For Brevity’s Sake: In Defense of Short Content

In contributor Joel Klettke’s shortest post ever, he takes a stand on short content.

short contentThis will be my shortest post on this blog.

Buffer’s now-famous “Ideal Length of Everything Online,” pegs the ideal length of a blog post at seven minutes, or 1,600 words.

SERP IQ analyzed post lengths for SEO and found that sites ranking in the top 10 across 20,000 keywords all had at least 2,000 words. Bill Sebald explained that Google needs sufficient content to judge semantic relevance.

Quicksprout’s Neil Patel’s testing showed that his shortened landing page generated fewer and worse leads than the longer variant. He also pointed out Moz’s old 2011 test showing longer posts got more links.

Marketers are in love with long content.

But Nadine Diaz claims in an Inc. article that a 2015 trend in content marketing will be the need for content marketers to keep it brief. And while Neil Patel’s old landing page for Crazy Egg rang in at 1,209 words, his new variation is less than 250.

And what about other content types? The ideal YouTube video tops out at three minutes, but TED Talks ramp WAAAAY up to 18. Podcasts can go even longer—22 minutes, but on Vine, it’s six seconds of video tops—plenty with engagement numbers into the multimillions.

The ideal length of a tweet is 71 to 100 characters, while curiously, a Facebook post should be just 40, and email subject lines just 10 (good luck coming up with one).

And as some anecdotal evidence, I always read the shortest stories in my “Chicken Soup for the Soul” book when I’m taking a bathroom break.

What gives?

For Brevity’s Sake: In Defense of Short Content

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