An Introduction to the Blog
With the popularisation of smartphones, tablets, and laptops, the way we shop has undergone a huge revolution. Most people now want to get the first-hand information from the websites and social media. As a result, organisations employ a number of techniques which are known as Search Engine Optimization (SEO) in order to rank higher in the search engine results.
Blogs are also a part of SEO techniques and help a website rank higher. The blog is basically short for weblog. A blog is nothing but a personal account just like a diary or some other topic related to the website. Blogs are helpful in SEO because new blogs keep on adding time to time to the website, as a result, there is a change in the website content. New or fresh content is ranked higher by the search engine algorithms. As a result, the website has more chances of gaining a higher ranking.
Another very important use of the blog is that it increases the chances of sales. The blogs are written on varied topics which are related to the business which are a great means of engaging the visitors. As more and more people visit the website, the chances of sales become higher as many of the visitors may turn into new customers for the business.
The blogs are really important these days as they are a great means of driving organic traffic to the website. Organic traffic is the one where people are really searching for what you have to offer.
Why is the length of the blog an important factor?
Since SEO is really essential these days, it is important that the blogs be of the length as recommended by the search engines. Only then is it going to be fruitful for the organisations. In the beginning, the search engines recommended really short blogs; about 300 – 500 words long. But now the trend has changed and search engines rank longer blogs higher.
Most of us would reason that people don’t have the time these days to read long articles especially, from their smartphones. But the reality is that it is really worthwhile to provide a detailed account rather than just providing the overview which would not be able to answer their queries. People would devote time if the piece of information is informative and providing the information they are seeking. The style of writing is also really important and should be able to hold the interest of the visitor.
The determinants of the blog length
How long should your blog be? The answer to this question can be determined by the following factors:-
What is your aim?
By this, we mean what is the purpose of the post. If the post is about describing the functionality of a recently invented machine, write as much as you know about the machine covering all the points in detail.
On the other hand, if you are covering an event or exhibition for a newspaper website, write only as many details as required by the article leaving the irrelevant details.
Research your competitors
A very good way to determine the length of the blog you wish to write is to research what is the length of similar blogs. This can be done by searching your blog’s keywords and examining the length of the first few blogs. Your blog length may lie somewhere in between the lengths of the blogs you have searched.
Avoid short content
Although Google states officially that even short content can rank well in the search engine rankings, still we must avoid writing very short content unless it is really essential.
It has been observed that even though a shorter content may be very well written and unique, longer blogs which give more detailed information are really given importance.
Avoiding Panda updates
Panda update is Google’s practice of avoiding content that is duplicate and not relevant to rank higher in Google’s search results. Panda update was started back in February 2011
and since then is regularly updated. Longer content may save you against Panda updates but only in the case that your content really complies to Google standards.
What does the research say?
According to the research conducted by various organisations, it has been found that the optimal length of the blog must be around 1600 words. Also, it has been found the blogs which exceed 2000 words are more probable to be shared across the Internet. The blogs occupying the top five positions in the search results are generally around 2400 words.
Why is longer better?
Provides an insight
Most people are looking for the queries they have typed in the search engines. The more the in depth information you provide through your article the better it is. They may not find satisfactory information if the blog is too short.
The longer the blog, more are the chances of ranking higher in the search engine results as the competitor sites may still be posting short length blog. If more information is presented, it is a very good candidate for backlinks which leads to more organic traffic and hence more leads.
Search engines love content
Content is the basis on which a search engine works. As a result, new in-depth and long content is really important these days. The more authentic and unique content search engines find, the better it ranks.
More long tail searches
Longer content is searched more often for long tail searches as there is more probability to finding the answers to such searches in, in-depth content.
How to go about writing long content?
Research and know the trend
You must research and find out what keywords are trending on the search engine and then decide your topic accordingly.
The topics that you choose must be evergreen meaning that they must be valid for a long time unlike the news and statistics related articles which lose their importance after some time. Evergreen content is also multipurpose.
Create an outline
It is always better to create an outline for your article including the headings, subheadings, any references etc. This is important as a long article must have a flow and must be able to engage the audience. The audience must not feel lost while reading the article.
Never edit while you write
You must write as many words as possible for a particular topic. Once you are done then edit the content to bring it down to the required length. In this way, you will be able to cover all the necessary points.
Interest the audience
In order to hold the audience attention, it is important to write really captivating headings and subheadings. Try not to write very long sentences and break the articles into paragraphs. So this sums up to that you must write a well-formatted article with the elements described.
SEO friendly content
In order to make your content SEO friendly, you must use all the necessary keywords along with the long tail ones. The content must also include internal and external links to relevant content. The content may also use schema mark up which helps the search engine to understand the data better.
Including multimedia elements
Reading a 2000 word article may get really monotonous. So, include multimedia elements like pictures, videos, gifs, charts, infographics etc. to keep the readers interested.
Eliminate grammatical and spelling mistakes
You should always ascertain that the text contains no grammatical and spelling errors. Such errors must be avoided as they reduce the brand value.
Promoting the post
Promoting the blog is also very important. In order to promote the blog, influencers may be contacted and the article be shared across social media.
Other factors which influence blog rankings besides length
The factors which are also considered important by the search engine apart from the length are as follows:
The blog must add to the information of the audience, only then would it be useful. If must also be unique.
The information included must be authentic with enough citations.
Promoting the blog
The way an article is promoted is also considered important for ranking on the search engine results.
Deciding the target audience
The way a blog is written is also affected by the audience for whom it is meant. So, it is very important to research well the audience. The content must also fulfill the business objective for which it is meant.
Why succeeding with short content is difficult?
There are some exceptions to the long content strategy. People like Seth Godin and organisations such as Disney have succeeded even with short contents. The reason is that their short content consists of BRIEF i.e. Big Fan Base, Remarkable Content, Images that are eye-catching and compelling, Every Day and Focused on a single idea.
But it is very difficult to engage people with short content. Also, short content has a short shelf life. They need something new every day which is a very tedious task.
Hence, long content is always better than a short one.
Even though long blogs are more difficult to write, time-consuming and costly still they are an ideal choice for achieving good rankings in search engine result pages. This is so because they may contain more keywords, make you an authority on the topic and there are more chances of earning backlinks. You are better able to engage the readers.
Hence, write longer blogs for best results.