How long should your blog post be in order to rank on the first page of Google?

by | Feb 6, 2018 | Content Marketing | 0 comments

For a long time my agency never really had a clear answer to this question.

If you do research online you’ll see multiple different answers.

Some of the sources even contradict each other.

Other sources represent outdated information which still happens to rank on Google.

After years of SEO work, we found a way to use an SEO tool called ahrefs in order to consistently predict how long our blog posts need to be.

To save even more time, I created this simple tool that will automatically check your competitors and suggest the ideal word count. Simply enter your keyword in this form to find out how long your blog post or landing page should be.

Step 1 of 2


The most interesting thing we found is that the target word was different depending on which keyword we were targeting.

With more competitive keywords I usually write more content. For example, our article on “volusion vs shopify” is over 2300 words, but it’s going to need about 5000 words total to really compete for page 1 on that keyword.

With “easier” keywords you still need a “baseline” of content to help Google interpret your web page, but you might rank well with as little as 300 words.

The “baseline” at my agency is 2000 words. We have a blog post which just broke into page 1 of Google for “wix vs shopify” which is about 2100 words long.

How many words should a blog post be?

1. Navigate to ahrefs keywords explorer
2. Type the keyword you would like to rank for into the tool and press “go”
Make sure you’re looking at data for the same country you wish to rank on Google. This example is focused on the USA,
Determining blog post length through keyword research
3. Scroll down to the serp overview section

4. Identify the results on these pages with the lowest DR, (Domain Rating)
In this example, we see “”
Why do we look at result with the LOWEST DR?
The lowest DR website is ranking very well (on page 1) despite having LOW authority. This means that if we can beat the relevance (content quality and length) of this result, then we should be able to rank as long as our DR is at least as good as this competitor.

Aside: Relevance and Authority

Google ranks pages for two factors mainly: Relevance and Authority.

I’m not going to go into detail here but here’s a quick overview in context:

Relevance explains how closely a search result answers the users search query.

A page about “how to write a blog” is less relevant than a page about “how long should your blog post be” in the context of someone searching “how long should a blog post be”

Authority correlates closely to Ahrefs Domain Rating (DR), which measure how “powerful” a page or website is based on the quality and quantity of links to the entire domain.

In general, content published on more powerful websites ranks faster and better.

If you wrote an article about “how long should a blog post be” and published it on CNN or The New York Times, it would rank on the first page much faster than if you published it on

That’s because CNN has a lot of authority, and your new brand new website has very low authority.
5. Determine the word count of the lowest DR page
Copy the “body” content from the low DR competitor.

Paste the “body” content into this website

This article is 1243 words long.

Lastly, calculate the result
6. How long should your blog post should be?
Your blog post should be 500 words longer than the most relevant, and least authoritative competitor who ranks on the first page of Google. For longer competitors of 4000 words or more, you should target 1000 more words to make your article longer than the next competitor.

For our example, in order to rank on the first page for “how long should a blog post be” this blog post should be about 1800 words long.

How do you add more information to a blog post in to make it useful without wasting your readers time?

At this point, the blog post is only about 677 words long, and this is a problem when you want to rank for something competitive.

Naturally, you need a way to add useful information to the blog post without diluting the usefulness or SEO relevance of your blog post.

The best strategy that I’ve found is to look at the additional keyword variations for your “main” keyword and then address all those other “subtopics” in addition to your main topic.

Step 1: Open ahrefs keyword explorer
Step 2: Enter your main keyword into the tool and press enter
Step 3: Look at the “all ideas” section to show every possible keyword suggestion

Step 4: Use the “include” filter to narrow down the results to keywords that actually relate to your topic and main keyword

Step 5: (optional) Use the “number of words” filter to narrow down to more relevant keywords

Step 6: Copy down a list of the relevant keywords with the most search volume
In this example, here are some alright keywords for additional sections. Log as many as seem relevant for your blog post. If they’re “too similar” to justify a new section, then you can use them as keyword variations inside a meta description or other areas.

Personally I like to choose variations which are “conceptually” distinct but still related. For example:

Ideal blog post length

This could talk about how long a blog post should be if your goal was to be concise and clearly communicate information.

The longer your content is, the more time it will take for your readers to understand. In our fast paced world people have less patience than ever. Often times we want to write very concise communications to make sure we get our ideas across.

This is a double edged sword because “short” content tends to rank worse in Google.

How many words should a blog post be

A blog post should be 500 to 1000 words longer than the closest competitor blog post found in a Google search for the primary keyword. 1000 words is a good word count target for blog posts on local websites. 2000 words is a good word count for blogs with a national or global audience.

This section is a summary or conclusion section. The KEY here is that the content is written conversationally because the search term is almost something you would get from a voice search. This means the answer needs to sounds like what Alexa or Google Voice would tell you if you asked.

Average blog post length

Research shows that the average blog post is at 2300 words long. This is specifically concerning blog posts on the first page of Google for a 5000 word data set measured in a Moz study.

This section would talk about the “average” blog post based on worldwide statistics and online research. Not necessarily what you should strive for, but gives you a good example of the competition.

How long should a blog post be 2018

This could be about how lengths have changed over time. Compare 2016 to 2017 and 2018

As more and more long form content is published on the internet, the target content length for blog posts increases every year.

Orbit Media runs a yearly survey to ask bloggers how long the content they publish is.

