How long should a good blog article be? This question is often hotly debated among bloggers and marketing professionals. Is the spice in the brevity? Or do long blog articles lead to success? And is there even the perfect text length?

Some experts plead for as long as possible contributions beyond the 2,000 words, others again see short texts as the perfect solution. The fact is that blog posts must be informative and entertaining in order to offer readers added value. But satisfied readers are only half the battle. For the blog to be read at all, i.e. found, it must be SEO-optimized in order to also satisfy Google, Bing, and Co. This is the big challenge: How do I make sure that my blog is well received by both readers and search engines? With these tips, successful blogs will succeed.

Quality vs. SEO – Find the balance when blogging

A successful blog is characterized above all by the quality of its contributions. No one will read a blog regularly unless it adds value – or at least is well maintained. But what makes a good blog post?

A gripping headline that arouses interest is just as much a part of it as a meaningful structure, an entertaining style of writing, high information content and, of course, SEO optimization. The text, as well as the headlines, should contain keywords relevant to the target group in order to rank higher.

However, it is important to maintain the balance between search engine optimization, readability and one’s own style. Blogs can also be over-optimized: If a blog article repeats a keyword too often, it will be recognized and punished by the search engines. In addition, too much SEO optimization will affect readability – and after all, reading should be fun.

How long is a good blog post?

The length of the blog article is also an important criterion, but it is often underestimated. Because the length of the text is not only decisive for how the text is received by the readers, but also for the search engine ranking.

The length of blog posts is a hotly debated topic. So much has already been revealed: The one correct solution does not exist. Instead, careful consideration must be given to the issue, because the reader’s attention span is contrasted with the information content of the blog. A good article should inform, but must not be boring. Too much text threatens to kill the reader and at some point they lose attention. An analysis of the publishing platform Medium has shown that the average attention span when reading a text is about seven minutes. This corresponds to a text length of approximately 1,400 to 1,750 words.

The length of a blog article does not only affect the readers, but also the search engine rankings of the article. There are many influencing factors that influence the ranking: SEO, keywords, links – and even the text length. How can I satisfy both readers and search engines?

Short and crisp – the advantages of short blog articles

Even the limit values are difficult to define. Where does a short blog article end, where does a long one begin? Usually the 1,000 word mark is drawn as the borderline. So let’s define “short contributions” as blog articles under 1,000 words. What are the advantages of such a short article?

– Short articles are written faster than long articles. That means you can add new content to your blog several times a week. The posting frequency is higher, the blog is constantly updated and thus rises in the rankings.

– Short texts can be consumed faster. Readers can also read them in between and remember the content better.

– Finally short contributions are suitable in the best way, in order to bring information fast to the reader. If you want to convey information briefly and concisely, the text should not be unnecessarily long. Few words often say more.

A short blog article has quite its advantages. It is important that, despite its brevity, it still contains enough information and offers added value. But it shouldn’t be too crowded either, because a too high keyword density is rated negatively by search engines. In addition, this makes the text illegible.

The never-ending story – The advantages of long blog articles

Long blog posts are longer than 1,000 words – many bloggers even write posts that are several thousand words long. However, such a post must be well written and structured to keep readers happy. When is it worth the effort?

– You can get much deeper into the subject matter in long blog articles than in short texts. Particularly with complex topics it is worthwhile to go into the details in order to inform the reader in the best possible way.

– A higher word count is rated positively by search engines and can lead to a better SEO ranking.

But caution is advised: So that a text does not become an endless story and the reader is bored, some aspects have to be considered: On the one hand, the text must be structured in a meaningful and clear manner. Paragraphs, intertitles, text boxes and enumerations help readers to find their way around the text and to fly over important points. Pictures and graphics also help to keep readers happy. Finally, you should be careful not to use unnecessary filler sentences and formulations. The text has been long enough, so you don’t have to inflate it unnecessarily.

Create a blog article based on storytelling? Learn more.

The perfect blog article does not exist

Both long and short blog posts have their advantages. Which one decides, depends in the long run on the personal style of the author, on the topic of the contribution, on the target group and finally on the intention, which pursues the author. The perfect length does not give it thus.

Ultimately, you have to weigh: How many words do I need to communicate a topic to my readers in an informative and entertaining way? In the case of topics that require a lot of explanation, such as health, finance or technology, detailed blog articles are a good way to delve deep into the subject matter and explain complex facts. Short texts are also suitable for quickly informing readers about news or commenting on topics. The most important thing is that the blog offers its target group real added value.

Readers and search engines have different requirements. While readers often prefer short texts that they can read in between, search engines rate long texts better in the rankings. Here, too, one has to weigh them up: What is more important to me – satisfied readers or a good SEO ranking?

By the way, this blog post has exactly 982 words and has occupied you for about four minutes.

About the author

Portrait-Stefan-Schmid-HBI
Stefan Schmidt
Senior Account Manager at HBI Helga Bailey GmbH – International PR & MarCom

Stefan has been working for HBI since May 2015. He currently serves clients in the automotive IT, electromobility, e-commerce, logistics and consumer electronics sectors. Thanks to his many years of experience in the PR industry and as a promoter, he is an expert for product launches, trade fair appearances, and press relations. In his spare time, Stefan blogs about the world of spirits read comics and scare himself in horror movies.
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