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How long should a blog post be for SEO? Longer than you think

Updated: Oct 24, 2023

A ball of string, proverbially related to how long should a blog post be
Could you just cut me off a piece? No, no. A piece. A piece! Oh, nevermind.

What's your ideal article length? How long should a blog post be for SEO or for business?

Sadly, there's no one fixed answer. But there are some guidelines you can follow to get close to one that will work for you.

But remember, one thing's for certain:

Whether you write a 100 word blog post or a 10 000 word article, your content needs to be good. In fact, it needs to be pretty darn perfect...

Because there's a lot of competition out there these days. Blogs are in. Everyone seems to have one.

Of course, there's a reason why so many successful people blog – and why successful bloggers earn the big bucks. It works.

Your blog can be an incredibly cost-effective inbound marketing tool. Yet there a whole host of factors that determine which blogs get killed and which kill the competition.

Length or word count is definitely one of them.

So, while there's no single universal best word count, surely there are some guidelines when it comes to blog post length best practices?

How long should a blog post be for SEO?

1) The perfect length used be shorter – now you want long-form

The “classic” blog post length I started off writing as a freelance copywriter was around 500 words. Now?

Long-form content leads the way. We're talking over 3000 words here. Perhaps as many as 10 000.

That said, various studies seem to show there's a case to be made for somewhere towards the top end of 1500-2000 words being your ideal article length in terms of how long a blog post should be for SEO purposes.

But why this general trend towards long-form?

Comedic image suggesting ideal blog post length can be measured by a ruler
10 000 words!? We are off the chart at this point

i) Longer posts appear more knowledge-rich

If you're searching for information online – unless it's a quick-answer query like who was that actress in that film – you're probably going to want to know everything about it.

If you click on an article and see it's 450 words long, you probably won't be convinced you're getting all of your bases properly covered.

Click on an article and discover it's 10 000 words long with loads of graphics and clearly headed sections...

Well, your brain tells you, this must be what we were looking for.

ii) Most people skim read – at least at first

Is reading this article you've just found, written by somebody you've never heard of, worth the five whole minutes it's going to take to read it?

Think of all of those other things you could be doing in those five minutes! Drinking tea. Eating a biscuit.

Your brain has plans. It doesn't want you to waste your time.

This means most people won't commit to reading an article in full until they've quickly skimmed through it to check if it feels like what they're looking for.

This usually means scouting the headings, maybe seeing if there are any phrases in bold that pick out key details.

Longer articles have more chances to demonstrate these good indications they're worth investing time in reading.

iii) More words mean more keywords (and other SEO benefits)

On top of numerous other benefits for good SEO, you can fit more keywords into longer articles. You can do this without them appearing stuffed too, which is really the main point.

You can start including plenty of semantic keywords as well. These are phrases that are related to your main long-tail keywords.

They're more little signs to wave at Google to tell it your article is the answer to the question when it spiders through your lengthy, high-quality content.

You also increase your chances to:

  1. Get backlinks: especially if you're just starting out, having people link to your blog is very difficult and oh-so-very important. Any content writing agency worth its salt will talk to you about backlinks until they're blue in the face. Handily, the longer your post, the more likely it is someone will decide it's worth linking to.

  2. Gain social interactions: the same seems to be true on social media. The more words you have, the more chances you have that someone will like something you have to say and share it. Or, conversely, that they'll... ah... take issue with what you have to say and feel compelled to comment about it. Hopefully the former!

A watch gizmo, illustrating the industry with shortest ideal article length
And the winner is... gadgets and technology! You, sir or madam, may be allowed to write the shortest posts of all!

2) It varies by your industry

How long should a business blog post be?

In short, it depends on the sector you're in. Not all blogs in all industries are created equal.

The industry you're in will indicate to you – or, more accurately, the clever people who do in-depth research about what works in the industry you're in will indicate to you – your approximate ideal blog post length.

Some very rough numbers, culled from various studies would be:

  • Most industries: 1800-2500 words makes for a pretty standard, long-form post.

