Best SEO Post Length: What is the Ideal Article Size?

In this article we will analyze what would be the best SEO post length, to determine the ideal article size to rank on Google

The best SEO post length is essential for writing posts in competitive niches. Find out about the ideal post lenghts on this post below.

best seo post length

Regardless of your niche, everyone wants to rank high on google. Finding the best SEO post length for your type of content require some research, and things are not as obvious as they should.

Summary

Post Length in the Past
Best SEO Post Length: Exposing the Truth
SEO Post Length and Your Niche
How to Determine the Best SEO Post Length for Your Keyword
Images and SEO Post Length
Subheadings and SEO Post Length
Bounce Rate and SEO Post Length
Readability Score
Minimum Post Length
Quantity of Posts vs Quantity of Words
Best Post Length for Blogging Beginners

Post Length in the Past

Up until early 2010s, searching engine algorithms had much less capacity to separate quality content from pure trash. It used to be good quite simple to rank any keyword with relatively no effort.

Google used also to validate any sort of backlinks, even from “bad neighborhoods”. So what people would do was to write thin, inaccurate content, pay some backlinks with high PageRank, and that was it. Your website would get visits regardless of its quality and legitimacy.

Nowadays things have changed a lot, and especially Google has become pretty smart when it comes to selecting the content it shows on the first SERPs.

This post will explore the current reality of this, and one of the most important factors pushing your SERP to higher levels: the post length.

Best SEO Post Length: Exposing the Truth

Most websites who discuss article length and SEO tend to reach a conclusion that a number of words is ideal for ranking your keyword.

Normally, these websites do their own research and declare: “Posts with X words rank better on Google.”

That seems pretty reasonable, right?

In most of cases, the number is pretty high, around 2000, and there is a certain true in this. However, most of this marketers neglect one crucial factor to determine your ideal post length: your niche.

SEO Post Length and Your Niche

The truth to be exposed on this post is that there is no actual ideal post size. Not a general one at least. Do you want to know why?

Let’s take a look at this example:

If we take the following keywords: “start a blog” and “train to Mongolia”, we will soon notice, that they are in a completely different reality when it comes to SEO and post length.

As of today, using Google from my current location and WordCounter the first result for “start a blog” has 2103 words. If we add the comments to this, this figure goes to a whopping 9327 words. A pretty big page for a highly competitive keyword.

Using the same setup to analyze the best result for “train to Mongolia”, the first result has just 419 words. It doesn’t even a space for comments.

Conclusion? Every niche has its own best SEO post length.

How to Determine the Best SEO Post Length for Your Keyword

Now that we understand that the every keyword has an ideal post length, we are ready to start researching the keywords we want to rank for.

Using Brian Dean’s skyscraper technique with some adaptations, we firstly should analyze who are the three first Google organic results for your desired keyword.

You will then analyze the word count for each and every one of them.

Let’s say one the three top posts have the following word count: 1500, 1000 and 1200.

If you have a new blog, you should at least write a 1500 word post for this keyword. Since those sites are already established and have a good backlink structure, writing anything below 1000 words will send you directly to oblivion.

The higher is the competition for the keyword, the most difficult it will be to rank it, regardless of the word count.

If you analyze that the first results for your keyword are too strong in terms of Page Authority and Domain Authority, you should try another approach.

In this case, the best thing is to narrow your keyword to something more specific, to enhance your chances of success.

If your keyword is “best European city”, you might narrow it to “best European city for stag parties”, or “best European city for stag parties 2016”, or even “best European city for stag parties 2016 by price”.

The longer your keyword is, the easier will be to rank it. However this is a complex balance, as very long keywords tend to have a very limited volume search.

Images and SEO Post Length

Obviously a quality post will not have just a large number of words. Google has to interpret and validate your content as something worth sharing to their users.

A post without images have little chances of having a high rank in SERPs. Pushing random images will not work as well. Infographics are nice and have a lot of social sharing potential, but some of its content is better displayed with written text.

If you visit the most authority sites for any niche, there is a perfect balance between the content and the images blended in it.

