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“How long should my blog post be?”
We hear this question a lot.
There’s a ton of advice out there that says everything from 275 to 2,500 words.
That’s … not a very helpful range.
So, we did some research to definitively determine the answer.
The following studies will show you what length of content gives you the best chance of ranking on Google.
Plus, we’ve included some raw data we compiled from our own top-performing blog posts (and will show you how to analyze your own top content to determine your own best blog post length).
Don’t just guess at the best blog content length.
Know the best length for every post on your blog.
Snag this template bundle, and you’ll get:
All that for free? Get ’em now, and then let’s continue.
So, where did we get all our information from, anyway?
The answer is these twelve studies (plus our own research):
Check out this infographic for more statistics from the studies:
We gathered data on our top blog posts that have gained the most traffic and the most social shares. Here’s what we found.
After analyzing our posts, the following data was found from our top ten highest-traffic posts:
What can we draw from the data we found?
The results we saw prove a lot of what the above studies say is true. If you want your blog content to rank on Google, our data supports the theory that blog posts over 2,000 words tend to outperform shorter content in organic search.
The added length also gives you a chance to include the detail you need. This provides more usefulness for the reader which encourages them to stay and read longer. It also helps ensure that your readers don’t have to bounce back and read multiple posts to gather the information they need.
The less readers pogo back to Google, the more likely you’ll be rewarded with higher rankings.
After gathering our data on our most shared blog posts, here’s what we found:
What conclusions were we able to draw from this data?
Regarding what the previous studies mentioned, we found that while writing at least 1,600 words helped, it didn’t mean that longer posts would necessarily garner more shares.
Rather, content that gets shared, is content that’s interesting and high-quality (whether it’s long or short).
One way to help determine how long your blog posts should be is to look at and analyze the data from content you have already posted. Remember, your audience will help indicate what kinds of content they want to see.
Here are some places to gather your data from.
In Google Analytics, you can track the organic and overall traffic from your blog posts by going to Behavior:
Record your traffic for each post in your report template:
Another critical part of your report is tracking how your content is ranking in Google search engines. There are tons of tools out there that help you do this (and more).
Here are a few:
Another powerful free tool is Google Search Console. While there’s a lot you can do with Search Console, not everyone is aware it can pull in ranking data. Watch this video to learn how:
Then record the ranking of your posts after thirty days in your report template.
The last part of your report is checking the number of social media shares for after the first 30 days that your content has been published.
Typically, you would need to go to each social network and check the number of shares on each post you published.
Another way to do this is to use CoSchedule’s Top Content Report. It automatically reports how many shares your content receives.
Once you gathered your data, record it in your report (included in this post).
As you continue to track your data look for specific trends. Does the word count of your content affect how often your posts are shared? Is your audience clamoring for long-form content posts or do they prefer shorter posts?
Use that data to help fuel your blog content creation strategy.
So far you’ve covered the opinions of 20 different studies, and you’ve seen a brief overview of what the data here at CoSchedule is telling us about the best length of your blog post.
But maybe you have a few more questions.
After all, a blog post is more than just a few paragraphs of body copy. What are some other components of your blog post that you should keep length in mind for?
Your headline is one of the most important parts of your blog post. It’s what hooks your reader in, and if you don’t grab their attention from the get-go, you’ll lose them before you even begin.
So where does the length of your headline come into play?
Our research shows that headlines should be about 55 characters to get the most click-throughs.
To test your headlines before you publish your blog posts, use our Headline Analyzer:
What’s a sub-header you ask?
A sub-header is an H2 or H3 header tag in HTML that breaks up specific sections of each post. An H3 sub-head should be the sub-point of an H2 tag (and an H4 a sub-point of an H3, and so forth).
Here at CoSchedule, we stick to H2 and H3-level headers. This helps maintain a clean and crisp appearance.
So how long should a standard sub-header be? At CoSchedule we shoot for between eight to 10 words. It gives our readers enough to see there is a break in the section of the post without becoming overly wordy.
For web content writers a short paragraph is another crucial component of keeping your readers engaged with your content.
So what’s the best length of a paragraph of text in your blog post?
A maximum of three sentences.
Why? Because it helps break down huge chunks of text which once again helps the reader consume your content and find the information they’re looking for.
If you’re looking for some more insight into web content writing, read this post from Search Engine Journal.
Just like short paragraphs, concise and readable sentences are important for your blog posts. Just like short paragraphs keep your blog post easy to read, so do short sentences.
So how short should your sentences be?
For easiest readability on the web, the answer is 25 words.
Really long sentence have an overly abundant amount of words make it difficult to skim your content, and it becomes really easy to lose your train of thought.
^^See what I mean. Shorter sentences much easier to read.
What is a meta description?
A meta description is the short amount of text that appears below your web page in a Google search. It tells readers at a glance what kind of information is in your post.
They look like this:
Meta descriptions should be written around 156 characters or less. However, keep in mind that Google recently issued an update, and may display over 230 characters in some (but not all) cases.
We’ve thrown a lot of data and numbers at you.
Feel like your head is spinning? Use this quick cheat sheet:
There you have it!
To sum up the studies from this post: Long form content is powerful if you want it to rank in Google.
However, if your team is looking more for social shares or comments, shorter posts may be the better option for you. No matter what you decide, you need to look at your own data to see what your audience wants.
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