Unless you’re an SEO expert, you’ve probably wondered at one point or another exactly how long the various pieces of your blog posts should be. Heck, even SEO experts find themselves scratching their heads when they realize the search engine algorithms have changed yet again.
Headlines, title tags, meta descriptions each have a sweet spot, in terms of character and word counts, that make them ideal for search engines and readers alike. If you’re like most business owners—juggling a wide variety responsibilities and always short on time—this quick guide is the perfect go-to resource to help you optimize your blog posts for their ideal lengths.
The Ideal Length of a Headline: 6-10 words, 55 characters
The first and last three words of your headline are the ones that will stand out the most, so anywhere from 6-10 words is a good range to ensure the most important words stand out.
Keep it as short and sweet as possible. Be specific. Let your readers know what they’ll be getting from your post.
The Ideal Length of Paragraph: 4-5 lines, approx. 400 characters
Shorter paragraphs are easier on the reader’s eyes and easier to scan for important information—two things that will keep people reading. Find ways to break up long, solid blocks of text into smaller, 4-line paragraphs.
The Ideal Length of a Blog Post: 1,600 words
Okay, so yes, in terms of SEO, long-form content ranks better. However, that doesn’t necessarily mean that 1,600 word blog posts will work best for you and your audience. In truth, it’s more important to focus on producing well-thought-out, engaging, useful content than it is to focus on word length.
In the end, high-quality content will always serve you well.
The Ideal Length of a Title Tag: 50-55 characters long (60 characters max)
If you want your title to show up in search engine results in all its glory, keep it under 60 characters. Google recently changed the character limit for titles to allow up to 70-71 characters. However, the folks at Google haven’t confirmed that this change is permanent, and considering their proclivity for changing up their algorithms, I would recommend sticking to the old rule for now.
The Ideal Length of a Meta Description: 145-155 (160 characters max)
Google changed the rule on meta descriptions as well, expanding them from two lines to three—an increase of approximately 100 characters. However, as I just mentioned, this change is not yet set in stone and is more likely an A/B test on Google’s part. Err on the side of caution, and keep your meta descriptions in that sweet spot of 145-155 characters.
By optimizing these five parts of your blog to fit within that ideal character or word range, your posts will perform better with your readers and appear better in search engine results. Best of all, reworking your content to fit within these ranges requires minimal effort, so you can get back to the countless other duties that go into growing your business.