Figuring out the ideal blog post length is an important task for any blogger to master. When I first started out blogging in 2006, you could rank #1 in Google with shorter articles of less than 300 words.
Fast forward to 2022, I have seen a drastic change in the average length of top ranking articles.
On average, most high ranking blog posts are at least 1,500 words in length. I’m also noticing a huge surge in articles well over 2,000 words and sometimes even 5,000 words for extremely competitive keywords.
Real-Life Example of Top 10 Google Rankings for “How Long Should A Blog Post Be”
Let’s take a look at the average blog post length for the keyword “How Long Should a Blog Post Be”. This keyword gets around 1,600 US Google searches per month and is the target keyword of the article you are currently reading.
|Position||Blog Post Length|
BrightEdge earned the top spot of position zero with a 600 word glossary article but the rest of the top 5 blog posts were all over 2,000 words.
If I want a decent chance of ranking in the top 10 then writing at least 2,000 words looks like the best strategy.
Research The Average Word Count of the Top 5 Ranking Pages
Certain keywords require more in-depth content so be sure to research the word count of the top ranking pages before you start creating any content. This will also save you from targeting keywords that are too competitive and will cost you either too much time or money to focus on.
Think about User Intent
Certain topics require more words to explain than others. For example, a blog post about “Best Gaming Mouse” needs around 700 to 1,000 words to review each of the best products.
However, a blog post about “How to Start a Blog” needs at least 3,000 or more words to cover the topic in-depth. I don’t necessarily write more words if Google is ranking shorter content at the top.
Put yourself in the reader’s shoes and find a way to write helpful content in the shortest amount of words possible.
“How to” posts require a lot more words but most other topics need 2,000 words or less.
Publish First Then Add More Content Later
Don’t make the mistake of seeking perfection as a blogger. Write a good enough article and get it published as fast as possible. See how your audience responds to your blog post and review your Google Search Console Impressions and Analytics traffic data.
Getting GSC impressions but not a lot of clicks? Add more content to the end of the article using more paragraphs, images, videos, infographics, quotes, embedded tweets, charts, etc.
Adding a couple hundred words of content along with a few images is enough to bump up your rankings and drive more blog traffic.
Optimize Your Blog Posts for Mobile Devices
80% of my readers across my networks of blogs reads my sites on a mobile device. Optimize your content for mobile devices by using shorter paragraphs, breaking up walls of text, and adding bulleted lists and headings .
Mobile readers have short attention spans so think about getting to the point and cutting out the fluff.
Test and Make Changes Accordingly
Test different types of short and long form blog posts to see what works best for your blog.
I’ve had success with shorter posts for low competition keywords while higher competition keywords require 3,000 or more words to rank high in Google.
If you have success with long form content then keep doing what’s working.
Tarik Pierce is a 15 year WordPress veteran. He writes about blogging, SEO, and personal finance.