What should be the length of text for a website?
It is difficult to imagine at least one website without appropriate text content. This is necessary in order, first of all, to provide visitors with answers to their questions, tell them about your products, services, ordering features, etc. Text content is also important for search bots. In many ways, their decision to assign a site a particular position in search results is based precisely on the materials posted on a particular page. And here, every resource owner faces a very pressing question: how to prepare text content for a particular page so that it turns out to be useful to both people and search bots, contributed to increasing brand loyalty from potential buyers, worked for business.
Now let’s look at this issue in more detail, focusing on different parameters.
Some statistics about how the human brain processes data
Each letter for the human brain is a separate image that must be seen, identified, and also connected to each other in order to form a word, sentence, and so on. That is, a banal reading of one paragraph of text will require the human brain to perform a fairly impressive amount of work. Statistics show that even well-written material can hold the reader’s interest for an average of 7 minutes. And this is approximately 1500 words or 10,000 characters. Next, you need either a break, or simply abandonment of subsequent study of the material if its volume turns out to be larger.
But here it is also important to pay attention to what method of transmitting content is used in a particular case. Research shows that after reading a text, a person remembers the general information contained in it. But if we talk about specifics, then on average this will be no more than 10% of what was written. Data that will be presented in the form of infographics and pictures is remembered much better. Moreover, 90% of the studied material is stored in short-term memory. On average, 3 days after studying the material, a person is able to remember about half of what he read before.
All the content that is presented in books will be very limited in its presentation. The fact is that there are a number of restrictions and recommendations that must be followed when creating a printed publication. In this regard, Internet platforms provide much wider opportunities for the implementation of ideas. Plain text can be supplemented with photographs, graphs, training videos and many other techniques that will complement what is said in the material, and in some cases, even expand it.
Research also shows that adding multimedia to text content increases its marketing value. The explanation here is quite banal: why waste time reading if you can watch a short video and get acquainted with everything that is presented in a fairly voluminous material. But we would like to answer right away that in this case, memorability will be significantly lower than when reading. To a significant extent, the convenience of working with content is enhanced by thoughtful structuring of the text, the presence of headings, subheadings, bulleted and numbered lists.
Why are we saying all this? The fact that the creation of any text content must be approached as comprehensively and comprehensively as possible. If you want to create material that will really appeal to visitors and have a positive impact on the development of your business, then you need to understand this issue in detail. In particular, we will consider 3 key aspects:
- Text templates.
- Recommendations for texts from an SEO point of view.
- Optimal text length.
Let's look at each of these questions in more detail.
Possible text templates
Relatively recently, an opinion has emerged according to which a person does not read the text on the monitor, but literally scans it. And every day this theory is gaining more and more fans. Therefore, in this case, when creating content, it is necessary to proceed from the fact that the headings must be sufficiently compressed, paragraphs — no more than 500 characters (about 5 lines). It is best to highlight the main points in bold or in a highly readable color. It is also important to adhere to the column width: optimally up to 10 words.
So, based on these recommendations and its own developments, the Nielsen Norman Group, which today can be called a trendsetter in the field of UX consulting, has created a number of templates for digital content. Everything is based on how the human eye focuses on the Internet page:
- F. In this case, we are talking about the fact that a person looks at the entire text content, but along a contour reminiscent of the letter “F”. He doesn't pay attention to headings or lists. So a person who reads from right to left will easily perceive even unstructured information. But we would like to draw your attention to the fact that if the material is presented in Arabic, then the letter “F” in this case it will be upside down.
- Spotted pattern. This pattern is based on how the human eye tracks information on a monitor. During the study, a so-called “heat map” was compiled. She showed how a person fixes his gaze on certain words, highlights in the text, the presence of links or another style. That is, here we are talking more about selective acquaintance with the contents of the material. One gets the impression that a person is looking for some specific information, such as an order form, a link to an internal page, etc.
- Layer cake. This pattern assumes that the human eye focuses on headings, subheadings, and lists. It seems that the person simply ignores all unstructured content. That is, he pays attention to what is most important to him. And its main task is just to determine what the material is about, without really delving into the essence itself.
- Commitment. This name was given to the template, which indicates how loyal users are to the brand itself. It is assumed that in this case the person will completely read all the material, literally from the first to the last letter. Such actions are taken by motivated people who are well acquainted with the brand itself, the products, and all this is associated with reliability and quality. Accordingly, such a person assumes that he will benefit from the material he read.
Predict in advance how this or that person will read your content, on which parts of it his gaze will focus on is impossible. But, analyzing all these templates, one simple conclusion can be drawn: the material in any case must be structured. It should contain elements that the eye will cling to. A solid sheet can only attract the attention of those who use the commitment pattern, that is, they are more than loyal to your brand.
What should be the ideal text for the Internet?
We have already indicated that the high-quality text that you plan to place on Internet pages should be structured, supplemented with images or videos, designed in accordance with its topic using certain templates. All this is designed to make it more convenient to read and perceive, and will encourage users to read your content rather than skip it.
