Long vs Short Articles: One Area Where Size Doesn’t Matter
Does size matter? This is a question humanity has been asking for centuries. We can assure you that when it comes to article length for SEO purposes, it does not matter at all. You can use long articles, short articles or something in between. The number of words you put on a page is not what Google and the other search engines are looking for. These are looking for relevance, quality and messaging that is directed specifically at your readers.
As an example, many of the blog posts we publish here on the Connotations website are in excess of 600 words. We do not sit and tally for the purposes of making sure we have a specific word count. Rather, the length of our articles depends entirely on the message we are trying to convey and the amount of text necessary to do so. If you were to copy and paste this post into your favourite word processor, you would discover it is just over 550 words.
Word Count Targets
Quicksprout’s Neil Patel wrote an excellent blog post in 2014 explaining the whole word length dynamic as it relates to producing quality web content. He addressed one camp of writers that believe short articles of under 200 words are the way to go while others think every article or blog post needs to be in the 2,000-word range. He also addressed the idea that web readers do not thoroughly read content.
It turns out that data show readers will thoroughly digest quality content if it provides them with information they are looking for. In other words, they will skim generalised content looking for little nuggets of wisdom here and there. However, they will not read in depth unless the writer gives them a specific reason to read. The fact that you are reading this entire article is proof-of-concept here.
The number of words a writer puts into word processor is less important than making sure the message is targeted. Yes, word counts serve as targets to ensure a writer does not endlessly blather on just to take up space. It also serves as a guide to force writers to expand on topics that need in-depth development. Nevertheless, word count should never be set in stone.
We Write It All
Connotations is not a slave to word counts for either the long or the short pieces we produce. Of course, we honour the requests of all of our clients when specific word counts are important to them. The number one goal of all of the content we create is to approach readers with a precise, relevant, and meaningful message that they can do something with.
In the end, this is what is most important to our clients, their readers and yes, even the search engines. Search engine algorithms are now sophisticated enough to separate quality from rubbish by comparing and analysing words. Google is interested in targeted messaging just as much as readers are.
If you want your blog posts and informational articles to be as effective as possible, concentrate on messaging rather than word counts. A focus on messaging will mean your short articles are just as successful as your long ones. If we can help at Connotations, we would be more than happy to do so.