We get the question a lot: “How long should my digital content be?” And we’ll often answer – “As long as it needs to be to get the point across.” But the truth is, there has been a lot of research into how long (or short) various forms of digital content should be. Let’s dig into the different types of digital content and their recommended lengths based on research into performance.
Informative articles are pieces of content that comprise the majority of your website. They are better known as the pages that give users information about your products or services and your company in general.
Informational articles should be around 1,500 to 2,000 words. This might seem like a lot, but content with this high of a word count has been proven to rank higher in search engine results pages (SERPs).
(SearchEngineLand) SerpIQ conducted a study that looked at the search results for more than 20,000 keywords. The average length of the top 10 results in SERPs, was around 2,000. In fact, the average word count for the number one ranked pages was 2,416 words.
Even though it might be a little more than what you’re used to writing – 2000 words is the magic number for word count on primary pages and information articles.
Blog posts are pieces of content that you’re probably a bit more familiar with. Blogs are articles which share insights, news, opinions, etc and work great to spur conversation. They’re are intended to be easily digestible and shareable on your social media platforms and in email newsletters.
Just like “informational articles”, it’s been proven that the longer your blog posts, the better they will be for ranking in search engines. However, since blog posts should offer your users insights or info rather quickly, you should shoot for about 1,000 words, broken up by images and graphics, to strike a balance between ranking highly in search engines and being an easy-read.
10x content is named “10x” because it is created to be 10 times better than other content written on that topic. 10x content should be about topics that you have expertise on, that you can speak at length about, and should provide serious value to readers on the subject. Instead of just text, 10x content should also include images, videos, mini-graphics, and other multimedia to help demonstrate the information and keep the content from feeling like a long trail of text.
Nevertheless, 10x content is the longest kind, and should be at least 2,500 words. Still, we recommend focusing less on the word count and more on the value you’re providing and that you’re covering all the details of a subject.
Case studies can be extremely valuable to potential customers because they are real-life accounts of how your services or products have affected your current customers. Potential customers like to know what they can expect from working with you. Case studies give you the opportunity to share not only your process, but the results it yields.
It’s hard to say exactly how long case studies should be. The goal shouldn’t necessarily be length as much as capturing the full story. If you only give snippets of a customer experience, your study won’t be of much value to readers. After reading a shorter, less in-depth case study, users might assume your service or product has no depth – and move on.
Videos and video marketing have become crucial tools in capturing and maintaining the modern user’s attention. Topics for videos can be wide ranging and either in-depth or simple. Either way, however, keep individual videos short for easy-absorption of the content. If you have a complex topic you’d like to discuss via video, break it up into a series or augment with a blog post or 10x content for the more engaged user.
Videos from 10-20 minutes in length will only be watched 50% of the time. Conversely, videos that are one minute or shorter will be watched 75% of the time.
The above guidelines are just that – guidelines. At Swell, we always say quality is better than quantity. But it is important to remember that you are creating content to expand your web presence and your company’s potential for being found on search engines – which means keeping these content lengths in mind will significantly increase your opportunity to attract and engage customers.
Need help with your content strategy? We’re here to help! Reach out to us, or send us a comment below!