How Long Should My Blog Posts Be?
It’s a question I have heard again and again in therapists’ Facebook groups. And the short answer is: it depends.
Hear me out. What I can tell you is that if you would like to rank a particular blog post on Google, it needs to be at least 300 words in length.
The reason for this is that you have to give Google (and its bots) enough information to determine what your post is about.
Anything less than 300 words is considered thin content and is mostly ignored when it comes to the Google machine.
Can My Blog Posts Ever Be Shorter Than 300 Words?
“Now wait a minute!” you might be thinking. “You just said that blog posts should be at least 300 words, and now you’re saying that they can be shorter? Make up your mind!”
I said that when it comes to ranking a particular blog post on Google, the content should not be shorter than 300 words.
That doesn’t mean that you can’t write something shorter than 300 words though.
Why Would I Write a Blog Post Less Than 300 Words?
I’m so glad you asked.
The answer to this is that it could be the most helpful way to answer someone’s question.
Not every question needs to be answered by a mile-long 4000 word blog post.
Sometimes a short answer is just fine. In fact, it’s what Google is looking for.
If you Google ‘what’s the recommended temperature to cook beef?‘ you’ll find that it’s 145 degrees.
Will Google Rank My Shorter Content Though?
Probably not, and that’s okay.
The blog post will still count as a page on your website and can contribute to the ranking of your website overall.
This is especially true when you use a good network of internal links (more on that later).
The truth is that Google is more concerned with providing their customers with the best possible experience.
Every time someone does a search on Google, Google wants them to find an answer quickly.
It’s why more and more searches on Google are “clickless”, meaning Google gave them the answer right in the search results.
(Just Google ‘local weather’ to see an example.)
Okay, So What If I Do Want My Blog Post to Rank on Google?
What I suggest therapists do when they are blogging is start with really good keyword research.
From there, write as long an article as you need to in order to answer the question. That’s it.
If you do a Google search for ‘blog post length’, you’ll see the top result from Buffer says about 1,600 words.
A blog post at Hubspot suggests 2,100-2,400 words is ideal for SEO.
Keep in mind that these are content and marketing engines with hundreds of thousands to well over a million visitors per month.
They are also competing against other marketing companies and thus need to be more competitive.
Your therapist website doesn’t need to compete like they do, so shorter content is fine.
What is the Right Blog Length for My Therapy Blog?
I’d say that around 500 words is enough to do plenty of keyword placement.
The longer the post, the more keywords you can sew into the content naturally.
As I mentioned before, the days of keyword stuffing are over, so writing blogs and making them longer just to put in more keywords is actually going to do more harm than good.
TIP: Longer content also allows you to add images which offer another place for keyword placement.
Focus on Producing Quality Content Relevant to Your Ideal Clients
Don’t worry about the ideal length of your blog post and just write.
High quality content will naturally draw more shares on social media and even backlinks from other websites (both good for SEO).
Write as though your ideal client is the only one who is going to read your blog.
A good mix of long and short content can actually help you rank better on Google.
Some of your posts can be 1,500+ words, but not all of them have to be.
(We refer to these longer posts as pillar content, but I’ll talk about that in another post.)
Don’t worry about the length of your content as much as the quality of your content.
For SEO, longer content can help you rank, but having shorter posts that answer specific questions can also do really well on Google.
“But I’m not a good writer…”
I see you, friend, and I’ll be back next week to talk all about that. Stay tuned.