Content Marketing

Perfect Length: Achieving Optimal Articles with Length Checks

Unlock the secrets of article length for optimal SEO and reader engagement. Discover the importance and benefits while answering your questions about article length.

Sherice Jacob

What’s the right length for an article? How many words should an article have? Do you really need an article length checker? These are questions all good content creators and publishers have asked themselves and for good reason: The length of an article not only mattress for search engine optimization reasons, but it also has to keep readers engaged, entertained and informed. 

An article that’s too dry or uninteresting creates a high bounce rate which can have a negative effect on rankings. Conversely, an article that’s unique, interesting and thought-provoking increases on-page “dwell time” which increases the chances of that page ranking higher in Google and other search engines. Finding the right balance is equal parts art and science. Let’s take a closer look at what’s involved: 

Why Does Article Length Matter?

Understanding the length of an article is crucial to making sure every piece of content you create matches your readers’ expectations. For example, search engines tend to favor longer content because it provides more comprehensive coverage of a topic. But at the same time, humans have very short attention spans, and if an article isn’t structured well, longer content might seem intimidating (think a wall of text) or could cause their attention to waver. 

At the same time, shorter articles might lack depth and not provide the user with the information or answers they were looking for. 

What Influences the Length of an Article?

When you dig a little deeper under the surface, there are actually several answers to the questions of “how long should an article be?” Before you grab the nearest article length  checker, consider answering the following questions: 

  • What are the goals of the article? If you’re writing a more informative piece, you’ll need to go into more detail than you would if you were writing an opinion piece.

  • Who is your audience? If your readers are professionals, they might be looking for a more detailed analysis. If they’re more into quick tips, a listicle may be a better approach.

  • What platform will you use? Everything from blogs to academic journals has general standards for how long a piece should be.

  • How complex is the topic? Depending on who you’re writing for and what the topic is about, you may need to go into a deeper explanation for more complex subjects.

Capturing the Right Article Length

In order to hit the optimal article length for any type of publication, whether you’re writing for your own blog, writing an article, writing an opinion piece or anything else, it’s important to have a basic structure in mind: 

Start with an Outline

Every great piece begins with a great outline. This helps prevent you from going off on tangents and keeps the scope of your article intact and on track. 

Write Out Your Key Points

Figure out what you should cover in order to meet the goals of the article and then stick to those points as you work your way through each one. 

Use Subheadings

Subheadings help break up long chunks of text and make an article more visually “digestible” and scannable by your reader. Subheadings are also good for search engine optimization! If a topic is particularly extensive, consider breaking it up into parts. 

Break Up Content

Large or small, every piece of content benefits from different types of content pieces within it, like infographics, bullet points, lists, and other points that would ordinarily take up much more space if they were written out. 

Deliver Value

Last but certainly not least, every paragraph of your piece should deliver value. If it isn’t new information or insights, it’s just taking up space.  

Article Length Checks Made Easy

There are several ways that you can implement a length check in your articles. Here are some of our favorite technological tools that function as an article length checker for your writing: 

Word Processors

Many of today’s word processing programs and platforms go beyond simple word counts to help you check readability, improve grammar and much more to make your content more accessible to your audience. 

SEO Tools

Numerous SEO tools including Yoast, SEMRush and Ahrefs can provide recommendations for how long your article should be based on the keywords you’re targeting and who your competition is in the search engines. Try our own content optimization tool to help you choose the best keywords for your article. It even includes a GPT prompt to help you reach a specific length if your content’s coming up a bit short! 

Plagiarism Checkers

Beyond just an article length checker, numerous tools can also help you check for plagiarism. Although it’s not specifically tied to article lengths, if your articles tend to be wordy or repetitive, the plagiarism checker will pick up on that and alert you to it. Originality.AI’s plagiarism checker can also optionally be used to detect AI writing. 

Readability Checkers

Readability checkers, like Originality.AI’s own free readability tool can help you check your text for an approximate measure of grade level, readability, sentence length and complexity. Our specific tool checks nearly a dozen different formulas, giving you a complete 360-degree view of how readable your text is. 

Content Optimization Tools

AI tools like ChatGPT can help you take a closer look at your writing, including making it more concise, removing redundant words and helping to shore up your writing without taking away the meaning and impact of it. 

Text-to-Speech Software

Hearing your content be read aloud by text to speech software can be an enlightening experience in terms of its length and pacing. Many word processing programs have a built-in read aloud feature that can help with this. There are also several free tools on the web. 

Content Management Systems

Numerous content management systems, including Wordpress, have built-in SEO and readability tools that can help you tweak your content or optimize your article length for better reader engagement. 

Time-To-Read Estimators

There are several free online time-to-read estimators, which will give you an approximate reading time for your article. Wordpress also offers a similar tool for your blog content. 

Using an Article Length Checker: Your Next Steps

There is no one size fits all answer to “what is the right article length?” You’ll need to consider your audience’s expectations, your chosen platform, how complex your subject matter is, the SEO for the article and much more. As a writer or content creator, you’ll need to carefully weigh these factors in order to create articles that engage and inform your readers while performing well in the search engines.

Technology can be an invaluable tool when you need article text checkers. Sophisticated word processing programs, SEO tools and even entire blogging platforms exist to help you fine-tune your articles, check readability, estimate time to read and much more. 

However, it’s important to remember that technology is designed to build on your judgment, not replace it. A human touch is still very necessary and things like nuance, emotion and subtlety can’t be replicated by algorithms. It’s a delicate balancing act, but one that you can reach by keeping in mind who you’re writing for and why.

Sherice Jacob

Plagiarism Expert Sherice Jacob brings over 20 years of experience to digital marketing as a copywriter and content creator. With a finger on the pulse of AI and its developments, she works extensively with Originality.AI to help businesses and publishers get the best returns from their Content.

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