What’s the ideal word count for a blog post that supports your company’s B2B content marketing program? Search the web and you’ll find plenty of advice about word counts. I just did a quick search and found reasonable recommendations for everything from 500 words to 1,600-2,000 words. That’s pretty broad. There is no one ideal, but there are guidelines you can follow.
According to a recent article, the Los Angeles Times’ data indicates that if you’re looking for engagement, the ideal article length is either 100 words or well over 1,000 words. So should you aim for 100 or 1,000-plus words for your blog posts? No. You’re not the LA Times.
Posts that run 100 words are too short for the average company using blog posts as a lead gen tool. Your 100-word articles won’t register as content-rich by search engines (major publications like the Times aren’t as dependent on organic search as are most blogs that support B2B marketing).
On the other hand, 1,000+ words is too long for most posts, simply because it’s both difficult and expensive to crank out dozens of lengthy posts. Go ask your team of subject matter experts to provide you with long posts twice a week. You’ll hear crickets. They’re too busy. Copywriting agencies like the Content Bureau will be happy to write as many 1,500- to 2,000-word posts as you like, but we do charge more for long posts. And whether you write them in-house or outsource to a writing agency, lengthy posts also require more time for your team to review and approve.
My recommendation? Populate your B2B blog with posts that are engaging, substantive, and run a variety of lengths: roughly 2/3 in the 350-500 word range, and 1/3 in the 1,000-1,200 word range.
Why? Let’s use value as a guide to help determine word count. You want value from every post. You won’t see much traffic from search engines for posts under 300 words, because search engines will not consider them adequately substantive. So any blog post must be at least 300 words if you want search value. (Of course, your post should follow relevant SEO best practices beyond word count, too.) Posts that are 350-500 words are conveniently scannable, and therefore more quickly shared. And when you have a mission-critical topic, the occasional 2,000-word blog post may be worth the time and financial investment.
By varying the length of your posts, your blog will be able to build an engaged readership—and you won’t turn every post into a major project. Join us on Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn to share what’s working well on your blog, or call us to discuss!