Since Google introduced the Panda back in 2011, Google has kept a keen eye to content quality for websites particularly focusing on relevance and value. Sites that were cannibalizing keywords and publishing thin content were placed on death row.
In 2018, the Medic update has shone the light back on content particularly targeting health and fitness websites. Google’s E-A-T (Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness) became the talk of the town for content marketers. Strict compliance to E-A-T became highly recommended.
If blogging is one of your major traffic drivers, I’ve came up with a guide to blogging trends this 2020.
Should You Publish Longer Blogs or Not?
Blogging is one of the oldest content strategy in the book. It helps drive relevant traffic to websites and it is the perfect way to keep your content fresh as Google loves fresh content.
Apart from that, Blogs give users a reason to love your website and visit again. Blog articles are usually conversational and informative with the intent of educating their readers.
However, the question still lingers, “Does the length of a blog post really matter?” Actually, both yes and no.
What Google is simply saying is that your content should be able to provide an answer for a search term (query). If you’re writing about simple topics, like how-to’s, you don’t really need thousands of words. But if you feel like your topic is a bit complex, then, you are free to write all the words you want to ensure you got everything covered.
There’s no fixed formula to come up with the best blog post. There are various elements in publishing a successful blog posts and that includes keywords, content design, writing style, image, catchy subheadings and overall user experience.
What is the Ideal Length of a Blog Post?
Over the last 10 years, numerous studies have already been made to crack the code to the perfect blog post. But, it can safely be concluded that Google prefers longer content.
Content with more than 1,000 words perform better on average for highly relevant keywords. A good benchmark is to write a post that’s about 1,000 to 1,500 words. Minimum word count is 300+ words to avoid getting labelled as ‘thin content’.
Why Create Long Blog Posts?
The length of the content does not directly affect your website ranking. But, it has numerous benefits which includes boosting your search visibility, improved audience engagement, and enhanced brand awareness. Readers will be happy to read valuable content.
Adding reference links can also increase your article’s value. Quote a couple of studies or drop statistics to support your facts. This makes the article look more authoritative.
Anatomy of the Perfect Blog Post
As I’ve said, there’s no cookie cutter way to create the perfect post. However, these factors are nice to have as a guideline whenever you’re writing.
Define your Target Audience
Defining your target audience would make it easier to pin down what type of content they respond to. Consider your audience’ location, gender, age, interests and expectations.
Define your Article’s Purpose
Always ask yourself: what do you want your audience to get from reading your article? Most businesses write blogs with the intent to inform, educate, reconnect and entertain their audience. This increases and improves engagement between your business and your customers.
Choose the Right Topic
What’s the use of publishing content if your audience is not interested in it? Don’t waste resources. Do your homework and research what topics your target audience are interested in.
Tools like Google Keyword Planner and Ahrefs can help you find out what are the keywords frequently searched by your target audience and use those keywords for a quick search to find out what content is being written about it.
Looking into social media stats also helps. See what type of content has the most shares (virality/trending).
A little creativity goes a long way especially in writing titles and subheadings. Avoid using saturated titles like how-tos and tips. Also, your title should give away what your audience can expect from your article.
Don’t force yourself to write a thousand words if you think you’ve already covered all necessary points. And, at the same time, don’t be restricted by word count if you think there’s more points to cover.
Focus on factors that would improves your audience’s experience in interacting with your brand. Make the right impression as they visit your website regardless if they’re just passing by or doing research. You’ll never know when these will lead to sales. It’s a win-win process either way.
In a Nutshell
In writing a blog post, or content marketing in general, write with the intent of giving value to your audience. Creating longer and more substantial posts provide readers what they need and offer more value to your target audience during the most impressionable stage of the buying process – research stage.
Words are empty. Deliver user experience.