Content is a puzzling animal. Hard to pin down, harder to understand. Every content writer and marketer wonders, at one point or the other, whether he is writing enough -- or whether he is putting his audience to sleep.
How long should a blog post be? What is the ideal length of an eye-catching headline? Should you use up all the characters in a tweet or not? Do mile-long social media updates really work? These questions and more constantly peck at the writer, who more often than not, has to depend on his instinct and experience, to figure out the answers.
The good news is, in recent times, there has been solid research on the topic of ideal length and there is information available about the value of writing or posting at certain lengths. These are scientific guidelines based on several factors. Following them might just make that blog post or that tweet stand out from the clutter.
Content that is SEO-ready
Social media gurus and SEO experts have one golden rule for online content and it is this: “Every piece of content must be as long as it takes to convey the message, and no longer.”
If this rule is followed, then it automatically means that a writer’s flourishes and fanciful forays might not really work online; getting carried away might not either.
What works in search marketing?
When you are publishing content on behalf of clients, it is important to constantly test whether the content you have provided is working or not. And for this to happen, it is necessary to create a data-driven analysis that focusses on all types of content.
Let us now examine some of these guidelines for ideal content length.
Ideal tweet length: Experts advise tweets to be around 71 to 100 characters. It has been found that tweets shorter than 100 characters have a 17 per cent higher engagement rate.
Facebook posts: Keep it to 40. Research tells us that posts with 40 characters or less receive 86 per cent more engagement.
Opening paragraphs: Opening paragraphs with characters not exceeding 55 and in larger fonts are easier for the reader and eventually more attractive. They will also help the reader focus and jump to the next paragraph more smoothly.
Domain names: Domain names must not exceed 8 characters. They ought to be short, catchy, easy to remember, and must not contain any special characters or numbers.
Hashtags: Just like domain names, hashtags should not exceed 6 characters and must not use spaces or special characters. Also, take care to use language that is acceptable to all.
Subject lines: Email subject lines are crucial -- if they confuse the reader, he will not proceed further. They should be to the point and nothing fancy and ideally should not contain more than 40 characters.
Title tags: Title tags must not exceed 60 characters else they will be shortened with an ellipsis -- which does not really work optimally for search marketing.