I’ve always been asked this question about content length, and have heard many different points of view as they apply to this topic. I’ve been lucky over the years to be able to network with some of the top bloggers within my niche so I can drill them about this very question. I have learned a lot, and would like to provide some feedback about what is the right length for your content. There are many things you have to consider when writing content, and you don’t want to limited yourself because you have a certain word count in mind. For example, many times I would miss out on adding value because I would be too overwhelmed in reducing content length. Here’s the honest truth,
Your content should be as long as it has to in order to get your point across. When you have finished writing, ask yourself this question: Is this the best piece of content you’ve written for your readers? If the answer is “yes” then publish your content, and if it’s “no” then you have to go back making it better. In the end,
There are many myths which come in the way from you producing awesome content. Let’s look at the MOST common.
Myth 1 – Make Content Enormously Long
This is a huge myth because you want to make it long, and right to the point, however you want to avoid writing simply for the sake of writing. Sometimes people looking to lengthen their content will add un-necessary elements so they can make it seem like they have added enormous value. I promise you that it’s incredibility hard to fool people, and they’ll know EXACTLY the amount of value you have provided when they finish reading through your content. I encourage all of you to write lengthy content, but only if you need that space to cover all the major points. Don’t write simply because you feel it’s important to go over 2,000 words. Next,
Doing this will NOT fool the search engines because they have over 200 rankings factors which look at different elements to determine the value of your content.
In short, when writing content make sure you:
- Ensure your content is to the point
- You’ve covered all the important sub-headings
- You have made sure you answered all the questions
Myth 2 – People Don’t Actually Read Entire Content
Another huge myth is people don’t read the entire content so why NOT make it short…right? This is incorrect, and will cost you enormous readership if you continue to apply this strategy throughout your blog. I’ve noticed that people will skim through your content the first time around then will go back and read it over to pull out the value. With so much competition and manipulative content, people want to ensure they have found the right source of information they are looking for. The last thing they want to do is read over content which is 2,000+ words, and NOT find any value because this will be a waste of time.
Here’s something else you want to keep in mind,
There is NO shortage of content available online so people prefer to skim through initially then go back and read over. This way if they figure out what their reading doesn’t provide value, they’ll head over to another website to find what they need. Google search has done a good job sorting out high quality from poor quality so you’ll definitely find a handful of websites which provide you with the information you need. Here’s the game plan going forward:
- Always focus on value and what they reader is looking for
- Don’t write thinking won’t read your content because this will hurt the effort you put into your content
- Think about losing these readers to your competition, and how this can hurt your brand.
Myth 3 – Keywords Don’t Matter When Content Is Longer
I remember when I first starting writing longer content, I was under the impressive that Google will pull out the main keywords and automatically rank me for them. The reason I was thinking this was because I had written high value content so thought Google would give me preference on specific keywords as long as they were somewhat relevant. I could NOT understand that keyword-rich content, no matter what, is important because it helps Google organize the search results. They rely on us to give them signals on what we want to rank for, and what our content is about. Keep in mind, we know our content better than anyone so it only makes sense for us to add the signals required to rank for certain search phrases. Next,
Google extended this focus by tweaking the way they rank our content, and what else they expect from us. For example, you’ve probably noticed over the last several years the importance of LSI and long-tail keywords increasing. This is to better serve the search patterns of people who are becoming more precise. No matter how long your content it’s important you continue to do research before writing so you target a specific audience. It’s true with better and more value content, you’ll rank higher than others, but this has to do with all the other factors involved:
- User retention
- Social signals
- Bounce rate
- And more
Always start with Google Keyword Planner and Trends to find what keywords are important within your niche then start building from there. With longer content, you’ll have a lot more leverage going forward to embed a variety of keywords within your content. Stick to the 3-4 percent rule when adding keywords to your content, and mix it up whenever you get a chance.
Myth 4 – Shorter Content Get More Link Backs
Another huge myth is that content length doesn’t matter when trying to attract back-links from authority blogs. The truth is very simple: When you write content which provides value, you’ll be able to attract more back-links because people will want to link to it much more. As bloggers we are always trying to find other resources which provide our readers with value so will link to content as an additional resource. It’s also our duty to ensure the content we link to actually provides readers with an all-in-one solution which is why longer content is more attractive. For example,
What content would you link to if you wanted to provide your readers which additional information.
- Short content which briefly provides a solution to readers, or
- Longer content which is more in-depth, and provides a complete solution.
If you’re like me, then you’ll link to content which provides value because this will build your credibility at the same time for providing value. We all know the power of authority links, and how they can help boost your content within the SERP’s so make sure whenever you publish content it’s the best available online. It’s that simple!
Myth 5 – Longer Content Reduces Frequency Which Is Bad
It’s important to keep one very important thing in mind that it’s better to publish content twice a week instead of everyday as long as the value is enormous. I learned this the hard way because I was always under the impression that posting every day is better than every 3 days which couldn’t be more incorrect. What I learned is you can have a 3-day gap however it’s better to focus on quality, and length to provide substance to your readers. This way even with posting frequency reduced, you’ll still be able to engage your readers and build momentum online within the SERP’s.
When it comes time to rank content then you’ll benefit in that realm too because there are 200 rankings factors, and high quality content always performs better. You’ll attract way more social shares, links, will reduce bounce rate, and increased on-page engagement.
Here’s what I suggest you do going forward,
First, publish content every 2-3 days to find out how that schedule works out for you. Secondly, spread out your writing because it’s much easier to write 400 words daily because in 4 days you’ll have 1600 words which is a great length when publishing. Third, always add social buttons so people can share with their friends online especially on the big platforms like Facebook, Twitter and Google +. Focusing on these networks will be better then all others because 80% of the engagement is on these networks. Finally,
Have a solid way to track data and statistics so you know what’s working. We forget to track certain elements of our campaign which leads us to NOT optimize losing out on much needed traffic.
It’s time for me to provide you with the game plan going forward because this will help you stay focused. I have discussed a handful of popular myths about content length, and hopefully you’ll have an easier time writing content going forward. From the content above, you can pull out things like: content, length, research, value, and frequency. Next,
It’s time to go over your current marketing strategy looking for ways to improve to better engage your readers. One of the biggest mistakes I’ve seen my clients make is that they’ll read about optimization strategies, but fail to incorporate them going forward. There is no point in reading this content if you’re NOT going to implement what you’ve learned throughout my content. It’s a waste of your time, and you are NOT serious about growing your blog because you would take what I mentioned seriously if you were. Here’s what I need you to do going forward when writing content.
First, go back and skim through this content writing down the MOST important steps because it’ll allow you to reference what you need quickly. When you are implementing these strategies, the last thing you want to do is waste time looking for the MOST important parts of the content.
Secondly, you’ll want to look through the list, and find which ones are currently applied to your content. This will make it easier for you to narrow which ones you should learn how to apply into your niche or content marketing. No need in applying those marketing techniques which are already in your content because this will simply slow you down. However, you can look at finding ways to tweak or optimize the marketing techniques if they are NOT producing results.
Third, it’s time to track your marketing efforts because some will work better than others. I’ve always stressed the importance of tracking because it’s a great way to optimize everything you do in business. Some things will work better than others, and you have to make sure you spend time on those which strategies which produce results because they’ll bring you closer to your bottom line. For example,
Out of all the methods I’ve mentioned above 2-3 will work better so it’s on you to find out the actual ROI. If you’re getting a higher ROI using only 2-3 strategies compared to the others, then make sure you implement only those techniques. I look at marketing as a complete trial and error game because you have to take out the time to test different things in the beginning, however after you’ll have much less work because the tedious stuff has been taken care of.