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Determining the Optimal Word Count for Different Types of Content

Posted on 19-01-2023

When it comes to creating content, one of the most important decisions a marketer must make is determining the optimal word count. Too short, and your content may lack detail and context, too long, and it may be difficult to read and contain irrelevant information.

In this article, we will explore different types of content and the optimal word count that should be targeted for each one. Overall, this should enable you to make data-driven decisions that will improve your search engine rankings and user engagement.

Word Count? Does it Matter?

Before moving on, it is imperative to note that word count is just one aspect of an overall content analysis strategy in on-page SEO. When optimizing content for search engines, it’s important to consider both the quantity and the quality of the content.

When conducting content analysis, this comes from a combination of various metrics. To have an accurate picture of where your site’s content stands, the Eye10 On-Page SEO tool enables you to perform a comprehensive audit, where you can discover various issues with content on your website and gain insights on fixing them.

First, you get an audit overview that looks like this:

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This is followed by a detailed result of each metric. This includes keyword analysis results…

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…as well as other more technical details:

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As you can see, the word count is only an aspect of the overall content analysis, albeit an important one, which is why this guide is important.

Factors to Consider

When it comes to determining the optimal word count for different types of content, there are a few things to consider.

  1. Goals: Determining the optimal word count for different types of content depends on the goals of the content, such as providing helpful information, convincing a reader to make a purchase, or grabbing attention.
  2. Audience: Knowing your target audience is crucial in determining the optimal word count. For example, if your target audience is busy professionals, they may prefer shorter, more concise content that gets straight to the point.
  3. Platform: The platform on which the content will be published can also affect the optimal word count. For example, content that will be shared on social media should be shorter and more visually engaging, while longer-form content is more suitable for a blog or website.
  4. SEO: Search engine optimization is an important consideration for content marketers. Longer content tends to perform better in search results, as it provides more in-depth information and is more likely to be shared on social media. However, it’s important to strike a balance between the length of the content and the relevance of the keywords used.
  5. Branding: the style and tone of a brand should also be considered when determining the optimal word count. A serious and formal brand may require longer, more in-depth content, while a more casual and fun brand might be better suited for shorter, more engaging content.
  6. ROI: The return on investment (ROI) of a piece of content is also an important consideration. The optimal word count may be influenced by how much time, effort and money are being spent on creating the content and how much revenue or lead generation it is expected to bring in.

 

Word Count Guidelines for Various Content Types

With all the factors given above in mind, here are some general guidelines for determining the optimal word count for different types of content:

 

    1. Blog Posts: A general rule of thumb is to aim for at least 300 words, as this is the typical minimum required for a post to be ranked by Google. However, longer posts of 1000-2000 words tend to perform better in search results, as they provide more in-depth information and are more likely to be shared on social media.
    2. Product Pages: Product pages should be detailed and informative, but not too long. Aim for around 300-500 words, which should be enough to explain the features and benefits of the product, and to convince the reader to make a purchase.
    3. Landing Pages: Landing pages should be concise and to the point, with a clear call-to-action. Aim for around 200-300 words, which should be enough to grab the reader’s attention and get them to take the desired action, such as signing up for a newsletter or making a purchase.
    4. Meta Descriptions: Meta descriptions should be no longer than 155 characters, as they will be truncated in search results if they are longer than that.
    5. How-to guides and tutorials: How-to guides and tutorials should aim to provide clear, step-by-step instructions on a specific topic. The optimal word count for these types of content can vary depending on the complexity of the topic, but generally, a word count of around 1000-1500 words is ideal, as it provides enough detail to be informative and helpful.
    6. FAQs and knowledge base articles: FAQs and knowledge base articles should aim to provide clear, concise answers to common questions on a specific topic. The optimal word count for these types of content can vary, but generally, around 100-300 words per answer is ideal, as it provides enough information to be informative, without being too long.
    7. Case studies and white papers: Case studies and white papers should aim to provide detailed information and research on a specific topic. The optimal word count for these types of content can vary depending on the complexity of the topic, but generally, a word count of around 2000-3000 words is ideal, as it provides enough detail to be informative and credible.
    8. Social media: On Twitter, you have 280 characters per tweet but you can write several tweets in a thread. Instagram, you can write up to 2200 characters in a caption. The text should be concise and engaging, with a clear call-to-action, and should be paired with a strong visual or video. On other platforms like Facebook, Reddit, and LinkedIn, the optimal word count can be a bit longer as you have more space to write and express. A good rule of thumb for these platforms is to aim for around 100-200 words for a post, but you can also include more detailed and in-depth information in the form of articles and blog posts.

 

 

 

Conclusion

From this guide, it is clear that the ultimate key is to use the appropriate length for the type of content you’re creating and to ensure that the content is well-written, informative, and useful to your target audience. It’s also important to remember that quality is more important than quantity. It’s better to have well-written and informative content that is shorter than poorly written and fluff-filled content that is longer.

Ultimately, the best approach is to test different formats and lengths to see what works best for your audience and goals. Some audiences may prefer shorter and more bite-sized content while others may prefer longer and in-depth content. Experimenting with different formats and lengths can help you find what works best for your target audience.

More so, while you are optimizing the word count for your content, don’t ignore other aspects of content marketing such as SEO and keyword optimization. With Eye10 On-Page SEO, you have detailed analytic insights at your fingertips. Try it out today and see for yourself.

FAQ

How does Eye10 On-Page SEO help you to publish better content?

By discovering content issues via Eye10 On-Page SEO, you are enabled to adjust your content strategy to meet global best practices in SEO, content marketing, and keyword optimization. Some of the details might be technical for beginners, but with time and some progress, you’d understand the metrics as well as why they are critical to your site visibility. Moreover, Eye10 On-Page SEO audit results can be sent to your or someone else’s email address, and they could also be exported as PDF or CSV files and distributed across your marketing teams.

How does word count impact the user experience?

The word count of a piece of content can also be used to analyze its structure and organization. For example, a piece of content with a word count of 1000 words or more may be divided into sections, headings, and subheadings, which can help to make it more easily scannable and readable, which can positively impact the user experience. Additionally, content that is too short may lack detail and context, while content that is too long may be difficult to read and may contain irrelevant information.

Is it better to have shorter or longer content?

Both shorter and longer content can have their advantages and disadvantages. Shorter content is generally easier to read and consume and can be well-suited to certain types of content, such as social media posts, email campaigns, and product descriptions. Longer content, on the other hand, can be more in-depth and informative and can be well-suited to certain types of content, such as blog articles, how-to guides and tutorials, and white papers. The key is to use the appropriate length for the type of content you're creating and to ensure that the content is well-written, informative, and useful to your target audience.

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