How Many Words?
Posted 28 October 2009 - 06:57 PM
Also, a pal (successful aff chap) told me that the ideal length to increase conversions is 250 words (based on someone else's research).
I had been keeping new articles short.
But (big butt)
Just looked at my most popular articles in the SE's and they are all in the range 800-1500 words.
Got me thinking:
1. maybe many recent articles need beefing up
2. is there an ideal length?
3. why did I drink so much Rioca on a Tuesday night?
Posted 28 October 2009 - 08:29 PM
is there an ideal length?
Yes. 287 words, Verdana, 14px (max!!), in black (you can get away with grey but I wouldn't risk it).
Every second paragraph has to be exactly 42 words unless your first sentence would be 18 words in which case every second paragraph has to be 37 words but that goes without saying, I know.
This post length thing is a bit of a nonsense. Yes, there is a bit of a minimum. Yes, if content gets too long you **may** run the risk of diluting certain queries for it.
As for the beefing up, I'm somewhat of a vegetarian so I guess it would be vegging it up for me?
Posted 28 October 2009 - 08:37 PM
It will vary according to what you do, what the SERPS are doing, what the audience wants and your own goals.
What kinds of conversions are you looking for? Adsense? RSS subscriptions? Inlinks? Web design clients? Each of these will have different needs.
The SEO question is never enough on its own.
Write for your readers.
Shorter updates are good for taking advantage of the new content boost that can happen with new content.
Short pages are more targeted by nature - fewer words, fewer terms, harder to get a good spread of terms for adsense, but also good bait (if you're consistently the breaking news resource guy) for RSS subscribers.
Longer, more resource-like posts are more likely to pull in long tail search terms, lots of them. Even if those terms aren't covered on the page, seeing them in your server logs will give you ideas for more stuff. You might also use them to get inlinks from others who need a resource to link to. If you're selling ads based on page views, you'll want to break up longer posts into page 1, page 2, page 3, etc.
The short page could cover a specific item from a catalog. The long page could have a chart that compares different items, and describes factors to address when making a purchase choice.
If you're talking blogging and are establishing yourself as a WP resource, the short page could be like a service announcement, stating that a new version of WP has just come out, posted the moment you notice the update is going to be available. Include links to any of your previously written helpfulness -- troubleshooting & how-tos about upgrading, possibly ending with a short statement that you are available for hire.
The long-ish page could come next - perhaps a list of plugins that aren't getting along with the new version, yet, and possible workarounds. If you have enough stuff in there to be a trusted resource for breaking news, you will get links from other bloggers. Pinging plugin authors is a great way to get them to come out and interact, which is a networking opportunity.
Purely from a casual browse -- has anyone else noticed that Bing users tend to land on the longer pages?
Edited by AbleReach, 28 October 2009 - 08:42 PM.
Posted 28 October 2009 - 08:53 PM
Posted 28 October 2009 - 09:47 PM
Can sales pages be short and long? Yes, depending on how you've written them.
Affiliates might work well with short pages to have people click-through to other sites: but is it your goal or you'd like to keep people on your site?
As with Elizabeth, I've noticed that longer pages get much more long tail traffic. With a sufficient amount of anchor text and links, it's possible to rank them for any phrases, so I wouldn't worry about dilution unless you really drown the keyphrases with your own hands (i.e., use them very, very sparingly yourself).
Posted 29 October 2009 - 04:18 AM
But, maybe I need to compare 3 shorter ones against one biggun.
Posted 29 October 2009 - 06:53 AM
IF such a measure would exist it would be a local one (for your document only), like keyword density. IF there would be such a measure that would be weighted index wide we would have to speculate there are several such weights: the "optimum" content length for an article about parallel universes can hardly be expected to be the same as the optimum length for an article about spam.
Longer articles tend to get more traffic, often better ranking. Longer content = more changes to match it against a query. Longer content = usually more links.
Posted 29 October 2009 - 07:20 AM
In college, I majored in journalism, and my Journalism 101 prof confounded the entire class by refusing to give us any length requirement. The only guidance he gave us was, "Write enough to cover the subject adequately, and then stop." All the students were scratching our heads and puzzling over that. It took us a couple of assignments to get our minds around that concept, coming from the "10 pages" background as we did.
I find that guideline to be useful in writing for the web. Write enough to cover the topic, and then stop. I haven't counted words since high school.
