The Statistically Perfect Content Length to Rank #1 on Google

this writer thought they wrote a 30 100 word article but all Google saw was 650 words this author thought they wrote a 2700 word article but Google treated it as just 250 words here’s the deal we all know that long-form content performs better in search rankings than short thin puny content but what you may not realize is that Google may be taking your hours and hours of hard work writing a long blog post and treating it just like it’s short puny thin content see Google is only taking 200 words from this blog post [Music] okay so here’s the deal Rick you mentioned in the intro that we’re seeing a lot of writers are thinking they’re writing long posts and they have a lot of words on them but Google singing them is shorter and the reason why is this they answer the question in a very short manner but then each progressive subheading draws the writer further and further away from the original topic and so what Google sees is actually only about a third of this content is answering the query that the person typed in the other stuff yet maybe tangentially related but it’s not really on point and it does two things one at Google just says there’s less meat here for the person and the other thing it does is it can confuse Google about what that post is even about here’s an example of what we see very commonly from our writers at the creator studio so here’s an article you see you one thing you need to know about this YouTube channel is if there is an opportunity to throw in an outdoor sport b-roll we will take that opportunity so it’s about you TVs the article is do you TVs have power steering and the subheadings that the writer chose are how much does power steering cost is power steering worth it why would you want power steering how to install power steering etc now you can see that these are related to the question do you TVs have power steering but it’s not really directly answering the question they probably did answer the question directly right at the top but then there most of the content is further afield we need to rewrite them we have to rethink our subheadings and just be more specific to make sure every subheading is still nailing the original question so some good subheadings for this article would have been which models of you TVs have power steering and which don’t power steering is becoming more common and talked about how it used to not be less not used to be less common and now it’s becoming more and more common on you TVs or options for adding power-steering to a UTV all of these subheadings are about our is power steering on a UTV so stay on topic if you want to take advantage of all of the words that you’re writing otherwise all of this is for nothing all right all of this is about the writing but let’s see what that translates to in the actual statistics so we got a little nerdy today looking at SEO dang it we match again all right so first of all we’ve cited this number before this came from a backlink oh study last year where basically they looked at a million search results and found that the average page one result had 1890 words and that basically led us to the conclusion that more length is better longer blog posts rank higher and over here Ricky we kind of see the same thing yeah so buzzsumo checked the number of social shares that content gets according to the length and a longer blog post is more likely to be shared HubSpot looked at the average ranking position in google kind of found the same thing as over there found about 2,500 words was the top and then this is the number of related searches of single article could rank for by content length and again the higher the length is the better the post is right and so we ran some numbers on our own websites and what we wanted to see is does does this stuff that’s mostly about ranking position also translate into pageviews because that’s what actually matters that’s what we care about and you know what we found is that first of all looks like a second yeah two year old dress look at the data I mean just look at it do you see a correlation at all between the length of a blog post and the number of pageviews do you see this upward to Jo the r-squared for those of you stats nerds like me out there the r-square is 0.058 that is like practically zero there’s virtually no correlation in our data between the length of a blog post and the average monthly pageviews now we looked at the hug post our lowest one here had 664 words that’s very short for us the longest one had 4550 words average average blog post is a little over 2,000 words funny fact look at this one here this is the second highest traffic blog post on this particular website this has just over 1200 words so again what we’re not what we’re not seeing is the same correlation in terms of ranking in pageviews because there are too many other factors right right and I think the the big factor the thing that this ignores the all these statistics is that you have to match the word count to the actual query and some queries just don’t deserve 4000 words it’s a fairly simple answer now you want to be meaty you want to answer that post as fully as possible as long as you can stay on topic don’t drift away from that original topic at all but if you can stay on topic you want to provide all the meat you can but all of these dots are our top whatever 25 blog posts on the site and we saw just a huge variation in word count and there’s really no correlation to pageviews so what do we take from this because it looks a little contradicting yeah I think the main takeaway is – well there’s two that I would give one is exactly what you just barely said which is you need to match the length and not just the length but like the depth of the content that you create to the query itself to the level of competition and to just the complexity of the query and then the second one is length alone isn’t what matters to get traffic its depth its helpfulness to the user and so here’s what we were getting at in the very beginning you can write a blog post this long but if only 300 words of the article are actually relevant to the query you’re trying to rank for for that particular search term Google is going to treat your blog post like it’s this long and and so here a lot of bloggers have started adding fluff to their blog posts to try to hit the bigger numbers and my takeaway is that ads absolutely no value and is actually more likely to dissuade users from staying on your blog posts okay let’s get down to it then you just want to know how long of a blog post you should actually write what we do is we split our blog posts up into three different buckets our response posts staple posts and pillar posts our response posts when we have just a simple straightforward question that we’re gonna answer it needs a simple straightforward answer we’re gonna do those at about 1350 words we found that just works really well a lot of these with very high page views are very short blog posts because that’s what it really deserved in that search and that’s what the competition was doing and we fully answered every bit of it in that without getting off-track then we have staple posts these are about 2,500 words in length and then we have pillar posts that are 3,500 words in length we found that by taking a query looking at what it really deserves and what the competition is doing and putting it in one of those three buckets we have been getting the very best results without wasting time just writing fluff but at the same time fully answering questions if you want to do this and you want to do your content approach right though definitely check out our webinar this is our what we call our project 24 webinar just how to go full-time blogging in 24 months and it just walks you all the way through the strategy how we do our our search analysis what some people call keyword research how to pick what content length is right for it and how to actually get going on the site so check it out with the card here I never know yeah my bad up down there yeah that’s a good ZB right there it’ll probably be here over there