If you’ve been publishing on your blog for any amount of time, at some point you will begin to wonder what the ideal blog post length should be? Should your posts be longer, or shorter?
For the most part, blog post length doesn’t matter; there’s been plenty of success with short and long-length posts. However, there is a way for you to calculate how many words, on average, your current readers are reading on your blog.
This article is to help you find your blogs ideal length.
Before we go any further, this article will only be helpful if you’ve been writing consistently for at least three months and you’re tracking your websites traffic in Google Analytics.
Step 1: Open Google Analytics
Step 2: Increase your data date range
In the top right hand corner, increase the date range to at least the past three months. This will give you enough quantitative data to produce reliable results.
Step 3: Review “Site Content” Data
In the left hand navigation, scroll down to “Content”, click on “Site Content” and select “All Pages”. This will display the top 10 articles posted on your website in the date select you choose in step two.
Step 4: Retrieve “Avg Time on Page”
In the fourth column from the right, you’ll see “Avg. Time on Page”, write down that number. You’re going to need it in a moment.
Step 5: Convert the “Avg Time on Page” to a number
In order to calculate the number we’re looking for, we need to convert the time into a number. For example, the Avg. Time on Page for my site is 4 minutes and 37 seconds. Here’s how you convert it to a number:
- Using a calculator, divide 37/60 = .616666 or .62
- Now you’ve converted the time of 4:37 into the number 4.62
Step 6: Calculate the average number of words your readers read per post
Our next step is to take our Avg. Time on Page number and times it by the number of words that a reader reads per minute: 180. Using your calculator, multiply the following:
4.62 X 180 = 831.6 or 832
By using these steps, you can gain a little insight into how much time your readers are spending on your site, and then cater each blog post to that number.
In the case of this blog, we now know that the average reader reads about 832 words before they move on.
What the Experts are Doing
I tend to look at things analytically, so I thought I would do some research on how long some of my favorite bloggers posts are. The following results are based on averaging the number of words in each of the bloggers five most recent posts:
- MichaelHyatt.com – 862 words per post
- CopyBlogger.com – 1124 words per post
- SethGodin.com – 193 words per post
- GoinsWriter.com – 667 words per post
- ProBlogger.com – 712 words per post
When you average this list, that’s 712 words per post.
Each blogging community is unique in content and readers. The number of variables that weigh in on the length of time people spend on a post is too numerous to consider. However, what’s important is that you understand who your readers are and what they want. There’s no better way of grasping that than studying their behavior patterns on your own site.
What is your sites average number of words?