  • Travel, film, and food: 1400-1800 words is probably good for industries where there's usually more of a visual element and the topic is weighted towards being more in the line of entertainment.

  • Fashion, technology, and anything else highly visual: under 1000 words for industries where most of your post is going to be about the images is generally thought to be ample. Sometimes as few as 300 words is okay.

Most of these represent no small commitment of time. Especially when you factor in that those words need to be of high quality and relevant to your audience and their interests.

Professional SEO copywriting services exist for a reason.

Not everyone can find the time to write even a 1000-word blog post every week – or however often you decide your ideal blog post frequency is.

3) You can take a look and see for yourself

Look at your data. If there was one main contender for the top of the “blog post length best practices 2023” charts, checking your analytics would be it.

If you're just starting a blog, you won't have that much to look at on the data front. Don't worry. Soon though, you'll want to start checking out your:

  • Rankings

  • Social shares and interactions

  • Click-Through Rates (how many people click on your link after seeing it)

By doing this, you should be able to work out which of your posts got the most attention and which your audience found most relevant and helpful.

4) Your ideal blog post length can also vary by subject

Humorous image of a screaming man, suggesting how long a blog post should be relates to subject

What are you going to say in your latest article?

Is it an informative piece about an aspect of your industry?

A how-to guide for a common problem you see your customers are having?

Or is it essentially advertising for one of your products or services?

This will affect what makes a suitable length of post. Most people who end up clicking on your blog for information will be looking for a longer, all-encompassing answer.

They will see greater length as an indication that you probably have that answer and be willing to read or skim through to find it.

On the other hand, if they see that the post is blatant advertising...

Well, you're probably not going to hold their attention for very long at all.

Thus, short posts are permissible – as long as they're for a reason. Aim for at least 200 words. Get your call to action in there powerfully. Probably don't do it too often.

5) You don't always need to go with the crowd

Are all of the highest performing blog posts on the topic you want to write about the same incredibly heavy length?

Or do all of the articles you get back from your Google search results query clock in at roughly the same light weight?

Might there be room in that field for something a little different? Who knows. But there's certainly a potential opportunity there for you if you can:

i) Hit the nail on the head in fewer words

Are all other posts on this topic in the thousands of words range?

Do you feel you can cut out all of the nonsense padding and sum up everything someone needs to know in a couple of hundred words or less?

You might have a featured snippet in the making right there.

ii) Show that you have way more data or authority

Do you have data, resources, or information most people don't have?

If so, could you answer a normally swiftly-resolved query in a more complete, in-depth way? Maybe. Why not try.

Is 500 words too short for a blog post?

Generally speaking, 500 words is probably the smallest length of blog post you could consider writing.

The only exception might be if you were writing for one of those special purposes noted above (perhaps to boast about an award you've won).

Normally, you'll want to aim for something a little bit longer than that. You don't want to inflate a short article with unnecessary extra words though.

That said, aiming for 1000 words or more – or 1500 to 2000 words if we're following the current best advice– feels like an awful lot.

One easier way to proceed is to start with a shorter article, perhaps 750 words. Then, if it shows some promise, invest the time in expanding it.

How long should a blog post be?

How long should a blog post be in 2023? In general, longer. Longer than it ever has been before.

There are exceptions to this, yet there are all sorts of advantages to long-form blog posts.

But don't forget this will change by your industry, by your article subject, by what your data is telling you, and even by whether you think you might be able to offer the information in a different way.

No matter how long you go though, do bear in mind that one critical point we talked about at the start:

It doesn't matter how long a blog post should be for SEO if your content isn't any good. Make sure you write a good title. Choose good, long-tail keywords and semantic keywords.

And, above all, make sure that the words you use in your word count actually do count for something.


Need to know more about choosing the right length for your blog posts?

The Maiden Standard's SEO copywriting services have helped businesses in Bristol and much further afield do that and more for over ten years.

Fire me a quick email today at Let me know what you need. I'll let you know how I can help.

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