UTDS Optimal Choice Logo

contact us

How to find the Best Content Length for SEO

Learn how to optimise content length to boost organic traffic. We will help you find the ideal word count and content types to maximise SEO

When creating content for search engine optimization, one of the most important strategic decisions is determining the ideal length.

Should you write short and succinct posts that get straight to the point? Or produce in-depth, long-form content? 

The truth is, there’s no magic word count that guarantees SEO success. The best SEO content length depends on your specific goals, the topics you’re covering, and your target audience. By considering a few key factors, you can optimise your article length to attract search traffic and improve your rankings.

Whether you’re writing your first SEO article or looking to enhance an established content strategy, optimising content length is crucial for search visibility and traffic.

You've optimized your content length, but have you considered other on-page SEO factors? Learn the essential elements of on page SEO to further improve your content's ranking and searchability.


Understanding the Benefits of Long-Form SEO Content

Long-form content, which typically consists of over 1,500 words, offers several SEO advantages:

  • More In-Depth InformationLengthy, detailed content allows you to provide comprehensive information on a topic, demonstrating your expertise and establishing yourself as a thought leader. This can improve dwell time (the amount of time users spend on your page) and better satisfy user intent, which are both important SEO ranking factors. For instance, Ahrefs created a massive, data-driven guide on SEO best practices exceeding 10,000 words. This guide ranks highly for various SEO-related keywords and is considered a valuable resource in the SEO community.
  • Higher Keyword Density – Longer posts naturally incorporate more instances of your target keywords and related terms, which search engines consider when determining a page’s relevance for specific search queries. Additionally, long-form content allows for using synonyms and variations of your keywords naturally throughout the text. Backlinko’s research found that top-ranking pages tend to have an average word count of around 2,250 words. While long-form content offers advantages, strategic keyword research is crucial
  • Increased Linking OpportunitiesWith more content, you have more opportunities to organically link out to authoritative sources, which helps build trust and showcase the breadth of your knowledge. A Study By Moz revealed that pages with over 100 external links tend to rank higher in search results.
  • Stronger Ranking Potential  – Several studies have shown a correlation between content length and search rankings. Pages exceeding 1,000 words tend to outperform shorter content for top SERP (Search Engine Results Page) positions. This is likely because longer, high-quality content establishes your website as a valuable resource, increasing your overall authority in the eyes of search engines. According to Siege Media, content exceeding 1,400 words was five times more likely to rank on the first page of search results
  • Potential for More Organic Traffic: A study by Webfx found that pages ranking on the first page of Google have a median word count of over 1,800 words. Creating detailed, informative content demonstrates your expertise on a topic, which search engines tend to reward with higher rankings and increased organic traffic.

Challenges of Long-Form SEO Content

However, simply increasing content length isn’t a guaranteed recipe for success. Extremely long content can also pose some SEO challenges:

  • More Time and Resources Required: Well-researched and well-written long-form content (2,000+ words) demands significantly more time and resources to create compared to shorter posts (around 500 words). Ahrefs found that creating 1,000-word posts requires 50% more effort compared to 700-word posts.
  • Potential User Engagement Issues: Even if readers are interested in a topic, long walls of text can be intimidating. It’s crucial to break up your content with engaging formatting to improve readability. According to an NNGroup study, only 28% of users will read long-form content exceeding 1,000 words.
  • Not Always Necessary: For simpler topics or niche subjects that can be thoroughly covered in a few paragraphs, padding your content with unnecessary fluff can appear spammy and negatively impact user experience. HubSpot research indicates that 64% of top-performing blog posts fall under the 2,250-word mark.

Finding the Optimal SEO Content Length

So, how do you determine the right word count and depth for your specific SEO content? Here are some helpful tips:

  • Conduct Thorough Keyword Research: Leverage keyword research tools to identify your target keywords, understand search volumes and keyword difficulty, and gain insights into user intent behind search queries. This will help you determine whether in-depth or short-form content would be more suitable for satisfying searchers’ needs. Analyse long-tail keywords related to your main topic as well.
  • Map Topics Based on Keywords: Create a strategic outline that identifies the topics and subtopics you need to cover to incorporate and optimise your target keywords. This keyword mapping approach helps you determine how much detail is required to comprehensively address the search intent.
  • Identify Content Gaps: Analyse your competitor’s content to identify areas where they lack explanation or detail. Look for opportunities to provide a more comprehensive and informative answer to the search query, filling any information gaps your competitors might have left open. Competitive analysis can reveal valuable optimization opportunities.
  • Consider Existing Top-Performing Content: Review the length of top-ranking pages for your target keywords. If you see several articles exceeding 1,500 words consistently ranking at the top, this might indicate that users are looking for in-depth information on that topic.
  • Write a Draft and Edit for Optimization:  After completing your keyword research and mapping, create a draft covering all the topics and keywords from your outline. Then carefully edit and optimise the content length and keyword density based on your research.
  • Prioritise Readability with Effective Formatting: Apply formatting techniques like subheadings, bullet points, images, videos, and infographics to break up large chunks of text and highlight key information. This improves readability and user engagement.

