Dumb SEO Questions

(Entry was posted by Tatsat Savsani on this post in the Dumb SEO Questions community on Facebook, Thursday, August 23, 2018).

Will user engagement drop off if the article is longer than 500 words?

Need Suggestion

I hired a content writer who have been providing articles in two parts.. like properties of xyz - part 1 and properties of xyz - part 2 each about 500 words

I asked him the reason of doing so, he said the user engagement drops off if the article is longer than 500 words. I really dont believe that. I have a page with more than 3000 word and its gives the highest conversion. Still wanted to make sure if what he says is true or not and why he is saying so

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Selected answers from the Dumb SEO Questions G+ community.

  • Dan Sylvester: Honestly there is no blanket rules in SEO. Depending on the kind of article and the audience. Personally I`ve found myself unable to read 1000++ words in one stretch. And get distracted and eventually closing the tab.But I`ve read some of Simo`s guides on tag manager that are really long. The anecdote is primarily to point out there are alot of factors, you need to figure out which works for you the best.
  • Khalid Saleh: Our best articles are more than 5000 words. There is no rule when it comes to this. If you are putting your thoughts on a topic, 500 words might be plenty. But if you are trying to explain a concept, 500 words might be too little. I would google the topic and take a look at the top ranking articles, then see if you articles provide more value and insights.
  • Tatsat Savsani: The issue is most of the articles are in continuations... like say benefits of Protine powder. Now I would like to see the entire list of benefits. but he has been sending 5 in one blog and remaining 5 on another.
  • Khalid Saleh: Hmmm, I would put them in one article in that case.
  • Lisa Brown: I`d put them in one article too. It sounds like the writer is trying to optimize for ad views or something by stringing the content out over multiple clicks.
  • Michael Martinez: "User engagement" is a remarkably ambiguous topic. People stop reading a page when they lose interest, either because they have satisfied their curiosity or because they lose interest. Writing short articles to beat them to the end of the page is not the mark of a good writer. (Yes, I wrote "lose interest" twice because that`s a remarkably ambiguous topic, too.)
  • Michael Martinez: BTW, if you are paying "per post" you may find the writer is more cooperative if you pay "per word". But then, I would still take what they are doing with a grain of salt.
  • Jeff Ferguson: It might be, but playing averages never gets you ahead.
  • Ammon Johns: I`m a cynical old soul at times, so my first thought is that the writer`s contract is such that he is paid per article, and that each article needs to be 500 words or more. He`s maximising his profit, which is the sensible thing to do. What may not have been so sensible was structuring the deal around the length of article, rather than the quality and effectiveness, in the first place. People mostly attempt to do what is best for them, and so the way you incentivise things, and what you make most rewarding, are key parts of what you`ll get in return.
  • David Ogletree: That is a very good point.
  • Tatsat Savsani: Apparently, it looks like he is trying to achieve the word goal, at the end of part 1 and the beginning of part 2 are both mostly waffle about the next article or previous article respectively.I just combined two articles to one and almost removed 250 words
  • Ammon Johns: Tatsat Savsani my advice would be to think about how you might have better structured the contract to incentivise the quality you want, which usually has no relationship to things like word-counts etc. Perhaps something with a basic rate which is okay, but a bonus payment structure that is based on the amount of links, shares, and activity that makes the pay generous indeed, but only when it performs.Then fire him under the current contract and give him a chance to apply for the new one, along with other candidates.

View original question in the Dumb SEO Questions community on Facebook, Thursday, August 23, 2018).

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