Ideally, you will want to insert some attractive images (especially the featured image), and add some charts as well, that will validate your point of view.

wordcount-seo-post-length

The number of images for the best ranking article for your keyword is a good point of reference. You can add 20% more images and graphics than your competition, trying to aggregate more useful information than they offer.

You should also pay attention the image size and quality. While small images load fast, they might lose quality. Ideally, you should find a balance between fast loading images with decent pixel quality.

Subheadings and SEO Post Length

Another aspect of vital importance for your best SEO post length is how you manage subheadings. A subheading should not exceed 300 words, as it can confuse the user with too much information mixed up together.

Academic and marketing writing styles diverge greatly. If you have an academic background, you should try to focus on shorter sentences, always with catchy information that will keep the reader interested.

Keeping the reader interested will lead to our next subheading: bounce rate.

Bounce Rate and SEO Post Length


Adding embedded content helps to lower your bounce rate

The bounce rate is determined by te percentage of users who leave your site from the first landing page. If a users searches for “train to Mongolia”, lands on your site, and leaves it immediately, he will affect your bounce rate negatively.

If most users visiting your site have the same behavior, Google will interpret your site as a low quality content.

A long post is one of the factors that will help to keep your bounce rate low. But the content must be well organized, interesting, easy to read and enticing users to keep returning.

If you have thick paragraphs and no catchy subheadings, odds are users will scroll it down and close it immediately.

It is important to know, that, no matter how good your content is, you will normally have a high bounce rate. Anything below 70% can be considered a very good (and low bounce rate).

Posts with more than 85% bounce rate have room for improvement, and you have to understand what is the reason behind having such a high bounce rate. Among the possible reasons apart from thin content (short post length) we can also mention design, website loading speed and its readability score.

Readability Score

The readability score is also extremely important to the success of your post. It should be kept high regardless of how long your post is.

If you don’t know what the readability score stands for, you can check it here.

Even if there are different score systems to measure the readability of your content, the Flesch-Kincaid test is the most considered when it comes to SEO writing.

Improving your readability is relatively easy. By cutting your sentence sizes and limiting the use of passive voice, your readability score will improve greatly.

I have improved the quality of my writing absurdly since I have learned about the readability score.

There are great tools to help you to improve your readability score. The tool available on thewriter.com is free, and will check the readability of unlimited texts.

yoast-readability-score

Yoast Plugin Readability Score for this very post

If you use the Yoast SEO plugin, it calculates the readability score of your posts automatically. You can keep track of the readability as you add each phrase. This will most likely improve your writing skills in a very short period of time.

Minimum Post Length

Even if some keywords will rank high with shorter posts, there is a minimum recommended level for your post length. That is also related to your bounce rate, as a short article will have a high bounce rate, affecting your site rank in Google algorithm.

I recommend a minimum of 300 words of UNIQUE content on any age or post. That is, without including menus, footers, and parts of the content which are present in more than one page.

Quantity of Posts vs Quantity of Words

This is a dilemma that most WordPress users will have to face as they build an authority site. How to choose between a high quantity of posts vs posts with ideal length?

It will be very easy to choose, if you are working with keywords that are easy to rank.

Scenario 1 – Car Parts:

You have a car parts website, and you want to rank for parts with an specific reference number. It will be very easy to rank them.

Let’s take the example of the BMW E39 Trunk Storage Tray 51478159479. As this product has an specific reference number 51478159479, the competition for it is very low.

In fact, the best ranking page for this part has just 207 words. Including all the menus and footers it jumps to 407 words.

AS there are thousands of parts, you will want to have thousands of pages to reach a high SERP for each specific part.

Scenario 2 – Marketing Blogs:

Marketing blogs have some of most competitive posts on the web. They are long, they are insightful, they are beautiful and organized. If you search for any broad marketing strategy like “how to get backlinks” or “how to increase your ecommerce sales”, the content will be as complete as possible.

If your keywords fit into this category, you will have to focus on posting less articles. The difference is that you will always have to beat the competition in terms of post length and overall quality.

Best Post Length for Blogging Beginners

If you new to blogging and WordPress, I would certainly invest in keywords with a decent volume search but with low competition. Even if you write lengthy posts for a competitive keyword, it will be hard to rank them in the beginning. This is strictly related to your domain age and backlink profile, which is always poor for new sites.

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