How Does Word Count Affect Blogpost Performance?
Ideally, you may have heard that blogs with 1500 plus word count rank better in SERPs. However, we can’t deny that many topics do not need such heavy-handed information.
Neither do the readers want to read such an elaborate text. So does the word count really affect the performance of blog posts when you may be rambling and not providing enough substance? Let’s find out below.
Does Word Count Affect SEO?
An On-page SEO strategy does not solely rely on the number of words you write on the blog.
It consists of the images, alt text, headings, LSI keywords and much more.
Usually, the words in the blog should be according to the content and topic.
While most blogs may have a goal of 1000 to 2000 words, landing pages should not be more than 300 to 600 words.
Though a blog can also be a hook to drive traffic and become a search pillar.
This will usually have more words as the intent is to rank it on the SERPs and paving way for other articles linked in the post.
Hence, there can be categories for the number of words each post has.
For evergreen content like service pages, 500 to 800 words suffice, a standard blog post will have around 1000 words, an in-depth page or blog will go as far as 2000 words whereas a guide may begin with 4000 words.
However, the main point here is to match the post’s length thus the word limit to the audience and the topic.
For certain topics such as Entertainment, people will not be interested in reading 2000 words of a gossip article.
Though, it can work for a health article on the precautions of Covid-19.
A shorter article in the latter’s case would be more displeasing as the audience would like to gather more information.
What eventually matters is the quality of the content.
A lengthy article on a topic with useless information will be unsatisfying.
On the other hand, a shorter article on crisp, useful and thoughtful writing will have a chance of ranking higher.
This leaves an impression on the reader and drives content socialization.
Keyword Research for Determining the Number of Words
Determining the length of your article greatly depends on researching the keyword first.
By doing keyword research, you will find out about the volume and difficulty of the content but also how your competitors are approaching it.
Hence, covering all the required aspects that readers expect to discover in the article.
The first step is to write the content and then ensure that the keyword is present in all the important elements like the heading, image alt text etc for the bots to crawl the page and recognize them.
One pro tip, in this case, is to gather the first 10 links ranking of SERPs for the keyword.
Then analyze their word limit, social shares, comments and backlinks.
Then the target length is determined keeping the content objective in mind.
You obviously want the content to land on the same page as the rest of the entries so it should provide fair competition.
So how should you find out how what word count is ideal for your topic.
That depends on several factors like the niche you are writing about and the social shares it may get.
More on that below!
Determining Word Count for Each Industry
Nowadays each industry requires promotion through digital marketing.
Hence, having a website for your business is basic.
For the same reason, there are blog posts now on each industry.
There are a variety of industries with blogs.
Let’s find out about them below.
- Real Estate
The average word count for each industry
According to Neil Patel, the average length for these industry content is mostly around 500 to 1000 words.
Tech content is usually detailed, hence, they are on an average of 900 plus words.
However, for automotive or construction articles, 500 words suffice.
Therefore, not all industries require lengthy and elaborate content, in fact, it does not make sense when it is.
The writers will find themselves rambling if all they are doing is meeting a high word limit.
Among all of these industries, posts such as “how-to, why, what and list” were found to be the most common.
The “How To” posts are usually longer especially in travel, entertainment and e-commerce”.
These are guides explaining how to do a certain task.
Hence, they need to be detailed to explain the task at hand.
For “why” articles, the content length of real estate was significantly higher than the other.
Following that were entertainment, travel and technology.
For “what” posts, engineering, energy and technology articles usually had a high word count.
This could be because these posts decipher the scientific terminology and elaborate them in detail.
In “list” posts the stats remained similar to that of the “how to ” posts with engineering and education with the greatest number.
Generally, the what posts were longer than how to and list posts.
Besides these, the backlinks, social media shares and average traffic is also important in determining the word limit for the articles, blog posts and content pages.
Importance of Backlinks, Traffic and Social Shares
The average number of backlinks is higher for posts ranging between 1000 to 1500 and 1500 to 2000.
It is also higher for 3000 to 3500 words.
So writing content within these three ranges has a higher chance of getting backlinks provided it is quality content.
Though, high backlinks cannot guarantee traffic.
In fact, when the average traffic was calculated then, 2500 to 3000 words and 3000 to 35000 words fared the best.
Therefore if you need traffic, staying in 2500 to 3000 words is rather lucrative.
However, things differ for each industry.
In technology, readers prefer longer content of 2500 to 3000 words and 4000 plus words.
Whereas in education, they like to read shorter posts of 500 words.
For the entertainment industry topics worth 3500 to 4000 words bring the greatest traffic while for sports shorter articles of 500 to a maximum of 2000 words suffice.
Hence, these numbers differ for each industry and depend on the subject matter.
Whether the audience wants to read long or short articles on that.
Social Media Shares
When it comes to sharing the posts on social media, then it is well known that some niches are just not as shareable.
The shareability depends on how many users are interested in the topic.
While, LinkedIn is a platform where people may like to share articles related to their industry, other platforms like Facebook and Twitter are rather personal.
Hence, the common man’s interest also lies in the areas such as travel and technology.
While only industry experts may want to talk about e-commerce, engineering, retail or insurance.
For Facebook, there were many articles on Sports and Entertainment ranging between 500 to 1000 words for the former and 2500 to 4000 for the latter.
Twitter showed similar results with Technology also joining the rankings.
For that articles between 2500-3000 were the most shareable.
The results were similar for Pinterest.
Keyword Ranking and Number of Words of Top Content
On the first page of Google, there is top-ranking content and the keywords they rank for.
The average number of keywords ranking on the first page of Google SERPs had 1000 to 1500 words.
Those with 2500 to 3000 words fared well too.
However, those with lesser or too higher words didn’t perform as well.
Shorter articles in this case may not work well because that indicates the content may be less valuable.
However, longer does not equate to quality which is a deciding factor for what makes it to the first page.
Each industry has top-performing content.
This content ranks on the SERPs and attracts more traffic and backlinks.
So in order to rank in the top 10 percent of the industry, the articles should be above 500 words and below 1500 words ideally.
Conclusion on Word Count
There can be varying opinions on how the number of words in an article impacts the SEO.
The search queries need an individual approach.
Some would require long-form and in-depth content, whereas others will focus on shorter facts and listicles.
The quality of an article matters more than its quantity.Focusing on writing according to what the topic and search query requires will guide your way.
When you are writing an in-depth article then focusing on writing keyword-focused content and doing a thorough job will bring you around 1500 to 2000 words.
Though, that is not a standard or minimum.
Since word count cannot guarantee from social shares, backlinks, rankings and traffic perspectives.
However, this data can help and guide you on how long your content should be paired up with SEO and paid advertising to reach success.
Though, a general rule of thumb may persist that no article should be less than 500 words.
Other than that, you need to work more on the quality of your blog ensuring that:
- Write Catchy Headlines
- Check Your Competitors and Their Content Length
- Write Quality Content That Informs
- Omit Any Fluff
- Follow the Content Structure
- Understand the Keywords
- Use Imagery and Visual Support
So in order to rank and improve your SEO, the word count is not as important as the quality of your content for its performance.
Avoiding fluff but also adding in-depth details are important to any content.
Thus, focus more on writing the content the readers want to see and eventually, you will end up higher on the SERPs.