Recent research has thrown up a bit of a marketing conundrum for website owners and marketers and contradicted a lot of commonly held wisdom about blog posts.

We all know that content is king but, you’ve probably also been told the longer the better when it comes to creating articles and updates for your site. More content is better for SEO right? If you can turn out 1000 or 2000 words, you’re certain to make Google happy, true?

The data certainly seems to support this theory with research by BuzzSumo showing that the longer the post the more social media shares it will generate. Studies carried out by the highly respected Moz have also found that longer posts attract more links.

But, could there be more to the story? Actually there is. A survey carried out earlier this year by Contently has discovered that 75% of consumers actually prefer to be served up articles with fewer than 1000 words. Just 5% say they prefer articles of more than 2000 words.

This of course begs the question, should you be writing shorter blog posts and give up your long-held belief that the longer the post, the better?

Here at Adrac, we say no. The reality is that marketing and SEO isn’t quite so black and white as one study being right and the other wrong. The truth is, there’s room for both and, we’d argue, there’s actually a very strong case for producing shorter more snackable pieces to sit alongside longer, more in-depth reports.

An easy way to reconcile this is to think about your favourite newspaper or news website. Reporters have long ago mastered this balancing act. Study the content carefully and you’ll note that there is a real mix of short news updates and longer features, in-depth reports and special investigations.

The reason for advocating for this mix is three fold;

  1. Consumers are all too often short on time and want something that can be quickly digested, perhaps on a small mobile device, at a time that’s convenient to them.
  2. Not all updates, blog posts or news items warrant 2000 words or above. The truth is that while communicating a piece of news such as a new product launch or FAQ to your visitors is important, it might not realistically warrant or even stretch to pages and pages of information. Padding it out will simply turn the reader off and send them running elsewhere for a post they can read and enjoy.
  3. That said, some topics do deserve much more in-depth coverage and in those circumstances, readers want a detailed, helpful, useful and authorative piece. That usually means a bigger word count.

Ideally, your blog should have a mix of content lengths to serve those various needs. Having shorter and longer pieces also means you aren’t waffling for word count nor are you doing a more complicated topic or area of expertise a disservice. The trick is knowing when a shorter or longer post is the better choice.

If you need help finding your content style and creating a compelling mix of longer posts and shorter, more engaging blogs, contact the Adrac team now.