[Intermediate – 110] The Ideal Length of Content Types: Title, Post, Headlines, and Social Media

Great content is one of the most important aspects of an online marketing strategy. Without great content, retaining customers and attracting new ones can be extremely difficult. However, great content is more than just writing content that’s interesting and engaging. Great content involves thinking about everything to do with a piece of content. In this article, we’ll consider the title, and post, which should be reflective of content type.

The length of a piece of content has a significant impact on the user’s level of engagement. It can also impact things like search engine rankings, leads, and conversions.

The Many Forms of Content

When you think about content, especially in marketing, you’re probably thinking about the text on a website page or blog. While certainly right, website pages and blogs are forms of content. Thinking of content as blog text alone is very limiting.

In reality, content is everything including blog posts, tweets, Facebook posts, Outbrain widgets, articles, newsletters, landing pages, text blurbs describing photos or products, titles, title tags, headlines, meta descriptions, page summaries, and more.

Anything that you’re using to describe a business goal or product, or to further your business interests, can be considered content. Obviously, different lengths of content will be appropriate for different content forms.

For Twitter Posts

Twitter is a very important social media platform with millions of users across the world. If your business isn’t already using Twitter, it’s time to start. While Twitter limits tweets to 140 characters or less, the ideal length of a tweet is under 100 characters. According to Twitter Best Practices, tweets that are 100 characters or shorter get a 17 percent higher engagement rate than do their slightly longer counterparts.

Ideal Facebook Post Length

While you might be surprised to hear it, the ideal length of a Facebook post is actually shorter than that of a Twitter post. In a study of retail brands on Facebook, marketing expert Jeff Bullas found that Facebook posts 80 characters or less received a 60 percent higher rate of engagement, and posts that were kept to 40 characters received an 86 percent higher rate of engagement.

With only 40 characters to spare, it’s important that you choose your words wisely. Stick to short, succinct pieces of information that make a point and are interesting, and utilize two or so relevant hashtags.

Six-Word Titles Make a Difference

Knowing the right title length might sound confusing, but according to KISSmetrics, the first three words and the last three words of a headline are the part that makes the biggest impression on the reader. An ideal headline could be a mere six words and still be effective. Other studies, such as the one published in Outbrain’s “How Headline Length Impacts Engagement,” states that the ideal headline is between 60 and 100 characters in length.

Think About Word Number and Time Required to Read for Blog Posts

When it comes to blog posts, word number isn’t the biggest thing to focus on. Instead, the thing that might make the most impact is how long the blog takes to read – if it’s too short, you might not engage the reader enough, nor share the most important information. On the other hand, if it’s too long, the reader might tire of the post, get bored, or simply lose interest. According to Medium, the ideal amount of time that reading a blog should require is seven minutes.

If you want to think about time length in regards to word count, a blog that’s around 1,600 words will probably take about seven minutes time to read for the average person. If you’ve incorporated lots of engaging photos in the post, then the amount of text required will probably be shortened to about 1,000 words.

Keep in mind that tutorial / how-to posts will probably be longer. Because the reader is interacting with it in more than a way that just requires reading, more text may need to be involved. Otherwise, think long and hard about making an excessively long piece, and how engaging it may or may not be to your audience.

Title Tag Know-How

A title tag is the blurb of information that’s displayed both at the very top of a website and on a search engine’s results page (SERP).

An ideal title tag length is 55 characters. If your title tag is more than 60 characters, Google will shorten it with an ellipse when search results are displayed. A title tag should describe exactly what it is the user will be getting themselves into when they click on the link. Make sure it is straightforward, and the reader can see the entire thing in order to increase click-through rate (CTR).

Why Title Length and Content-Length Matters

Content and title length matter because it affects a business’ SERP ranking and conversion rate. Length can be instrumental in driving traffic to your site, getting more links, expanding a social media presence, and increasing revenue.

While content length is extremely important, saying something interesting is equally as important. If you’re trying to force an additional 500 words but just can’t think of anything meaningful to say, don’t. Being authentic and adding value are the only way you can meet your overall business goals.

Aim for content that matches the lengths mentioned above, but keep it natural sounding. Make sure the content flows well and makes sense. If you get to the point where you’re just repeating yourself, you’ve probably overdone it.

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