And now a few words directly about the length of the text. We have already mentioned that optimally this parameter should be about 900-1000 words. If the number of words in the material is less, this will automatically reduce the effectiveness of building an internal link mass. If we think from this point of view, then experts here recommend writing texts 1800-3000 words long. Research results show that their link mass will work on average 15 times more effectively than materials containing no more than 600 words.
It is also very important to take into account which pages you are preparing content for. So, if we talk about a blog, then the recommendations of the YOAST SEO plugin from WordPress indicate that the ideal text length should be 300-1000 words. You can safely trust the advice of this site, since this application is designed specifically for optimizing blog sites for the requirements of search engines.
It is impossible to say unequivocally which text will be better and which will be worse from the point of view of both search bots and ordinary Internet users. But here we need to point out that the times when users asked phrases consisting of 2-3 words in the search bar are already a thing of the past. Today, people have a better understanding of what exactly they want to find on the Internet, which means that they set the most accurate and correct queries, the length of which can reach 10 words. The search engine also adapted to these features. So, for example, Google, in response to a long query, is capable of returning content up to 2000 words long.
But still, when creating text content for Internet pages, you must in any case adhere to one simple rule: if your content is interesting, if it has benefits for the target audience, if you present it as readable, simple and easy to use perception, then there is no point in limiting its length. It will be simply wonderful if you manage to cover a comprehensive and truly interesting topic in one material. And believe me, it will be received positively by both ordinary users and search engine bots.
Among bloggers and developers of marketing analytics, the opinion is becoming more and more widespread every day that blogs on social networks should not be very short either. Studies have shown that materials over 1,500 words that are promoted using Twitter or Facebook received an average of 30% more reactions from users than short posts.
So, good text from the point of view of content marketing of search engines and directly to the user audience — this is the one that will:
- structured and easy to read;
- interesting and educational;
- expand to the fullest extent user requests;
- optimized for search engine requirements.
Everyone benefits from this. Search bots perform page indexing quickly and easily. Users find material that answers their questions; they are happy to share it with their acquaintances, subscribers and friends on social networks. The business wins in any case: the site develops, attracts leads, users are satisfied and return to the resource again and again.
And yet it is impossible to say which text length will be the most ideal for both search engines and people. Despite the fact that content on the Internet has existed for a very, very long time, there is still no so-called “golden recipe” for creating content. perfect text. The fact is that the requirements for it are largely determined by the specifics of the business itself, the characteristics of the audience it was counting on, such as this very content. It is also very important to consider where exactly this content will be published. It’s one thing if this is the main page of the site, pages with a product catalog, a blog or the same social networks. In the latter case, it is also necessary to take into account which specific sites we are talking about. Thus, the same Facebook is more loyal to text materials, while Instagram relies on photo and video content, and Twitter, in principle, has a number of restrictions on the number of characters.
What should you do in this case to fill your resource with really good content? You can parse your competitors, see what material they offer, what queries they use to promote this or that page. Next, look at what position they occupy in search results. Based on the information received, you can choose the text length that will be ideal for you.
But there are still a number of recommendations that it is advisable for everyone to follow; I would like to create truly high-quality and exciting content.
Recommendations for creating text content
Use the following recommendations and you will be able to get material that can safely be called ideal:
- The material you provide must correspond as closely as possible to the stated topic and reveal it. At the same time, it is important to observe the so-called “brand voice”: a general style that emphasizes the individuality of your company and increases its recognition. It should be the same everywhere: on the website, on social networks, in advertising, etc. Text content can be supplemented with images, videos, quotes.
- Increase the read rate of your emails. Did you know that almost 90% of all Internet users make decisions about whether to open an email or not based on its title. Here it is impossible to say what length will be optimal, because the more important parameter will be its content. It should show users that there is something interesting and useful for them inside the letter. But still, experts recommend not making the length more than 45-50 characters (including spaces). Otherwise, the entire phrase will not fit on the screen of an average smartphone. This means that users will not be able to read it completely. Accordingly, the email opening rate also decreases.
- Posts on social networks — these are not necessarily short notes. If you provide site material that will truly be of interest to the user, if you complement it with an original visual component, then such a message will resonate with your readers more than a short note. But still, it is recommended to initially study the requirements for the number of characters in a post, which are in effect today in a number of social networks.
- Make the descriptions of categories and products in your online stores as readable as possible. You will need to create interesting content, think through its structure, and fill it with relevant keywords. That is, it should be easy to read. Just a few years ago, “accordion” was actively used on websites. This is when, instead of large text, only a few lines of it were displayed on the page, and all the material could be seen only after clicking on the “Continue” button. or “Read more”. Today it has been proven that material divided into separate blocks will be much easier to perceive than similar sheets. And here it is important to proceed from what kind of material we are talking about. In some cases, it is impossible to do without a long description that fully reveals the topic.
- And lastly: when creating content, proceed from what is interesting to your target audience. Imagine how its representatives will see this or that page of your resource, what information would be useful for you to read. Also think about ways to communicate with representatives of the target audience. Think about how this or that material will be displayed on the screen of different devices. And in no case do not forget about key queries, because they are very, very relevant when creating content.
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