get traffic to your website. Nevertheless, the queries of Internet users in search engines are becoming more and more precise. To respond to this new type of research, long-tail keywords allow you to improve your SEO by positioning yourself on specific and therefore little used keywords. They attract qualified traffic to your website and improve your conversion rate.
However, keep in mind that delivering quality content is the most important thing. It is the quality of the content that is taken into account by search engines and that matters in SEO, not the quantity. Now that you know how to determine the ideal number of words to include in your articles and how to write them with an SEO perspective, all you have to do is share your articles and promote your work!