Content marketing has quickly proven to be an extremely efficient method of reaching and interacting with all types of audience members, blogging in particular. Through the words that you write you have the power to address pain points that your customers are facing, keep them up to date on industry news, and create a forum where they can interact with your brand and with other customers.
In addition to relationship building, blog posts also have the potential to draw in new visitors and increase awareness for your brand. However, the subject of your post is only a small part of the recipe when it comes to creating content that is high-performing. In order to discover what other elements were important, marketing company SEMrush conducted a study where they analyzed over 700,000 blog posts that on average receive between 50,000 and 500,000 unique monthly pageviews. The performance of each post was analyzed according to traffic, engagement on social media and backlinks.
Looking at the differences between the higher-performing posts and the lower performing ones, they were able to discern the key ingredients that were needed in order to create that perfect piece of content:
It may appear that a blog post with a shorter headline would grab more attention than a longer headline, but this is not the case. When compared to posts with headlines that contained between 7 and 10 words, the lengthier headlines (14 words or more) received 2x more traffic and social shares, and 5x more backlinks. This increase in engagement could come from the notion that a longer headline gives more insight into the topic of the post, and is better at enticing people to read and share it.
Headlines can be tricky business. Not only should you take length into consideration, but the type of headline can also play a factor. There are various types of headlines and ways that you can use them to draw interest. How-to’s, guides, lists, and questions are some of the most popular headline types. It’s no surprise that blog post headlines that include list elements receive 2x more traffic and social shares, the layout and scannable nature of lists is appealing to readers looking for a quick read. Comparatively, headlines containing elements of how-tos or questions receive more backlinks, as customers often look to blog posts first to help solve their problems before turning to methods that cost money.
Just like headline length, the length of your blog post also plays a role in how well your content performs. Readers don’t want to get bogged down scrolling through a novel, but they don’t want a one-paragraph post either. For a better performing post, your word count should hit the 3,000-wordmark. Posts with more than 3,000 words tend to receive 3x more traffic, 4x more social shares, and 3.5x more backlinks.
This length is just long enough to be thorough and informative, without taking up too much of a reader’s time. If your content tends to lean more towards a shorter form, don’t worry. As long as your audience is responding the way that you want them to, then there’s no need to change your strategy.
If you’d like to learn more about creating high-performing content, click on the banner below to schedule your free 30-minute consultation with us today.