Optimising content length involves striking a balance between keyword/topic density and user experience. However, with a strategic approach, you can create both long-form and short-form content that’s highly engaging and SEO-friendly.

Monitoring Content Performance and Length

Once you’ve published your content, track performance to guide future length decisions:

  • Analyze Search Ranking for Target Keywords: Monitor how your content ranks for your target keywords over time. Are longer or shorter pages performing better in search results?
  • Track Organic Traffic with Analytics: Use website analytics tools like Google Analytics to measure organic traffic generated by your content. Does increased word count correlate with higher traffic acquisition?
  • Evaluate On-Site Engagement Metrics: Look at on-site engagement metrics like scroll depth to understand how far users are reading your content. Do they tend to read the entire piece, or do they drop off after a certain point?
  • Monitor Social Shares and Backlinks: See if the length of your content impacts how much it’s shared on social media or how many backlinks it attracts. Does longer content generate more social shares and backlinks?

By iteratively testing longer and shorter content focused on the same keywords, you can identify which approach yields better results. Remember to give newly published content time to be indexed by search engines before evaluating its performance.

Data-Driven, Audience-Focused Approach is Key

Stop obsessing over writing 1,000-2,000 words for every piece of content. Instead, take a tailored approach based on topic, keywords, and audience. Let search data and user signals guide your strategy.

Power of Short-Form and Long-Form Content

Both long-form and short-form content can achieve SEO success, depending on your goals and target audience:

  • Long-Form Content: Ideal for in-depth research queries, comprehensive guides, and establishing yourself as an authority on a particular topic.
  • Short-Form Content: Well-suited for answering quick questions, creating scannable blog posts, and building awareness about your brand.

For instance, e-commerce product pages might thrive with detailed descriptions ranging from 500 to 1,000 words, while comprehensive buying guides could require 3,000 to 5,000 words to cover all relevant information. Similarly, trending news topics might call for brief but timely commentary, whereas evergreen informational content demands a more detailed approach.

Ultimately, the best content length caters to the specific needs of your target audience and the search intent behind the keywords you’re targeting. Conduct thorough keyword research to understand user queries and tailor your content length accordingly.

TL;DR (too long; didn’t read)? Don’t blindly chase artificial word counts. Keep the unique value proposition and actual audience front of mind. Write above all else for the people reading your content. Here are 5  free SEO chrome extensions you can use

How UTDS Optimal Choice Can Help You Determine Ideal Length

We at UTDS Optimal Choice provide key support to your business content marketing:

  • AI-powered keyword research and mapping to shape strategic outlines
  • Analysis of top-ranked content to identify successful length benchmarks
  • A/B testing to compare different lengths focused on the same keywords
  • Performance tracking to see how length impacts search traffic and engagement

With the help of UTDS Optimal Choice your business growth is built over data-backed decisions to maximise SEO results. Our optimisation strategists also provide expert guidance to interpret signals and tie length to overarching content goals. Contact Us Now

Want to know How to do SEO for B2B? Then this post for you to improve your B2B SEO

FAQs About Optimising Content Length for SEO

There is no universally ideal blog length. Keyword research indicating in-depth demand may call for 2,000+ words. But quick-answer posts can be 500 words. Track search performance by length to decide.

Statistics indicate pages in top Google results often range from 1,400 – 2,500 words. But keyword, competition and engagement factors may justify shorter or longer pages.

Use formatting like subheads, lists, bold text, images, videos and quotes to highlight key points and make long posts scannable. Check that content passes reader-friendly layout tests.

Look at engagement metrics first. If analytics show poor reading completion, then yes – shorten and rework structurally. But if visitors are engaged, length may not be the issue.

Continually track performance, but allow 3-6 months to gather enough search data after publishing new batches of content. Check search trends too for changes in intent.

Send us a short brief for your project and we will be back to you with a solution for it

Join The Club!

Be the first to learn about
new insights and Services

No Spam, just usefull information