2. Content length: shorter vs. longer
Up until a few years ago, many people assumed that Internet users didn’t read that much. This assumption, and Google seeming to not care about content length, led people to focus on creating short content, with “ideal” lengths often considered to be between 200-500 words. Even today, there are content creators that will aim for content around this length.
In more recent years, experts have actually realised that longer, higher quality content leads to a better Google ranking. Research has even shown that web pages ranking in the top 10 for many searches on Google have an average of 2000 words or more.
From an SEO perspective, longer content gives you an opportunity to increase search traffic, include more keywords in an organic way, encourage link-backs and increase shares. Analytics expert Neil Patel has even quantified it, reporting that his posts “receive 68% more tweets and 22% more Facebook likes than the articles with fewer than 1500 words.”
As more people have realised the benefits of increasing content length, Google has also focused on content quality. They now include tools in their search algorithms to measure the quality of content as well as its length. The key is to find a balance between length and quality or, as Patel puts it:
“Just because long content trends better doesn’t mean that yours automatically will. It helps to have an active social presence, rock-solid copy, and stuff worth talking about.”
Think about mobile when you write content
The situation is confused still more by the fact that more people than ever are reading websites on smartphones and tablets. You, therefore, have to balance your content based on purpose, user profile and a lot more. You probably don’t want people coming to your site on their mobile waiting for the train and being met by page after page of 2000 word articles. You need to cater for all the people visiting your site, which means creating a customer journey for mobile and non-mobile visitors, and leading them to the right places.