What Is the Optimal Content-Length of a Blog Post for SEO

Sapan Shah
by Sapan Shah
Updated On: April 4, 2024
What Is the Optimal Content Length of a Blog Post for SEO

Our average attention spans seem to be decreasing, with people wanting to get more and more information, faster. 

You’d think this would call for shorter written content online, but it’s surprisingly not. Longer content is actually ranking better these days. But that doesn’t mean you can just write 75-page-long blogs and rank number one. 

In this guide, we’ll show you what the optimal content length really is. We’ll also show you how you can determine how long your posts should be.

Optimal Content Length — Optimal for Who? 

In the context of SEO, optimal content length for blog posts is the ideal length that satisfies search intent. Optimal length will also improve rankings on search engines. But unfortunately, optimal content length isn’t measured with a one-size-fits-all approach. 

Different industries and post types may have different optimal word counts. But in any case, the content should be optimized for the user’s search intent. This means the content should provide a comprehensive answer to the user’s query first and foremost.

Search engines are concerned with providing the most relevant and useful content to their users. Therefore, the content should be optimized for the reader and not for the search engine.

3 Factors to Consider When Deciding the Length of a Blog Post

Since optimal word count varies across posts, we’ve gathered 3 criteria to help you choose how long your post should be. 

1. Technical vs Simple Topics 

The content’s “contents” significantly influence the optimal length. For example, a blog post about a technical subject may require more in-depth explanations, which may result in a longer blog post. On the other hand, a blog post about a simple topic e.g. “how to disinfect floor tiles” may have a shorter length.

2. Competition 

Another factor that can impact the ideal length of a blog post is competition. If the competition is high, a longer blog post may be required to provide more comprehensive information than the competitors. However, if the competition is low, a shorter blog post may be sufficient.

3. Content Type 

The type of content can also impact the ideal length of a blog post. For instance, a how-to guide or a tutorial may require a longer length to provide step-by-step instructions. In contrast, a news article or press release may need to be short to convey the essential information quickly.

Important Note: Quality > Quantity. Shorter blog posts that provide satisfactory answers will rank higher than longer content pieces that beat around the bush and say nothing of interest.

Stats to Decide the Ideal Content-Length

Besides the 3 factors we discussed above, we’ve also identified 4 trends that can help you write content that’s just the right length. We’ve also gathered some average ideal word counts by industry. 

1. Long Content = Higher Ranking Probability

Longer content generally ranks higher in search engines. According to a study by Backlinko, the average length of content for pages that rank in the top 10 search results is 1,400+ words. This suggests that longer content is more likely to be seen as authoritative and valuable by search engines, leading to higher rankings.

Longer content generally ranks higher in search engines

2. Long Content = More Backlinks

Longer content also tends to get more backlinks which improve SEO, and ultimately, the page’s rankings. According to a study by Backlinko/BuzzSumo, longer content tends to get 77.2% more backlinks than shorter content.

Longer content also tends to get more backlinks which improve SEO

3. Very Long Content = Fewer Social Shares

Although users engage with a wide variety of content length, the ideal blog length for the most social shares is 1,000-2,000 words, according to the same Backlinko/BuzzSumo study. So if you want to get maximum social shares on your content, strive to keep your content in this range.

the ideal blog length for the most social shares is 1,000-2,000 words

4. Short Content = First 5 Positions in Ranking

Although longer content is more likely to rank on the first page of SERPs, short content is likely to rank for the first 5 positions on the first page of SERPs, according to this study.

Although longer content is more likely to rank on the first page of SERPs

5. Optimal Content Length by Industry

  • FinTech: 2,000-2,150 words
  • Fashion industry: 800-950 words
  • Marketing/Advertising: 2,500-3,000 words 
  • Gadgets industry: 300-500 words

If you think about these numbers, they make sense. For example, the marketing and advertising field is very competitive. So to ensure your content has a chance to stand up against others, you need it to be longer and cover more ground. 

But for gadget lovers, it’s enough for them to know what the gadget is, what it does, and how much it costs. They don’t really need in-depth explanations on technical things that will add to the content length. 

While these statistics can provide guidance, the most important thing is to create content that is high-quality, valuable, and relevant to your audience. If you can do that in 500 words, great. If it takes 5,000 words to fully cover a topic, that’s fine too.

How to Determine the Ideal Content Length for a Blog Post for SEO

1. Think of Your Readers

Content length definitely matters, and longer content performs better if it goes hand in hand with great quality. So how can you create great content? Just write for your readers.

For starters, consider using writing patterns and techniques that are appropriate for your target audience. For example, if you’re writing for the Healthcare industry, using medical jargon and technical terms may be appropriate for a professional audience. But if your audience is more of an average Joe, use simpler language and provide explanations for technical terms.

If your target audience prefers in-depth, detailed content, a longer content length may be more effective. However, if your audience prefers quick, easy-to-digest content, a shorter content length may be more appropriate.

