If you’ve been following us for a while, you know we love a blog; not only because you can have a good chat but you can also do wonders for website SEO. Many people struggle to get started with blog or are confused about how long or short blogs should be. Hopefully, with this blog, we can help.
The SEO research on blog length
Now I am not going to pretend that I have done lots of detailed research on this, I haven’t I’ve just read a lot of the research that is already out there. The general consensus of opinion is that long-form content is better. By that, we mean blogs that are around 2000 words long (or more). Before you get hysterical hear me out…
First things first, there is no one single ‘one size fits all’ answer to this, sorry. As with most things related to content, there are a lot of factors which can come into play here. The first being your industry. There are some sectors which may well get away with shorter lengths of posts, such as fashion for example. Their blogs are more likely to be driven by imagery than words.
Leading SEO expert, Neil Patel did a cracking post on how long blogs should be per sector based on a load of research; and whilst I agree with this, I also think you need to be looking at your audience too. For example, our best blog ever is the one on WooCommerce Shipping. It’s something which ranks highly time and time again. It gets us website visitors and business too. But why is this when it’s not that long, and it’s not necessarily our target market reading it?
WooCommerce shipping can be an absolute nightmare, and there are not so many easy to understand articles out there. So people who are searching for help on this hit our blog. It was basically something our clients needed – and people are still searching for the information. However, if you look at the word count it’s not that massive. I can see why everyone is confused, can you?
Why are you writing a blog anyway?
If we’re honest, a lot of people write blogs because they feel they have to for their business. Some may never really pay attention to what they are offering the reader, or in some cases, how they are performing. Please do not be that person! As we mention a lot, a blog is a great driver of traffic to your site. You want people to come and take a look, you also want them to come back.
You need to pay attention to not just what you are doing, but what others are doing in your sector. For example, search for some of the keywords you’re putting in your blog. What top results look like? How long are the blogs that come up? Are they massive, or are they short? What about your blogs? How long are the top 10 performing ones – is there some correlation in post length?
Blogging IS worth the effort
Honestly, there is good news, blogging is definitely worth the effort involved, if done right. Like anything, it takes time. If you’re new to it, it can seem like a thankless and long drawn out task. It doesn’t have to be, I promise.
The first thing to do is to get some ideas down of what you can write about.
Think about how you can bring value into your site with your blog. I always encourage my clients to have a notebook and scribble down ideas or questions that your customers ask you regularly – it doesn’t matter if they’re not fully formed yet, that will come. We have a running list of about 30 things we want to talk about. That is just for the website side of things!
Remember, you can categorise them out, you can literally write about anything related to your sector.
Are case studies good for blog subjects?
Case studies make great blogs as you can naturally get in a range of keywords, and sometimes, locations.
Do you have a product or service which has really helped someone? We all love a happy ending. If you’ve helped someone, ask them if they’d be happy to be featured – it’s kudos for both of you. If you’ve helped out a business, link out to them. Links all help with SEO.
Perhaps you can also be a case study on someone else’s website? This is great too, as your website and social links will be posted on these sites. This means a backlink, which is always a positive signal for Google!
What about a problem solving blog like our woocommerce blog?
Is there something that you can write about which can solve a problem? Woo shipping is known to make me stressed, so I refer back to our blog, mentioned previously, a lot. If it’s useful, people will look.
Is there something that your clients always ask about? Blog about that. There is always something that people will need to know about, I guarantee it!
Social commentary and opinion pieces
In some industries, it can be really useful to have an opinion on something- of course, this needs to be done with great care. Remember not to post about anything too controversial that might have a negative affect, especially if you’re in business. You want people to want to work with you, not troll you!
Did you write something before and now you’ve changed your mind? Personally, I don’t see this as a bad thing. For example, we wrote about the Gutenberg editor when it was first released. If we’d changed our mind, there is no harm in writing another blog explaining why that is the case. People want to come to you for an expert opinion. There is no reason why that opinion cannot evolve over time. (Just for the record, we’re still not massive fans!)
Is guest blogging good for SEO?
What about getting people to write an article for you? Are there people who you admire or someone you collaborate with or would love to collaborate with? What about asking them to write for you? Guest bloggers will bring a different perspective to your blog and can also bring their followers too as they will likely share it out on social media.
What to do if you hate writing but want to start a blog?
Writing is not something all of us can do effectively. But the more you do it, the easier it is. If you’re positive you can’t write a word, then why not outsource it to a copywriter? The cost varies depending on subject and length but there will be something available for every budget, if you have a budget at all. There are people out there who can just polish up what you’ve written, proof-read it, or add in some SEO/ keywords.
You may write something that no one reads but remember the magic of content. The more keywords you can get into your blog, the more likely your site is going to rank for them.
This can mean business for you!