What’s the ideal length for my business’ digital content?” It’s a question I’ve been asked many times by startups in Asia.
Here’s the advice I give
Before you dive into how long your content should be, ask yourself three simple questions:
1. Who is my audience?
2. What are their pain points?
3. How does my business help?
Once you’ve answered those questions, start by defining your audiences in terms of personas. (Not sure where to start? HubSpot offers a free buyer personas template.)
Now put yourself in your personas’ shoes. What kind of content would solve their pain points or interest them? Let’s say your target audience are busy CEOs. They’re likely interested in topline insights and best practices rather than long-form whitepapers. (At least, that’s been the case in my experience.) Alternatively, if you’re targeting digital marketing managers, they often crave in-depth articles with practical tips on a particular topic. See the difference?
For a more data-driven approach, I recommend checking out BuzzSumo’s Content Analysis tool.
Once again, let’s assume you’re promoting digital marketing courses. If you enter “digital marketing” into the tool, it will show you the length of related articles that get the most shares online.
According to the chart above, “digital marketing” articles over 2,000 words tend to get more shares online. It’s interesting to note that articles less than 1,000 words received around the same amount of shares as articles over 2,000 words, at least on LinkedIn.
So, it’s worth noting not only the total shares across social media platforms but also the total shares on the social media network that your personas use.
By using this data along with your personas’ insights, you’re more likely to develop the right content for your audience.
What about SEO?
Your content’s position on Google can often make or break your content, in terms of views and conversions.
So which does Google prefer: shorter or longer content?
According to search engine results page (SERP) data from SEMRush, they found that longer content tends to rank higher on Google. In fact, the average Google first page result contains 1,890 words.
Now content length is not the only factor that Google considers when ranking content on the first page, but it does have an impact according to the studies above.
While longer content tends to perform better on search engines and get more shares, the most important variable when considering your content length should be your audience. Keep them satisfied and your rankings and shares will follow.
Source: Forbes, article by Joe Escobedo (http://www.forbes.com/sites/joeescobedo/2016/10/24/whats-the-ideal-length-for-your-business-digital-content/#5472e0362e7e)