when starting blogging it can be difficult ot determine how long to make your posts

How many words do i need for a wordpress post

At the start of your journey

when starting blogging it can be difficult ot determine how long to make your posts
how long do you make your posts

When you start blogging most of us struggle to write articles…

I bet you remember your first article and have rewritten it, cringing when you reread it….i know i did…

You struggled at the time to write a 250 word article, and thought that was a massive article….

But how many words do you need for a wordpress post to rank highly…

Is there a magic number that will guarantee your to rank….

Let’s find out shall we…

Why are you writing the post

you need ot make sure you have an aim in mind for the post
Make sure you have a target in mind for the post

We need to take a little step back and ask why we are writing the post…

Don’t worry we will get to the numbers in a bit…

You are writing the article with an aim in mind…

Whether that is to get visitors to sign up to your email list, buy something, read another article to move them further down the buying chain, it is something to move them…

So can you say that all of these tasks are going to be the same post length….

I certainly wouldn’t expect them to be…

but looking online at what the ‘guru’s ‘ are talknig about it appears they expect you to write hte same length for any type of content….

What does the industry say

The industry has definite views on what it takes…

Coschedule found that posts with 2500 words ranked better on average

The average length of the blog post in the first 5 positions in the serps was 1600 words (according to Buffer)….

But why is this ….

Well google has a minimum post length of 500 words before it takes any notice as a quality article…

And Google is trying to return the highest relevance articles to answer the query asked….

I do agree with what yoast say …that posts with a high word count should have more synonyms and related words in there…either by knowing the subject of finding ‘keywords’ associated with your main topic…

And do we really need to write that much or more….

How can you tell…

Less waffle more action

You are writing content for your visitors to read, take something away, and remember you…..

Oh.. and for the search engines to dissect and categorize under the topic you want to rank for…

Not much then…

But how do you decide how much to write…

how to decide on the post length
how do you decide on the post length

Do you choose your sub heads and write a certain amount under there and that’s it.

Or do you wing it…seeing what happens …and if it gets too long go back and add another subhead…

Or if you can’t find enough do you put ‘filler content ‘ in there just to pad it out for the words count…

Well my version is almost a little more scientific…

My take on it

Google is clever…

Not as clever as you or me, but still clever…and fast…

It will scan your post in about 0.01 of a second ( faster than you can blink your eye, typ 0.1 seconds) and in that time it will

google work on a post in a very short time
it only takes google 0.01 seconds to scan your post

have:

  • counted the number of words
  • put together a map of the words
  • tried to determine the topic of the post from the words you have used
  • and the order of the words…

So what does that have to do with the number of words in your post….

Google will return the most relevant articles for any query it can…

So the top 10 articles are the most relevant it knows about at the moment…

But you are about to write one with more quality and more relevance….

If only you knew how…

What if you could take all of the top 10 articles and strip them down into their component parts and see what was going on…

Would that help….

tf-idf graph
graph of TF-IDF (Mquantin)

Well there is a technique called term frequency analysis or TF for short which analyses the number of times words are used

in an article…

And it is usually combined with inverse document frequency analysis (IDF)…

So we have TF-IDF analysis

Sound familiar….

I didn’t know anything about this a while ago…so don’t worry…

This is a technique of looking at content and finding the common words and the frequency of them…

almost like a word cloud… but comparing all of the words for the top SERPs…

you need to check out hte top 10 articles
carry out TF-IDF for the top 10 results

Some tools can go on to do the two and three word relationships as well….

If you do this for the top 5 or top 10 results for your keyword…

This will help with the SEO for your post if nothing else…

Why would these be important for the word count…

Well the words and phrases that come up have been determined by Google to being relevant to the keyword….

And the higher the frequency the more important…

You have to remember what you are trying to do when you write a post…

And that is to get organic traffic from the search engines and to be more relevant to them than the current top results…if you are not then why would Google put you in the top place…

So you have the relevant words and phrases related to your keyword…

The number of these and the concepts they talk about will dictate the length of your article….

And the length of the current articles at the top….

Look through the three word phrases and see if you can make any sections within your post about them or are they answering a question your reader may have about your keyword…if so make this a subheading…

If you aim for 10-15% over what the average is of the top 10 then you should be able to use all of the TF-IDF words and phrases…

And it is unlikely that the others within the top 10 will look and decide to outwrite you at the moment….

Moz did a post about it and how to calculate the TF-IDF manually

And there are other tools that a free which will give you the TF-IDF information on a post

So how long should your wordpress post be….

As long as necessary to outrank your competitors, using the relevant words they do…

I do know of a tool that can extract the theme words and phrases from the top results for a keyword….

It then allows you to sort and manipulate the list …write the content…

See how many from the list of tf-idf words and phrases you have missed…well the tool calls them theme words and phrases…

Add them if they sound natural…

And check your result against the top 10 to see whether you are more relevant….

web content studio splash screen
See how web content studio can help you rank (aff link)

And this tool is called Web Content Studio….

I bought it a few years ago and have been using it ever since…

Does it work…..

Yep…i have achieved more top spots while writing with this tool than with standard keyword research….

And it has helped me increase the length of my posts…

Is it free …sorry nope…

Does it come up on special…nope….

But you can check out the videos by Dr Andy Williams (aff link) and see how he uses the tool….

How do i determine the length of my wordpress posts

As i said above i add 10-15% onto the length of the posts already at the top in google…

From there i break it down into sections of average 300-400 words between subheadings…

The subheadings on the already ranked posts can be seen in the them word results panel…you can get ideas from there…

So now you have the outline …write the content to go in the paragraphs…

And then check the number of theme words and phrases you have …

Use the search tool included to find parts of your post that could do with added words or phrases from the missing words panel…

And do a final check of your stats against the others on page one….

How does yours stack up

You know by doing this you have a ton of relevant words for your keyword so Google will take notice of it…

Make sure you check that you don’t go too overboard with the words or phrases to be in the keyword stuffing area….

Again web content studio has your back with reports on your content…

And a very useful search feature…this shows not just how many times it occurs but hte few words around where it occurs…

So you can choose which one to change or add another theme word to…

And that’s it for the content writing…

After this there is the usual external links, internal links, images , alt text, table of contents, category, tags….

And publish after a quick read through to make sure it has the rhythm you want….

Is it a guarantee of ranking…nope, but it will give you loads of theme words and phrases that the top results are using so you can include these in your article…

It will give the reader comprehensive information on the topic you are writing about….

So how do you work out your blog post length currently and are you going to be doing it differently form now on, let me know in the comments if you have any suggestions for how many words i need in a wordpress blog…

About the author

Phil has been working online since 2015 and working with computer for longer than he can remember..
He has successfully built a few sites that are ranking highly...
He is now experimenting with techniques to see how far google has gone with the ranking process, with an eye on the speed of the sites along with the web core vitals...
His philosophy is 'if you can control it then do'....
If you want Phil's help then please use the contact page to reach him...

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