Back in the days of HubSpot’s classic blog tool, content writers were greeted with this warning message whenever their blog post didn’t hit the magic threshold of 600 words. And while HubSpot shows the warning as a reminder to create more engaging content, sometimes the most engaging content doesn’t need 600 words worth of copy accompanying it.
On top of that, content marketers have also been living with the false idea that blog posts (and web pages in general) need a certain amount of words in order to receive full SEO credit. Did you hear that? Let me make myself clear: Google does NOT require a minimum word count for page indexing.
That being said, though Google might not care about the quantity of the words used, they DO care about the quality. And though most reports will say that longer content is more effective for SEO, it’s mostly because longer content provides more opportunities to use keywords, images, and other features that boost your SEO efforts. Take a look at the graph below, for example:
As you can see, pages in the #1 position of the SERPs have an average word count of over 2,450 words. That’s a lot of opportunities to align your message with your audience’s search behavior! Despite this fact, however, most blog posts don’t come near the 2,500-word threshold – let alone 600!
With that in mind, a lot of businesses are hesitant to share short blog posts in fear of their content not being effective. They wonder:
“Will I even get SEO credit for this?”
“Is my audience expecting more from me? Am I letting them down?”
“Will people think I don’t know what I’m talking about if I don’t say enough?”
While we already know the answer to the first question (yes), it’s hard to find evidence that answers the next two. In fact, the only people who can answer those questions are your audience themselves.
As you begin to write your blog post, regardless of its potential length, you should always be focused on meeting the needs of your target audience. Though you wish you could always write insightful blog posts that generate high-quality lead after high-quality lead, sometimes your potential clients aren’t looking for that. Instead, sometimes they’re just looking for a tidbit of information or a simple helping hand.
That’s where short blog posts come in.
Take this post by HubSpot, for example. As I was working on my most recent blog post, I came across a snare in the formatting. After finding several tweets that I wanted to embed in my post, I realized that I couldn’t center align them by simply clicking the “center align button.” Not to be outdone by a formatting issue, I quickly typed my problem into Google and found a pretty reliable source as the first result.
Following the link, I was met by a brief introductory paragraph before being whizzed through a quick, 4-step guide on center aligning a tweet. In fact, in less than 5 minutes I was able to find the post, follow the guide, and center align the tweets in my own blog (exactly what I was hoping to do).
The best part of it all? It only took 450 words to explain how. And, with over 780 shares across the 4 major social media sites, it just goes to show that even short content can reach a long way.
Though short posts are less likely to make prospects drop what they’re doing and become customers on the spot, they’re still posts that prospects find extremely useful and increase your brand’s position as a thought leader in your industry. In fact, by previously helping prospects solve their problems, they will subconsciously gravitate towards your familiar content when seeking out solutions to new problems – regardless of post length.
Posted by Alex Sobal Alex has exceptional writing skills and the ability to learn new industries and their complex processes. While at Weidert Group, he was also an avid social media marketer and wrote frequently on online community engagement and content creation strategies for our blog.