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Average content length for the top ten results - Most important ranking factors 2018

For Blog Posts in 2019, What’s the Best Length for SEO?


Tim Brown

Tim Brown is the owner of Hook Agency, and strategic marketer focused primarily on driving traffic and leads for small businesses and construction companies.

What’s the best blog length for SEO – in 2019? It depends! But I’m going to give you a dead simple way to get YOUR best blog length in about 3 steps, in the next 10 minutes. I call this method the ‘Top Ten Average Method’, and it simply means taking the ten posts on your website that get the MOST traffic from search engines, determining their average length. Before you do that – check out this telling graph that shows what the content in the top positions on Google averages for word length:

Average content length for the top ten results - Most important ranking factors 2018

As for our Top 10 Average Method some might ask: “Why such a simple method?” Because I actually want people to use it! What good are fancy formula’s that involve powerful tools – if most people don’t own those tools. Our ‘best blog length for 2018’ post used Screaming Frog, and walked you through this general idea – but in a much more scientific and detailed way. This time I’ve decided – it’s more important that you actually DO IT than it be perfect.

I did the calculation for our website and came up with 1,705 words!

What's the best blog length for SEO (in 2019)? Monday Morning Marketing + Coffee

What's the best blog length for SEO (in 2019)? Monday Morning Marketing + Coffee

Posted by Tim Brown on Monday, October 29, 2018

The best blog length for SEO in 2019

The best blog length for SEO in 2019 is 1,705 Words. According to numerous studies over the last 10 years – Google’s algorithm prefers more content, when going head to head on shorter content posts – helping blog posts with over a 1,000 words do better on average – and driving up the average significantly. At minimum blog posts should have 300+ words, so that they aren’t considered ‘thin content’ on your website.

But it really depends on your website – here’s how to do the calculation.

When I did the ‘Top ten average method’ – this is what my formula looked like:

18,297 – (125×10) = 17,047 / 10 = 1,705 words

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Find your top 10 organic posts in Google Analytics

1. First find your top 10 posts in search by filtering analytics by ‘Organic search’

Bulk Web Page Word Counter

2. Then take your top 10 blog posts, and determine their lengths using the Bulk web page word count checker.

Find your best blog post length - article for 2019
Bulk check the length of articles to determine average

3. Determine the amount of content in your header, footer, and sidebar – for me I got 125 words so I subtracted that times ten (1,250) from the total of our top 10 blog post lengths combined (18,297).

Top 10 Blog post lengths combined MINUS (Header, Footer, Sidebar lenth x 10) = Corrected Total Top 10 Blog post length DIVIDED BY 10 EQUALS your best blog post length for 2019 using the Top ten average method.


What did you come up with using this method? I’d love to add to this post using the responses of people that read it – if you don’t mind taking 1 minute after you get your result and dropping it in the comments below.

If enough people respond, I can add some further content, rounding out some of this anecdotal research into a more in-depth piece of content. Many other articles from reputable sources seem to indicate this kind of level of effort is the new normal – here are 5 other conclusions for the best length for blog content (in the last couple years.)

1. Search Engine Journal – 1,900 Words
2. WesFed – 1,600 Words
3. Moz- Best length for SEO is BS
4. Satish Gonesh – 1,000 – 1,5000 Words
5. Buffer – 1,600 Words

How to focus on quality rather than quantity

The most important piece of blogging – if you’re just joining the blogging community, or this SEO-focused subculture within the marketing community, is that you create content ‘of substance.’

What does creating content ‘of substance’ mean?

  • Try to introduce new concepts in each of the blog posts you put out – don’t just regurgitate facts that others have already shared. For instance, in this blog post I came up with the ‘top 10 average method’ because I new it would be easy to remember, and perhaps it would make the concept of coming up with a website specific ‘best blog post length’ easier for the average person.
  • Think about what kind of media would enhance the content experience – There are a wide array of things that could help your reader digest the concepts you’re sharing: Videos, memes, gifs, diagrams, graphs, infographics, quizzes, and calculators are just a few of them!
  • Really consider what the intent of people searching for the thing you are writing are looking for is – and how can you fulfill their need. One time I wrote a guide about ‘Conversion Rate Optimization‘  (the art of getting more visitors to do what you want on your website), and it got traffic for things related to ‘converting files / optimization’, and I dumbly started to modify the article to be a little better suited for that term by adding variations of the keyword that would get people to click – but the article didn’t fulfill that NEED. So people likely left quickly – didn’t have a good experience on the site, and that’s bad.

Overall – you want to try to increase traffic on your site, for things that you are actually the best at, and can help people with – not just mindlessly increase traffic for traffics sake.

