If you own a blog or a website, you have probably heard of the conflict of bite sized content versus longer content. The former used to be popular in the early days of SEO but Google’s demands started changing that.
How much does the length of the content affect the rankings of a page? Is it really that important?
How to find a balance
For one, you need to understand that creating either long or short content is okay. As long as it provides interesting and engaging information, there is not much else to it.
Both the long form content and the short content have their own place on your website. You can find good use for both of them. Longer content is often connected with pillar posts, case studies, research articles or similar as well as ebooks or other additional content you offer on your site. Short content can be used as a quick blog update, event update, even a regular blog post but not on a very extensive topic.
Quality vs length
“Both short and long content can be quality but this is often not the case with short ones. They are often keyword stuffed and they miss the point of the topic” says Heath Aberdeen, marketing manager at Writemyx and Australia2write.
However, longer articles are usually the ones we all turn to when we need some help – the extensive guides, the how to articles or the listicles. So, is length important? In a sense, yes.
“Longer content is better because going in depth on a topic gives the readers more information, valuable knowledge and useful tips. It often contains statistics, comments by industry experts, graphs and tables that illustrate the point and so on” says Amy Shaw, content manager at 1Day2Write and Britstudent.
While Google definitely doesn’t use length as a ranking factors, some things that inherently come with longer content are ranking factors.
Google and length
Google never specifically stated that the length is something they consider. They look at other factors like the quality of backlinks or the keywords in your article. Anyway, it’s well known that articles with more content and information get more backlinks from quality sources.
Therefore, longer content gets more backlinks, more shares on social media – and readers also spend a lot more time on a page with long content, something Google is especially fond of.
Considering that more information means more content, Google could rank longer content better indirectly. When you look at almost any search results, you will notice that the first few – or even the whole page one sometimes – are always longer than 1500 words.
How many words should a content have?
Word count statistics
Other studies only confirmed the rule – longer content does rank better in search engines.
Appropriate content length
There is no single answer to this – some content is better left short, some deserves more space for discussion. However, the best advice marketers and writers can give you is to make your content as long as it needs to be. Strive for value rather than for length.
Google values content that users find useful. If you want to rank well, always focus just on providing that value and usefulness to your readers. While it’s statistically better for your content to be long, anywhere from 800 to 2500 words will do just fine.