How does the text length affect its appearance at the top, and what length articles do people like? Long-form vs. short-form content — which is better? Search engines rank texts of any length when the output in the first place is considered, the relevance of the request.
Among the first results are those documents that contain the most relevant answers to the user's question. But what is optimal SEO content? How does marketing work? What is the definition of media for effective SEO? Read on.
In the output, there are longreads of 50 000 characters and pages with product cards, which are concise — 100-250 characters. Google's recommendations for web admins do not mention the content form. Instead, the search engine advises thinking about the credibility of the author and the site, the usefulness, and the relevance of the content; according to studies, pages with a lot of content rank higher in search engine rankings.
Short-form content can also get to the top of the list. For example, if the author extends text by adding useless information and keywords — its position in search will fall. Keep this in mind when you submit guest articles.
Some copywriters and marketers believe that people read SEO texts that are 50000 characters less than short articles. So let's see if this is the case.
To find out what length articles people like best, marketers studied publications and brand columns. They divided the amount of SEO text that resources publish into five groups:
● shorter than five thousand characters: small announcements and reviews;
● five to 10,000 characters: brief excerpts from research;
● 10,000 to 15,000 characters: detailed pieces;
● 15,000 to 20,000 characters: small long-form pieces;
● over 20,000 characters: longreads.
During the study, experts found that some sites' audiences prefer materials with detailed elaboration between 10,000 and 15,000 characters — business audiences like longreads. As a result, fewer people read review articles and research summaries.
These research findings refer to content that people view from a computer. Let's break down what length posts are most often read from gadgets. The experts analyzed 100 million posts from social networks written during the last eight months.
Each article of 3 to 10 thousand words received, on average, about 9,000 reposts. That said, many more short pieces were among the most viral content over the past eight months.
Short posts and stories are just as popular as long-form long reads. An example of a short, readable text is a product card in an online store. On the site morebusiness.com, you will find information about guest posting and which posts to write to.
The measure of text length is reader interest. If the text is engaging, it can be any length. If not, do not write it. The value of the text is not in size and layout but in the deep disclosure of the topic. If you have something to say, write to long reads. On the other hand, if 500 characters are enough to disclose the subject, it's better to limit yourself to them. Here we have several ways of how calculating the best length.
To calculate the text length, analyze your competitors' sites at the top. Consider how to do this:
Particular sites can help you make an analysis and calculate the required number of characters.
- Select the category for text analysis.
- Specify the region and the primary key queries.
- Such sites show competitors, the article's general volume, the title's length, and the number of occurrences of keywords.
If you need accurate length data:
- Use manual services.
- Manually gather competitor data.
- Enter an essential query or several queries in search one by one for which you plan to promote the article.
Choose sites on the first page without the label "advertising." Then, copy the content of each article separately into one of the verification services. Based on each article's data, you can calculate the arithmetic average and understand how many characters should be in your text.
Analyze the first ten sites in the output manually, and follow the plan:
- Write out the headlines and talking points for your topic.
- Put them into a table: column by column, what these sites have in common; how they differ, where there are the most characters, and where there is a lot of detail, which sites have a lot of unnecessary information.
- Based on the data and the structure of future articles.
The essence of this approach is that the visitor gets all the information from one article without having to look further.
No article can be perfectly complete, and any text can be supplemented by examples, reviews, and various points of view. And it won't get any worse from this.
If you imagine that the Internet — a big store and your site — is a product card, why not add reviews, answers to frequently asked questions, and examples, all the things that competitors forget to say. That way, you cover the topic in more depth, and people are likelier to link to you.
When you type in a query and see only three 400-character texts at the top, dig deeper into the topic and write a 1000-character article. Gather opinions from forums and social networking groups. Survey what people want to know and what information they can't find. That way, you'll have more interesting answers than anyone else. We also offer you to read this post.
Remove unnecessary details, clericalisms, and stamps from the text. In each paragraph, try to ask a few questions:
- Does the text match the stated title?
- Is there anything new in it that will help the reader?
- Is everything written clearly?
Remove paragraphs and sentences that don't make sense. Write in a pyramidal structure, where a new sentence engages readers or reveals the essence of what's going on. Check for meaning and wateriness.
If you can replace all the complements in a sentence and get a meaningful text, then the sentence is water. Extra words will not make the text more severe and profound but will only spoil the author's impression. For those who are going to write SEO texts often, I recommend reading two books:
Conclusion: If you want people to read the article to the end, write concisely and to the point. Delete those facts that are irrelevant to the topic. Supplement the SEO text with examples and research if necessary.
When ranking, search engines identify how useful and understandable the content is to the reader. You cannot calculate text usefulness in characters. To calculate the decent text length, gather all the information, and see what your competitors are writing. Write a text that considers most of the readers' questions. If you want to increase the likelihood of your article appearing at the top, write something intriguing and straightforward.
As studies, editors' opinions, and information from search engines show, the article's length is not primary; more critical is the sense of practical use, exciting presentation, and easy-to-read structure. Long compositions are hard to read, so it is better to divide long-form content into parts of 1500-2000 words. Or write a book.
To write a copywriter's terms of reference, we advise you to detail the article's task and audience, not the length. To set a limit on the number of characters, analyze competitive texts and calculate the average number of characters.