One of the most common questions I am asked is how long a blog posting should be. Usually I suggest 300 to 500 words, but that may no longer be sufficient. New studies indicate that the longer the blog, the better.
According to a study be serpIQ, a service that helps organizations improve their web presence and search engine optimization (SEO), some of the top search results from Google point to blogs with a minimum of 2,000 words. That’s a lot of words for online readers. And because other studies indicate that most people only read about 20 percent of a blog, it begs the question, why write 2,000 words?
The answer is that Google web crawlers – as well as the web crawlers of other major search engines such as Bing and Yahoo – are looking at all the content on a page in search of worthy, valuable information. With more words to search, the more likely the post will be deemed valuable.
For blog writers, longer, meatier content offers some additional opportunities. For instance, longer posts provide more chances to work keywords into the blog. If a blog is only 300 words, you may have as few as two opportunities, whereas a 1,500-word blog or longer allows for several keyword placements.
Another perk of long blogs, according to John Rampton, a contributing writer for Forbes magazine and president of Adogy, a marketing agency for startups, is what he calls the coveted “shareability” of a blog. Rampton says that longer blog postings earn 68 percent more tweets and more than 22 percent more Facebook “likes” than short blog postings. This means your blog is getting shared, viewed, and read by more and more people.
However, before jumping in and writing your 2,000-word masterpiece, consider these few points. First, be sure you have enough “meat” to discuss in that long of blog. A typical article in a major trade publication, for instance, is only about 1,200 words, covering two pages. Two thousand words would be the equivalent of about four pages, which is a lot of material to cover.
Also make sure your long post is not only well-written but also grammatically correct. Grammar mistakes are like red lights online. As soon as readers bump into them, they may click and go elsewhere. Crafting a well-written, error-free 300-word blog is relatively easy, but a 2,000-word blog can get very involved and may need considerable editing before posting.
Finally, along with the social media buttons that allow readers to share the blog, add a button that allows them to print the material as well. Although many people are quite comfortable reading long content online, if they think your blog contains quality information they can use, businesspeople in particular prefer to print the material out for more detailed study and later reference.
Robert “Buzz” Kravitz is president of AlturaSolutions, which works extensively with B2B industries such as the professional cleaning, foodservice, hotel, hospitality, and Green-related manufacturers and organizations. Contact him at www.alturasolutions.com