Categorized | internet marketing

Does Content Length Matter?

When it comes to writing articles and using them for content marketing, one of the biggest debates that is ongoing is “what length of article is the best”. Is a 1000 word article going to perform better than a 400 word article? And with all the changes that have been going on with Google recently, with the search engine putting a strong emphasis on “quality content”, some may think that longer content will be better for SEO purposes.

But the thing is, there is no standard in terms of number of words that defines what is a “good article”. When you measure how a certain article performs, there are numerous things you need to take into consideration. You need to ask yourself: what do I want this article to do? It could be: clicks to the rest of your website, views to the article in order to build up your brand image and reputation, having the article syndicated on other sites, having others post links to the article or getting an overall better ranking on Google.

A good way to approach the question is to ask yourself: what length is required to discuss the topic of the article? If you’re writing something about the economy or politics, a 1 500 word article may be needed. But if you’re writing about “animal shaped mailboxes made out of recycled organic materials”, chances are if you write 1 500 words, you will either go completely off topic, or start repeating yourself over and over again. This will simply bore the reader.

You should also remember that there will be human readers actually reading the content that you put out. In many cases, they’re not reading things just for fun, but are actually looking for an answer to their questions. In some cases, the answer can be provided in 250 words or less. In some other cases, it will take far more than that. When you do a search, you’ve probably had frustrating results where the page you click on either gives just a few bits of vague information that you already knew, or keeps rambling on and on and on and you have to pay close attention to the content to see whether it will eventually contain what you’re looking for or not.

Proper organization and structuring of the article will also matter greatly. If it’s a “How To” article, having well defined paragraphs, with bullet points that contain concise information will be much more satisfying for the reader than a 4 000 word piece of content that looks like a doctoral thesis on the topic. So for example, if someone wants a guide on how to change a watch battery, remember that they’re not coming to the page to read a history of watchmaking or to read several paragraphs where you critique different styles of watches.

The bottom line is, there is no hard and fast rule for article length. Just like with anything else, basic common sense prevails: it should be long enough for its intended purpose and not more.

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