The following transcript was taken from InSights, a staffing and recruiting podcast from Haley Marketing Group dedicated to providing quick-hitting takeaways on Social Recruiting, Content Marketing and Employer Branding. To listen to the episode, click play on the player above or visit the episode page [InSights] A Marketing Lesson from Amazon

How Long Should a Staffing Blog Post Be?

Brad Bialy: Matt, I want to ignore SEO for this question, because I’d love to bring Dan Hong from our team back to chat about that in a future episode, but from a content creation standpoint, how long should the ideal blog post be?

Matt Lozar: That’s a good question, Brad.

Matt Lozar:  I’m going to go back to a writing tip that I heard a long time ago. This is not strictly staffing related or recruiting-related. It’s following your style almost as a speaker, and your personality. I feel like a tip I heard a long time ago, and I think is very accurate is when you read content by someone, you want to be able to sound like they’re speaking to you, and I think your writing style has to match that. If it’s a longer post or a shorter post, how are you able to communicate clearly to your audience the point you want to make?

Brad Bialy: For me, the ideal content length really doesn’t exist. We need to think about just answering that question, being of value to the end reader. It might be long-form content over that thousand words, two thousand word threshold. It might be short-form content, answering a question in a quick 200, 300 words.

Brad Bialy: When I think about the ideal content length, I think, Matt, you make a great point here, it comes down to understanding what you’re trying to say, and conveying that message in as succinct a way as possible, but doing it on your terms, doing what you ultimately want to do.

Matt Lozar: It’s trying to find that balance because, in the digital world, we don’t have a limit.

Matt Lozar: We don’t have the limit that we had in the written word, or as my tenth grade English teacher, Mrs. Z. said, diarrhea of the pen is what you would have. Even though you were typing it, it was still on a paper, but we’re not confined as much in the electronic digital world.

Matt Lozar: This is something I struggle with a lot, being able to write something succinctly and clearly so an audience that isn’t as familiar with your topic can understand it works very well.

Brad Bialy: When we look at data at Haley Marketing Group, and what we would challenge you to do is also look at the data of your blog, what we see across the board is that there’s really not a defined word length that equates to success on a blog.

Brad Bialy: I know a lot of SEO specialists, and as I mentioned, I wanted to bring on our SEO Strategist, Dan Hoang, later to talk about the length of content from an SEO standpoint. A lot of individuals will say, well, you need long-form content to rank well at Google.

If Post Length Doesn’t Matter…What Does?

Brad Bialy: I can tell you from personal examples at Haley Marketing Group, that we have a short form article right now that is outperforming any other content that we’ve produced this year because it’s indexed really well in Google, it’s answering a great question, and it’s of utmost value to that end-user so Google is favoring it above others.

Brad Bialy: This always comes back to answering the question the best that you can. Google wants to be a search engine that returns answers. If you have the best answer to that question, you’re going to get ranked, you’re going to show well.

Matt Lozar: Another tip could be, try different lengths of blog posts, of content because maybe your audience wants to see 300-word blog posts, or 800-word blog posts. Brads talks about answering the question, that’s a really good answer because there probably isn’t a set length. If the question requires just a quick, 200-word post, go with it. If it requires three, four, five subsections, then find a way to break that down so you can answer that question and develop your points, and provide really good takeaways for the audience coming back to your blog posts.

Brad Bialy: We’ve said that before, that you don’t know what type of content is going to resonate well with your audience, it’s just like the evening news.

Brad Bialy: Some people might get their news from Twitter, in a real short tweet. Some people might watch the evening news at night, and some might read the entire newspaper.

Brad Bialy: If you have a candidate coming to your website, you might find that some candidates want that long-form, really detailed blog post, and others just want to get the answer to their question, and they want to get on with their day.

Experiment with Different Post Lengths

Brad Bialy: Matt, I love the point of really thinking through different forms of content, creating this library of content, this arsenal of content, so that individuals with different specialties, with different needs have a resource available to them.

Matt Lozar: Digging back to Brad’s point of looking at your analytics, looking at your data, looking at the results, do more of what’s working, or adjust what isn’t working.

Matt Lozar: In your content plan that we talked about way back, I think it was episode one, your content calendar for the upcoming months, or quarter, or for the year, maybe are working on 300-500 word posts, and that’s not working. Maybe try one or two that are 750 words, or maybe try one that’s 150, 200 words and see if it resonates with your audience.

Matt Lozar: There’s no set formula, I think, other than just looking at the question, looking at your past data, and putting in three, four different factors, and coming up with that right formula for your website, for your social content … that you’re sharing on social, excuse me, and for the audience engaging with your blog posts.

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