At one point or another, we all ask ourselves the question: is it really the size that counts? Do not be mischievous: it is a question of wondering about the ideal length of web content – blog articles, site optimization pages, premium content, etc. Some will tell you that brevity is a virtue (and a source of savings), others that verbosity is essential to go around a subject (even if it provokes a hint of boredom in the reader). Where is the truth ? What is a “good size” for web content?
From tweet to blog post: the right web content for the right size
Twitter is handy. The messages being limited to 140 characters, it is essential to be as effective as concise. Not all digital content and messages benefit from such a square calibration. It must be said: if Google imposed the number of words per web content, we would ask fewer questions (and this article, in fact, would not exist, or would have taken the form of a tweet of 140 characters max.) .
If you’re working around the Internet or near a computer, you’ve probably wondered if size matters – the size of the web content you read, compile, summarize, write, order, publish, or share. Who has never read an interesting article, but definitely too long? Who has never finished an excellent paper that did not say enough? People are never happy, of course. But there must be a rule somewhere that tells us how many words should ideally have such web content – from tweet to how-to guide, including the blog post and the white paper.
Yes and no. There are no rules, but there are sites that establish averages, for example this one. The author gave an update (in 2014) on the recommendations of many web players regarding the ideal size of each web content. Anthology:
- 1600 words for a blog article (for a reading time of 7 minutes)
- 6 words and 55 characters maximum for a title
- Between 28 and 39 characters for an email
- Less than 40 signs for Facebook status
- 100 characters for a tweet!
Everyone will judge the relevance of this advice. But, as one successful television series says about the length of web content, “the truth is out there.”
And no, it’s not the size that matters (or almost not)!
In reality, the answer would rather be “no”. No, it’s not the size that matters for web content. The ideal length is the one that allows you to respond as accurately as possible:
- If necessary expressed by the Internet user who launches a request;
- About ;
- The type of web content;
- The message we want to get across;
- To the reader we are targeting;
- To the publication medium that will receive the content.
It is from these 6 criteria that you are able to calibrate web content … or to decide to write until the ideas run out by themselves. This is the advantage of the Internet compared to the paper medium: no need to write a text which adapts perfectly to the three columns reserved by the editor, we can lengthen the page as much as necessary, it will be enough for the reader to scroll gently down.
Depending on the need, the subject and the type of content, the concept of “good size” can take very different forms. For a product sheet, 200 words are enough when the essential information is there – and the web content is optimized for search engines. For an email, conciseness is recommended, with an image in agreement. But in some cases, completeness is welcome, as it helps answer any questions the reader has. Nor is it about rewriting Wretched (a little over 500,000 words on the counter, you have the margin), but to offer relevant, qualitative, credible and useful web content.
Let’s emphasize relevance, because it’s crucial. Relevance is a guarantee of quality. A 3000 word content on the subject of SEO which offers a sub-section dedicated to the best mushroom corners and another dedicated to historic footballers, that has no interest. It is better to be content with 2,000 words and avoid the off-topic. Like at school, finally, when the teacher tapped you on the fingers because you had made a writing in seven pages instead of the three requested, with whole paragraphs that had nothing to do (not crazy, the teacher: she had no plans to spend her weekend reading copies of students).
Relevance is the mother of coherence. Think about it when you are wondering about the right length for web content – and trust the web editor who will take care of it, and who has a great idea of the most suitable size.
What does Google think?
And in all of that, what does Google think of it? Because web content is also written in order to please the famous search engine.
No need to go to Mountain View for an answer. For the search engine, good content is one that answers the question the user is asking. In the eyes of its robots, it is not the length of a text that matters, but its semantic density testifying to its relevance with regard to a given theme. So an article on shampoos is supposed to contain, at a minimum, the words and expressions “hair”, “hair care” and “hair”.
The goal for Google is to do everything to prevent the user from going back to the result page to look for another answer (so-called “pogo-sticking”). The goal is also to stay as long as possible on the page (because he likes what he reads).
Please note: however, it should be understood that relevant content with good semantic density cannot be 100 words. Finally, yes, it can: just write an incoherent series of expressions and terms chosen for their semantic consistency. But that’s not what Google wants, which values qualitative content. In this sense, if the length of a web content is not an official positioning criterion for the firm, the fact remains that the need to offer quality and to place the keywords in sufficient quantity forced to sharpen its feather. This is why long content generally ranks better in SERPs, with an average of 1,633 words for the best placed (take a look at this article to learn more about the keys to optimization in 2017).
Think about it: if you come across an article titled “You will know everything about SEO! “And it’s only three lines long, you’ll have a few reasons to be disappointed (and Google will never put it in first place). Conversely, if the content on “The correct spelling of the word shampoo” reads 3,500 words, it will be surprising.
You will understand: when it comes to web content, there is no right size, there are only good articles!