Data-driven 10X Digital Marketing

What is the optimal word count for a blog post? This question is common among content marketers and creators alike. As search engine visibility becomes more competitive in this digital era, you must be strategic with all kinds of SEO elements. So here’s why it matters, plus how to achieve the correct word count for a blog post that will rank high in search results and boost traffic to your website.

How to Determine the Right Word Count for a Blog Post

While there is an optimal word count range to be aware of, the exact length you want to aim for hinges on the type of blog post you write. For instance, an entertainment piece might not have the same word count requirements as an in-depth journalistic article. Both are relevant for SEO, but their lengths could be different. To determine how long a piece of content should be, the Search Engine Journal says to look at these two main variables:

  • What is the subject matter of your blog post?
  • What is the search intent of your target audience?  

Some topics can be thoroughly covered in 500 words, while others require more than 1,500 words to explain the information with accurate, intensive detail. Likewise, some readers want a concise post they can skim over in just a few minutes, while others prefer a deep educational dive that will hold their attention for much longer.

What the Data Says About an SEO-Friendly Word Count 

You need to understand the expectations of your audience to map out the content accordingly. Then, once you know the answers to both questions listed above, you can zero in on length. So what is the most SEO-friendly word count for a blog post? As a 2021 analysis from HubSpot reveals, it’s between 2,100 and 2,400 words. Here’s how that breaks down:

  • Listicle: this blog post lists various examples, tools, resources, or ideas that correlate with a particular subject. The ideal word count is 2,300 – 2,600.
  • How To: this blog post outlines action steps to perform a task or achieve a specific outcome. The ideal word count is 1,700 – 2,100.
  • What Is: this type of blog post offers a clear and concise explanation or solution to an audience question or pain point. The ideal word count is 1,300–1,700.

Though you may need to put in a substantial amount of time and work to reach the target word count for a blog post, those SEO payoffs will be worth the effort. Semrush’s State of Content Marketing report found that long-form articles score twice as many unique page views and over 20 percent more shares than posts less than 1,000 words. So as a general rule, if you want to increase organic traffic, you must be conscious of word count.

Other Structural Elements of a Blog Post

Word count is one key driver of a high-performing blog post. Still, to boost your content’s SEO ranking and visibility as much as possible, there are some other adjacent elements you’ll also need to optimize. Use the following tips to structure your blog posts for more views, clicks, shares, and—ultimately—conversions: 

  • Write an eye-catching headline: book the audience’s attention before they even start reading with a headline that compels them to learn more. Use the main keyword in this headline, include a number to quantify the content, and throw in a few powerful action verbs. Just make sure the headline is less than 60 characters.
  • Format for optimal readability: ensure the blog post is easy to read on desktop and mobile screens. A confusing structure will cause audiences to navigate away from the piece of content. Make your paragraphs clear and short, with bullet points to illustrate crucial information and subheads to keep the viewer’s sightline focused.
  • Use visuals to enhance the post: photos, infographics, videos, charts, interactive polls, and other visual media help contextualize your writing so that readers can more easily absorb the message. A blog post with videos or images tends to rank higher in search results than a solely text-based piece of content.
  • Include a strong call to action: to increase conversion rates, tell the audience exactly what to do once they’ve finished reading. A CTA leaves no room for ambiguity and uses persuasive words to spark immediate action. Some examples: “Click here to subscribe,” “Activate your free trial,” or “Grab this exclusive promo code.”
  • Choose timely, relevant topics: research trending subjects and search queries your audience shows interest in, then build a content strategy around those topics. Once you know what the target audience cares about, you can write blog posts that feel relevant to them with the keywords or phrases they’re searching for already.  
  • Link to other authoritative sites: boost the credibility of a blog post with links to other valuable web pages and pieces of content that demonstrate expertise on your subject. Be sure the links are from high domain authority sites (e.g., research journals, reputable news outlets, universities)—otherwise, your blog post could look spammy.

Create a Content Strategy Optimized for Success

Don’t leave this up to guesswork if you need help determining the optimal word count for a blog post. The team of content marketing specialists at 10x digital will partner with your business to achieve all of your SEO goals. Contact us today to jumpstart your own actionable, results-driven content marketing strategy.