Mastering Content Length: Balancing User Intent and SEO Rankings

It’s a big struggle for many webmasters to find the best length of their content because it depends on many factors. The most important factor to consider is the user’s intent.

Google ranks the most valuable content in the top 10 that helps and supports users.

The average ranking length is only the number of data, but the best length depends on how much data users need – and nothing else.

Anatolii Ulitovskyi

It’s a big struggle for many webmasters to find the best length of their content because it depends on many factors. The most important factor to consider is the user’s intent.

Most users know what they want, and don’t want to sit through long-form content. The same issue is with other content: video, audio, social media, and blog posts. Users want a quick transfer of information to their brains. It’s our nature, and nothing is wrong with that.

However, according to many studies, the average content length in the top 10 Google is 1,500 to 2,500 words. Why is that?

Short content usually cannot reply to all possible questions people ask on their keywords to give high positions to the extended content. I like the word “usually” because each case is different.

For example, if you need to know the age of Elon Musk, Google replies to this question in featured snippets. Users are not interested in other related keywords: his biography, achievements, quotes, etc.

If users’ intent demands fast and simple answers, then you don’t need to create a long piece of content with other related keywords. Short content ranks much higher than longer pieces.

It would be excellent if you could create such content and provide all the details in a small piece, but in most cases, it is not easy because users have more questions and need more answers.

How to figure out the best length?

Best content length

Analyze search results in the top 10 and relate them with your experience in a particular niche. If you see that Google ranks short pieces, then probably it’s not a good idea to create long content, and vice versa.

Let’s analyze examples.

Search on Google for the keyword “buy a smartphone”. Most results are eCommerce catalogs with various brands: Apple, Samsung, Moto, etc. Customers are ready to buy with this keyword and don’t need to read a lot.

If the main keyword is “how to choose a smartphone,” this intent demands more details and explanations. Of course, you can write shorter and longer, but the main goal is to share more value than ranking content in the top 10.

Content creators often rely on experience and adaptability to create best-ranking content. SEO testing is part of the process. For example, if you feel that most websites rank in the top 10 because of their authority and branding with short pieces, then outrank them with satisfying much better users’ intent and saving time for users.

Conclusion

Google ranks the most valuable content in the top 10 that helps and supports users. The average ranking length is only the number of data, but the best length depends on how much data users need – and nothing else.