Posted 29 October 2009 - 10:02 AM
Broadening the topic a little, I do not think you should consider only individual posts but the total output you will put into the blog. A key consideration there is the amount of time you wish to devote to the blog.
If you are blogging more than 3 times per week then you can basically make any blog post the length you want.
If you occasionally may drop to a post per week or less often then I believe that plays into the blog post length question. Even a short post of 200 words or less may be useful in creating an entry in the RSS news feed and providing a platform for all the internal links that blogs create. So try to do a 200 word post as a minimum every week. If you have a little more time, then expanding it into the 400 - 800 word range may give you more ability to do some significant SEO effort on it.
Of course if the spirit takes you, you can rant on for longer than that but diminishing returns quickly sets in from a SEO point of view. With longer posts, you can use synonyms and related concepts more that may open up some other interesting long tail traffic. I'm presently finding Google Insights is a useful mind-opening application here.
Posted 30 January 2010 - 01:47 PM
Posted 30 January 2010 - 02:02 PM
:wave: Welcome to Cre8!
Posted 30 January 2010 - 06:59 PM
Just realised that my most popular page is not over 27,000 words, due to all the comments. So maybe no upper word limit after all!
Posted 01 March 2010 - 09:30 AM
Posted 01 March 2010 - 02:14 PM
Posted 01 March 2010 - 03:52 PM
I had about 80 pages with two sentences and one large image. I upgraded them to 500 to 1000 word articles with four to eight nice images. Rankings went up across the board.
In addition the traffic shot up for all of those articles. Because the 500 to 1000 words on the page put them in competition for a lot more long tail queries. Over 1/2 of the traffic comes from long tail queries that were not possible with the two sentences.
Posted 09 March 2010 - 08:50 PM
Posted 10 March 2010 - 04:57 AM
Posted 10 March 2010 - 07:58 AM
Most of my long articles hold visitors for a much longer amount of time than my short articles - so at least some of the visitors are reading them.
Posted 15 April 2010 - 04:28 PM
User conversion is a separate discussion, for simple ranking alone 750 unique words on a topic seems to work well for me.
Posted 09 September 2010 - 12:14 PM
This doesn't mean that all your content articles have to be the same length, however. I like the idea of mixing it up a bit. It might also be a good idea to mix up the formats--a list article, a how-to article, an essay, and so forth.
Posted 09 September 2010 - 12:18 PM
Posted 10 September 2010 - 04:29 PM
Success = Traffic x Conversion
If you stick to short posts and don't say enough, or you write more than you need, you'll harm your conversion rate.
Surely the best possible SEO is to write content that's interesting, valuable, and newsworthy!
My best-ranking articles are long.
This harks back to the age-old question in copywriting: Long or short copy?
In print ads, the answer is "Usually - long copy"! But that doesn't go the same on the web.
In ads, long copy gives you the chance to put everything someone may need to know that could convince them to take the next step.
However, becuase you aren't paying for space by the inch, you can create as many posts as you like, targeted at different people. Some may want a quick answer, others may want all the facts.
And different personality types require different amounts of info. The fact that long copy worked better overall in print is happenstance. It's like saying that more people like vanilla than chocolate ice cream, so let's only sell vanilla!
There's an old (and dated!) adage in advertising. "Copy should be as long as a woman's skirt. Long enough to cover the essentials, but short enough to keep it interesting." Sexist, but there's an element of truth in it.
Don't pad your wordcount, and don't skimp. Use as many words as you need to make your point powerfully, and no more.
Rather than worry about the number of words, my advice would be to focus on what the words say!
The best SEO is no SEO at all. Write great content that people can't wait to link to!
Posted 07 September 2011 - 11:42 AM
They believe that everything is controllable through math and equations and systems etc. Eventually, they will have it down to know if you are writing SEO content or value adding content. Our website only should be google, and not our domain name, which we think are our sites. Our domain names are just one paragraph in google, and google does not want junk.
With knowing this and knowing google will not hire readers to make sure our content is quality and not playing google for SEO reasons, but ranking, because of valid quality google will eventually make an equation that uses all of the rules a Stanford English professor would use. For example XYZ words in sentence, XYZ sentences in a paragraph, XYZ paragraphs in a chapter, etc. Also nouns, verbs, etc.
I am sure in the future your will be able to use a very high level SEO to write perfect google content that is actually all SEO.
I know I am way out there like I always am when I post to your question/articles here, but that is how my brain works, and it kills me. LOL.
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