Content marketing is a great way to increase your credibility as a business and cultivate brand awareness. By offering consumers information and insight on relative topics, you’re positioning yourself as an expert in your industry while building trust from your audience.
There are many forms of content marketing today, from social media to blogs. If you’re interested in starting a business blog for your company, you’ll want to understand the best practices to drive the results you’re aiming for. One major factor to consider is your word count.
You don’t want to overwhelm your audience with too much text or filler words, but you also don’t want to skimp on them either. To help you, we did some research on the ideal blog post length for certain business goals. Here’s what we found.
Quality vs. quantity
With so many digital distractions today, it can be difficult to hold your audience for more than just a few minutes. That’s why you should aim to make your content as easily digestible — and interesting — as possible.
First and foremost, when drafting a blog post, your priority should be creating insightful and informative content. While its quantity, or length, plays a major role in its success, a blog post will not drive the right results if it’s lacking in quality.
Focus on following a specific structure with subheadings, bullet points, lists and keywords, as well as including links to sources and relative stats. Back your claims with research, but also speak from your own experience in a professional yet conversational tone.
Additionally, make sure you’re answering any questions your readers might have and hitting all the points associated with the topic. You can do this by reading similar articles on the subject and doing SEO research to better target your audience.
Factors to consider for your blog post length
The average blog post length in 2019 was 1,236 words (53% longer than six years ago), with word count slowly increasing each year. But a higher word count doesn’t automatically mean your blog post will be successful or well-read.
Before you can determine your ideal word count, consider your goals for your blog. What do you hope it helps you achieve? Maybe you want to rank high on search engines to widen your reach, or perhaps you’d like to increase your brand awareness or engagement levels.
Depending on your objectives, you might experiment with different word counts and see which post lengths perform best. For example, if you’re trying to improve your SEO rankings, you’ll want to aim higher (upwards of 2000 words) than you would if you were focusing merely on engagement (max 600 words).
To rank in search engines, keywords are a must; and the more words you have, the more opportunities there are to hit the recommended keywords. However, if you’re going to write lengthy posts, your content will have to maintain its quality throughout the piece. Writing aimlessly simply to reach word count will not bode well.
If your main mission is to engage and connect with your readers, such as by encouraging comments and discussions, you’ll want to keep the piece short, simple and to-the-point — typically no more than 600 words.
For generating social shares and cultivating brand awareness, on the other hand, try to find a middle ground. You don’t need to reach 2,000 words, but you should have at least 600 under your belt, with the sweet spot somewhere between the two.
Best practices for your business blog
Now that you’ve mapped out your priorities and assessed your goals, you can consider the general best practices of business blogging. Here a few tips to keep in mind:
- Write at least 300 words. Your blog post is highly unlikely to even be ranked by search engines if it doesn’t reach this amount. Also, if you’re keeping it this short, you may be missing some important key points. Think outside the box to bulk up your content with quality information, like stats, firsthand anecdotes or even expert interviews.
- Aim for at least 1,000 words for better SEO. You’ll have a much greater chance of ranking if a blog post is at least 1000 words. Again, your word count depends on your goals for the post/your blog, but good SEO will help you better reach your consumers in the first place.
- Break up your content. Use subheadings, lists, bullet points, etc. This will help keep your readers’ attention. They’re more likely to lose focus if they’re reading chunks of long-form writing than if they’re consuming short, digestible bits at a time.
- Include keywords. Your readers won’t find your posts if you don’t include important keywords. Do your research to learn which keywords are best in relation to your topic.
- Focus on your readers. While SEO is important, you should never lose sight of your audience. Keep their needs in mind while you’re writing, and cater your posts to them. What do they want to know? What is something only you can offer them? Don’t be afraid to ask them directly before writing your post, and try to allow comments on your blog to encourage feedback/further engagement.
- Experiment with different lengths. Don’t be afraid to experiment with different post lengths. See what works best for your company and its objectives, and take note of the specific benefits each mark has.
- Be consistent with posting schedule. Don’t just post whenever you have a new idea; make sure you’re consistent. You can achieve this by creating a content calendar that manages your blog posts topics/posting schedules, as well as its respective social posts for increased engagement.
- Outsource your blog to experts. Company blogs have the potential to really ramp up your marketing strategy; but as a business owner, it can be difficult to give yours the attention it needs. If you’re unable to dedicate the right amount of time and effort to your blog, look to an agency that offers its expert services, so you can focus on the work you’re best at — without missing out on content marketing’s potential.