You can see in the chart how the typical blog post word count increases every year.

Image credit Orbit Media

Blog post length

This is a pretty generic keyword, so it’s a little more open ended as far as the searcher’s intent. You could write about “how to measure the length of your blog post” explain how to use tools or other things to measure the word counts.

You should be warned that “length” can be measured in multiple different ways.

Some SEO tools like Screaming Frog will count all of the words on a given URL.

Other tools will only count the “body” content, meaning just the words in the blog post itself, and not anything in the navigation, footer or other content.

For example if you’re writing a blog post into the wordpress editor the “word count” shown there excludes headers, sidebars and other elements like that.

So how long does your blog post need to be?

3000 words is the easy “no research” answer. It’s safe to say that 99% of the time, there will be a competitor on the first page of Google with low DR who has a blog post with less than 3000 words. If you type quickly, and you don’t have ahrefs or any keyword tools available to you, then just write 3000 words all the time and keep it simple.


If you have more questions about content marketing or blogging, feel free to contact me via email using . Currently I am the COO of Logic Inbound. Our digital marketing agency specializes in search engine optimization and content marketing. We are actively looking to work on SEO for eCommerce websites.


Click Here to Book a Marketing Strategy Session


[ratings] Review Review

We do a significant amount of outreach everyday here at Logic Inbound, so I’m always on the lookout for tools that will make that a little easier. Being a digital marketing agency focused on healthcare clients, we reach out to hundreds of doctors every month, and with...

7 Etsy SEO Tips to Help Your Products Get Found Quickly

7 Etsy SEO Tips to Help Your Products Get Found Quickly

You've probably heard about SEO before, and if you're reading this article, chances are you know its benefits and application. But, do you know how to effectively apply an SEO strategy to your Etsy shop? Well, not everyone does, and we are here to change this! A good...

Best Free Invoice Templates: Rated!

Let’s face it: invoicing is time-consuming, frustrating and sometimes even cumbersome. Perhaps it’s because of laziness on our part that we haven’t really researched more convenient solutions than your average Excel spreadsheet or worse, a Word file. The end of month...

How To Avoid 9 Ecommerce Website Design Conversion Killers

“If you do build a great experience, customers tell each other about that. Word of mouth is very powerful.” - Jeff Bezos (Founder of E-commerce entrepreneurs can never take customers for granted as a single design mistake can kill their sales and hurt...

Evergreen Topics to Write About – Guide to find them for ANY Industry

Learn how to find ideas and write content that will stay relevant for years to come.

Facebook Ad Spy Tricks! How to Spy on Your Competitor’s Facebook Ads!

Are you about to create a Facebook advertising campaign? Stop! You can cut time spent on research by simply spying on competitor’s Facebook ads. Don’t reinvent the wheel – fine tune the one that’s already being used.

Tips and Tricks to Move Your Growing Business Online

When you run a small business, growth is your #1 priority. This doesn’t necessarily mean that the goal of every entrepreneur is to scale their enterprise into a megacorporation. Rather, a focus on growth is built into every aspect of running a small business. Thing...

Shopify Pricing – Shopify Price Plans Explained

We compare Shopify price plans and discuss in detail what they have to offer in terms of features and value to the user.

Shopify Plans: Understanding Shopify Plans

Shopify can be affordable or downright expensive depending on the price plan you choose. Read on to learn more about the Shopify price plans – their features, costs and their target customers.

How long should your blog post be in order to rank on the first page of Google?

The length of your blog post can have a direct effect on its search rankings. Find out exactly how you can determine the ideal word count for your blog post to help it perform better in SERPs.

9 Tips to Improve Your eCommerce Marketing Strategy

Running a successful ecommerce operation these days requires the backing of an effective marketing strategy. In this post we list 9 actionable tips that can help improve your ecommerce marketing strategy.

How Do I Contact Instagram?

Learn the best way to contact Instagram.


Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Shopify Support: All About Where You Go for Help with Shopify

Learn all the ways you can get in touch with Shopify’s excellent customer support personnel!

YouTube Thumbnail Size Guide and Best Practices 2019

The best YouTube thumbnail size is 1280 x 720 pixels. That means 1280 pixels wide and 720 pixels tall. The minimum width of the thumbnail should be 640 pixels. Ideally, you want to choose a thumbnail with a 16:9 aspect ratio.

Printful Review – Start a Custom T Shirt Printing Business Today!

Learn what Printful is and how you can start a profitable t-shirt business using it.

5 Highly Effective Call to Action Ideas for Your Website CTA!

Learn all about call-to-actions – why they’re important and the best ones to use on your website or blog!

Shopify Support: All About Where You Go for Help with Shopify

Learn all the ways you can get in touch with Shopify’s excellent customer support personnel!

Shopify Partners: Your Questions Answered

Shopify Partners are expert Shopify developers and designers who can help you launch your online store successfully. Read on to learn more about the Shopify Partner program and how to hire the right expert for your next ecommerce project.

Magento vs Shopify: Picking an Ecommerce Platform

We compare Magento and Shopify to help you pick the right platform for your e-commerce business.

WooCommerce Plugins: Free, Premium, Best, and Top Plugins

With thousands of plugins to choose from, WooCommerce users certainly have no shortage of options. But which plugins are the best? Which plugins should every WooCommerce site have? In this roundup, we list the essential WooCommerce plugins – both free and paid – that every Woo site owner should have.