Another example: recipe sites may have very low word counts, but they need plenty of images to show each step of the process. This will help the readers see what their food should look like as opposed to just reading paragraphs to figure out how that cake batter should look like by step five. 🥮

Speaking of food, the most important thing is to remember E-E-A-T. Your content should showcase Expertise, Experience, Authority, and Trust. No matter how many words it takes you to get there, it’s okay.

2. Think of the Competition

Keyword competition is also a crucial factor to consider. Highly competitive keywords may require longer content to provide a comprehensive overview of the topic and stand out in search engine rankings. Conversely, less competitive keywords may require shorter content to rank higher in search engine results pages (SERPs).

It’s also important to monitor and adjust the content length to stay competitive in SEO rankings. To do this, you can analyze your content’s performance in SERPs and adjust the length accordingly. For example, if a shorter content length is ranking higher for a particular keyword, it may be more effective to reduce the content length to match the competition.

3. Benchmark Against Competing Ranking Pages

One tip to help you keep up with the competition is actually to benchmark yourself against them. Who’s doing well on SERPs, and how long is their content? That’s why we’ve prepped this guide below to show you how exactly you can do that to determine the ideal content length of a blog post for SEO:

a. Identify Your Competitors

The first step is to identify the competitors you want to benchmark against. You can use tools like Ahrefs to identify the top-ranking pages for your target keywords. If you’re eyeing that first spot on the SERPs, you need to know how they’re doing over there. 

b. Analyze the Content-Length

Once you’ve identified your competitors, analyze the content length of their top-ranking pages. You can also use Ahrefs to see the word count of their pages. Make a note of the average word count of their top-ranking pages. But don’t start shaving off words from your content or adding more to it just yet. 

c. Analyze the Quality

Next, analyze the quality of the content on your competitors’ pages. Look for factors like readability, engagement, and relevance. You can use tools like BuzzSumo to see how many social shares their content has received. Identify how many words they spent on each talking point, and see how they gave each idea the amount of attention it needs, no more, no less.

d. Determine the Ideal Content-Length

Based on your analysis of your competitors’ pages, determine the ideal content length for your own blog post. Take into account everything you learned from your analysis: how many words they used, how they covered the topics, etc.

Aim to create content that is at least as good as your competitors’ content, but also longer if possible. See how much you can develop each topic, and what more insights you can add to each idea. You can use tools like Outranking to create your content, and even to craft a winning content strategy or content brief.

Screenshot of Outranking's wordcount analysis tab.
Can a tool decide how long your content should be?

e. Optimize Your Content

Once you’ve determined the ideal content length for your blog post, optimize your content for other SEO best practices. For example, use your target keyword in the title, meta description, and throughout the content to optimize it for SEO. Even if you’re revamping old content to optimize content length, tools like Outranking will help you see where you can do better.

Screenshot of Outranking's SEO on-page content optimization.

f. Monitor Your Results

Finally, monitor your results to see how your blog post performs in the search engine rankings. Use tools like Google Analytics to track your traffic and rankings. If your blog post is still not performing as well as you had hoped, consider making changes. See where you might’ve gone wrong, maybe by adding too many irrelevant ideas or even by not developing information as well as you could have.  

By following these steps, you can benchmark against competing content pages to determine the ideal content length of a blog post for SEO. Remember to focus on creating high-quality, engaging content that is optimized for your target keyword and audience.

4. Change with Your Audience

As we’ve said before, writing content for your readers with the help of an SEO content checker will help you decide on the appropriate content length. But if you’re just assuming who your readers are, chances are you’re not optimizing your content length for the right people. 

So, check your website analytics and see your audience’s demographics. Send polls and surveys to gather direct feedback from readers. Conduct keyword analysis to know what keywords your audience is searching for, and maybe create content to target those keywords too. 

How to Use Outranking for Your Content Writing Needs

The best way to analyze your competitors’ content for word count and quality is with. content analysis tools like Outranking

Outranking automatically analyzes the word counts of the top-ranking pages, as you can see in the image below. For each page ranking for the keyword “paint protection film”, Outranking tells you the number of words the article has. With this information, you can plan to write content to maximize your probability of ranking.

Image of Outranking's competitor analysis page with red boxes to show each page's word count.
Compare and adjust!

But Outranking doesn’t stop there. With our AI writing assistant, you’ll learn how to create unique content, with just the right amount of media, links, and NLP terms and keywords. 

But even if you optimize your content length, you can’t forget about SEO best practices. Never stuff keywords, use long-tail keywords and NLP terms, and always, always optimize your UX with lists, tables, images, etc. 

I’ve had a great experience with Outranking. They are very professional and always updates the platform. I’ve been able to see some great results with the help of this content writing tool.

Jesus G. on Capterra
Screenshot of the Outranking score bar.
Get your SEO scores high!

The tool also provides real-time SEO scoring while its workflow follows a series of logical steps that make your content creation process easy and efficient.

Screenshot of Outranking's workflow tab.
Little by little, the bird builds its nest.

So what are you waiting for? Get Outranking for $7 for the first month, assess your factors with 27+ factors, and create top-ranking content!