The length of an article, how important is it? Ask this question to marketeers and you’ll likely get a wide variety of answers. But honestly: none has the exact answer because there’s a lot of factors in play. When I write an article for my clients I have to consider the following: competitors, SEO and the popularity of search words. A perfect amount of words isn’t set in stone, but I can offer you some advice.
Write blogs in function of your ideal client
A lot of business write in function of search engines. I’ve heard a lot of marketing agencies claim that longer articles score better because Google thinks they’re more relative. Let’s be honest: this advice isn’t relevant, the bigger agencies want their products or services to sell more. A large chunk of text makes the readers more likely to exit the page and this influences your statistics.
Google measures how long visitors stay on your website and what they’re doing. This is done through Rank Brain, an algorithm that determines the value and relevance of your content. So write in function of your ideal client, if they’re interested this will influence your SEO (search engine optimization score), with other words; how high you’ll score in search engines.
My advice: texts that are to long won’t be read, so go with a medium length. My blogs are between 350 and 400 words, because this offers enough value for both the readers and search engines. But there are exceptions:
1. Take a look at the competition
Certain articles score higher because they’ve valuable information. That’s why I always research the subject I’m writing about. How long are articles written by competitors? Something to keep in mind when you’re writing!
2. Don’t write just to write
A lot of agencies advice you to write a lot of words, up to 2000. But this is a misconception: you don’t have to write just to write a lot. Out of inspiration? Stop writing, beating around the bush isn’t a good idea and repeating yourself will be noticed by Google.
3. Length in function of the subject
Each subject requires a different length. Want to write a meaningful article in depth? Then it’s okay to write a bit more. If you’re discussing the advantages of online marketing or about every kind of tea, a longer article certainly wouldn’t hurt.
4. Use a keyword tool
Do you know what search words your demographic uses when they’re using search engines? The popularity of those words is important because when you’re focussing on words that hardly get used would be a waste.
The way you’re found is crucial for any business. A lot of potential clients look up information on Google before purchasing. So emphasize your keywords! I do this using the search word planner by Google Adwords: https://ads.google.com/intl/nl_be/home/tools/keyword-planner/
5) The types of search words and their importance
Did you know one search word won’t end up in a good result? You’re better of focussing on a set of words (long tail keywords because there’s less competitors using them. When you only use one word, you shouldn’t expect it to go to the top of the results because the big brands have an advantage and will score higher. Choose 2 to 4 key words and research their popularity.
6) The frequency of keywords: Keyword density
Have you gotten your ideal search words? Perfect, then it’s time to start writing! Your focus should be on words that will be used frequently. This is keyword density, the frequency in which a set of search words is used in your text.
Generally I use the following rule: mention the search word 2 – 3 times per 100 words. To many times isn’t good because Google notices this. Try to keep it under the 4%.
So you see: there isn’t a perfect length for your articles. Don’t believe everyone claiming there’s a fixed amount of words you should write as it’s determined by other factors as well. Have you got any more tips on writing blogs? Share them with us!