2 Case Studies of Word Counts on Blogging
How long should a blog article be? Well we decided to test just that. Quality of course is number one but then how long the article should be to keep the audience engaged is also key. Being that we are not on the inside of the search engines algorithms, we here at 98toGo only know how to test the results by varying the size of each blog post.
Increased Word Counts from 425 to 600 Words
We looked at clients that were consistent in putting out content and then changed only one variable -- length of posts. Prior to the change, our clients were posting articles that were averaging 425 words per posts. Then we moved the article length to approx. 600 words. Note that the Google Penguin 1 update began April 24, 2012. Penguin 2.0 started on April 11 which is when the organic traffic begin to slide for the lower word count posts. Penguin was established to penalize sites that had poor quality content. We think that had something to do with size of posts. In May of 2012, we begin increasing the size of this client below from 400 words to 650 words per posts.
Increase from 600 to 800 Words per Post
In our 2nd case study, in late June, we moved from 600 words per post to over 800 words per blog post. The September year over year was up 79% in organic traffic growth. There was no additional content creation and no changes were made from an SEO standpoint. This case study was completed with the idea of keeping other variables constant.
We have concluded that content is still king and having the right amount of content can improve your favorability with the search engines. If you have been consistently blogging less than 400 words per post and are getting some results or maybe you have recently seen a dip due to the Penguin updates, try adding more depth to your posts and give us feedback here.
Measuring Results by Search Engine
The Google analytics chart below shows a comparison of Google, Bing and Yahoo. Just like we suspected, it appears that Google rewards content more so than Bing by 2:1 and Yahoo by a 8:1. It makes sense to us in that Google has so much more to gain (or lose) by having up to date and engaging content. I'm the type that if I go looking for a topic and do not see recent results (ie. this year), I'm going to poke around another search engine to see if there are more recent results. Chances are you will be more likely to see more relevant and up to date content on Google based on how they are rewarding sites based on our case study.
We hope this analysis of word count in your blogs and how it can translate into traffic increases has been useful. Please do post below if you have seen similar results or have done similar types of case studies on length of blog posts and its affect on traffic.