How Long Should An Article Be For SEO?
The perfect length for an article is something that is hotly debated among SEOs. Recently there has been quite a lot of talk about how longer articles are more effective and it seems that a lot of people think Google has a preference for articles that are 700 to 800 words and above.
This content of course will naturally catch a lot of long-tail keywords and it will communicate to Google that you have been thorough and that you are providing a lot of useful details. At the same time Google might conceivably have a preference for longer articles because it has been burned by shorter articles so much in the past. Content farms are something that Google really isn't a fan of these days and the content on those is traditionally around 400-500 words long.
Looking around the web it does seem to follow too that the more successful sites are more likely to have articles around that length. But then does that necessarily mean that you need to start putting articles that length on your site? What if the long, dense text starts putting people off of reading anything? What if you don't have that much to say on the matter?
Of course the answer to this problem is that you don't always have to write articles that are 800 words long and that you should instead be trying to write articles differently depending on the context. The most successful websites will feature a spread of different kinds of articles and these will help you to ensure that your site appeals to the widest number of visitors and that it can stand up to future changes to Google's policies.
Types of articles and how many words are best for SEO
So what kinds of articles are there for websites and how do you know which one is best for your particular needs?
1. Well, first of all you are of course going to have your standard informational article and this will be the sort of thing that just explains a topic or provides some basic discussion on a subject. These articles are your 'standard' articles, and are the ones that will benefit most from being a little longer.
These articles will benefit from being longer because it will allow you to go into more detail and to provide more information – but of course you need to use your judgement and you don't want to start forcing extra content into your article if it's just not there. If the topic you're describing can be briefly summarised, then discuss it from a few angles to bulk it out but stop before you start 'forcing' the issue.
2. For news stories on the other hand you may want to keep your content a little shorter as most people reading news want to get the gossip quickly then move on so don't deter them by making every article on your site super long. If you want to compromise, then provide short summaries that can be expanded on should people want.
3. Something like a review or a report from a particular event will benefit from being as long as possible. In such situations people are looking for in depth information and you can make yourself stand out by being the definitive source on that topic. Such an article will also benefit though from having a series of headings for quicker reference and so that people can see the direction of the article they are going to be committing so much time to.