Getting to 1,700 words – 5 ways to find additional points for your article:

There are so many ways to increase word count, and yes – if you’re wondering I’m feeling a bit of the pressure to make sure my article is as long as my ‘top ten average’ – so that this becomes one of my top posts as well. 🙂

But how does one do this without it feeling – forced  or contrived?

Enter – LSI Keywords to the rescue!

LSI Keywords are other terms that are related to what you just wrote about, and can allow you to answer adjacent questions, or speak on related topics to your main topic, thus helping people further on their search journey – based on what you just helped them with.

Here are 5 ways to dig up these kinds of topics. 

1. Look at what Google suggests when you search in their search box:

Suggested searches as a way to beef up blog length

Have you covered all of the angles that these ‘suggested searches’ might indicate people are looking for?

Consider adding new elements to your post to cover some of these questions. For instance by using this method on this article I determined people might want to also know the best title length for blog articles because of the common query ‘best SEO blog title length‘… so I’ll answer that now, it’s UNDER 70 Characters – so that it doesn’t get cut off in search results. 

 

2. Use the people also ask box for SEO

How to use the people also ask box for SEO

So now – in the ‘people also ask’ box I see that people are asking ‘does blog help SEO’ – and I can offer a couple words about that. The answer is YES! I’ve gone from 100-200 people on my website to 1000’s a day just because of blogging, and many of those people become clients!

The concept here is that – you may not have thought of the questions people could be asking that are around what you just wrote about – so check out the ‘peoplealso ask’ box for amazing, and ripe questions to offer answers to at the end of your post.

3. Use ‘LSI Graph’ to increase the length of your blog post with useful content.

After searching ‘best blog post length for SEO’ in LSI Graph I got ‘blog post length best practices’, ‘ideal blog post length, ‘optimal blog post length’, ‘seo content length’, ‘1000 word blog post’, perfect blog post length’ and ‘average news article length’.

Although I might not always use these ‘LSI keywords’ to add items to the end of my blog post – I can get some context about some of the things people really want as far as content, and perhaps identify additional angles. So you want best practices? 🙂

 

Use LSI Keywords to increase the length of your blog post - Best blog post length for 2019

Blog post length best practices 2019

1. Always do keyword research before starting your blog post. It’s a shame to spend a bunch of time on something no-one will read, and no-one wants to write 1,500+ words without confidence that it at least *is possible* it could get 100+ people reading it, and be long-term helpful for your ideal customers. Amazing tools for this include Ahrefs.com and SemRush.com.

2. Always determine your ‘distribution strategy’ before starting a blog post. If your ‘distribution strategy’ isn’t SEO – and is Facebook, or LinkedIn ads or any number of other methods – fine, just determine that before writing your epic blog post so that the promotion strategy, and mindset can be built into the post from the very beginning.

3. Average the length of your top ten blog posts – and make sure MOST of your effort goes towards blog posts of this length, rather than just churning out short blog posts for the sake of frequency. Why make articles no one will see in 2 years?

 

Why not finding YOUR best blog length is Bullsh*t

As much as I love ‘contrarian blog posts’ – this vs. that, ‘SEO is dead’, ‘best blog length for SEO is bullsh*t’ – the obvious truth belies something very important – that corporate-focused SEO’s don’t emphasize enough..

‘Time on site’ matters A LOT.

So the fact you’re still with me – and the fact I put in the work to write an article that I wanted to be useful all the way to the end allows Google’s algorithm to see that this site serves up QUALITY CONTENT.

ON Page SEO - Important Ranking factors. Graph / Statistics - SEO Ranking factors 2018

That means – people that write 300 words… or people that write FLUFF for that matter, and don’t do original research, don’t include images, don’t make videos, don’t have ‘co-citations’, or find supporting evidence for their articles – will generally see people jumping off their sites back to search results quickly. 

The most important aspect of blogging in 2019 – determine your distribution strategy before each blog

Even if the way you’re getting the blog post out there – is not SEO, you need to know how you’re going to get 100+ people to see this post. If you’re not lucky enough to have rabid fans that come back to your blog every day just to consume your content (very rare, anyway) – you need to either do keyword research and really have some solid keyword targets for the article… or you need to have an ad budget to promote the piece.

Graph with statistics about backlinks and the number of referring domains. SEO Statistics and graphs

Either way – we’re too far in the game, for you to think ‘if you write it – they will come’, your choices are keyword research – or generally spending other money in some way shape or form to get people there. To me, getting really good at keyword research (or having us do it) is a massive opportunity for most marketer’s today. If you’re going to go deep on one skill in 2019 – my suggestion is keyword research.

Good luck on the journey to create excellent content – and have fun!

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Tim Brown

Tim Brown is the owner of Hook Agency, and strategic marketer focused primarily on driving traffic and leads for small businesses and construction companies.

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