SERPS or Visitor Attention

Last Update: September 03, 2015

We all know that quality content is king in our SEO efforts, but what about the best length for our posts? I started out targeting my posts for around 500 to 800 words. Then I raised it to around 1,000 words when I started to see comments that this was a better target word count. Google liked it ... leading to better SERPs.

I found that what seemed more natural for some of my posts was closer to 1,200 words. I thought 1,000 to 1,200 words ... I should still be ok. Lately I'm seeing suggestions that 1,500 words is a better target post length for getting more traffic ... you know, better SERPs. So I'm wondering ... where is this headed?

A 1,500 word post is a long post ... takes around 7 to 8 minutes to read. Am I going to keep attention of visitors? That's the goal ... right? Keeping our site visitors engaged on our site as long as possible is the goal. I know when I see a post that goes on ... and on ... and on it has to really have my attention to keep me interested.

So do we have a dilemma here? Longer posts improve our SERPs which leads to more traffic. But will these 1,500+ word posts tend to loose the attention of our visitors reducing the probability of capturing their interest in our affiliate offers? Is the benefit of higher word count in our posts conflicting with the goal of increasing the chances of an affiliate click?

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Ericabried Premium
I don't think there is a simple answer when it comes to length. Some people like a more in depth look at a topic and others prefer short and sweet. Yes, Google does seem to prefer longer posts but I think the content will often dictate the length - when it's done it's done.
mjdimarco Premium
Thanks for this post. My two cents: Maybe I'm making a mistake but I don't focus too much on page / post length. Mine tend to vary in length quite a bit. For me, I stop writing when I feel the topic is covered.
lavera Premium
Excellent post and thank you.i read a lot of blog post on the topic and found different information.for example media posts does not to be lengthy also on a personal level I like to read post not more than500 words. I still believe that length of the post is only one part of the whole seo
jvranjes Premium
Hi Dennis, you raise good questions. People did some statistics, I wrote about it recently. So 7 minutes corresponds to 1500 words and this was found to be optimal. But as in any statistics, there are many factors, no simple answer. Thanks.