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Time to Nail it; The Ideal Length of Your Online Content

Online content writers and editors sometimes find it difficult to determine the exact length of their articles. Especially for upcoming writers and bloggers, it is quite puzzling as to how much they should actually write. How much a reader will actually read and what is the ideal length that will keep them interested in your articles. The case is valid for other articles such as social media posts, advertisements, blogs and tweets.

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Writers and bloggers may face a difficult time while setting up an article. One of the reasons for that is that often the basic aim and goal of the article is misunderstood. Research on the topic may or may not encircle its most important aspects. In case there is more research than needed, a writer may find it difficult to fit in all facts and figures related to that topic. Therefore it is much important that the theme and the aim of the article is understood.

Related: 8 Business Lessons to be Learnt From Game of Thrones.

Another fact regarding the length of the article is that it should not contain material which is by far irrelevant to the topic. Some writers get carried away while writing and try to link different subjects within one topic. This can have a negative impact and it often confuses the readers, causing deviation from the actual topic at hand.

Some writers prefer complex vocabulary. One of the reasons for such preference may be either to impress the readers with their word bank or it may be that the nature of the article demands it to be complex. However, just to use a certain complex word in a sentence, a writer may have to elongate the sentence by fitting in the correct and suitable words.

One other problem related to article length is that sometimes it can put off a reader without them even reading a single word. Most readers prefer short paragraphs and article structure that are visually more appealing. A long paragraph may not intrigue a reader and regardless of the nature of the article, a reader may not continue to go further with reading the article.

The last thing a writer wants is to have written a comprehensive article without having many people read it just due to the fact that it was too long. All the hard work may seem draining down the gutter and it can upset the rhythm of any blogger.

In order to cater to these small issues that can have a big impact on your online followership, there is always a need to fine tune your writing and research skills. In this article we shall see how much a particular article should offer to a reader. What should be the ideal length of a tweet? How much do you need to write in a Facebook post? How long should be your advertisement length that draws public towards you? All these questions will be answered in this article backed up by research.

Keep your Google+ Headlines within 60 Characters

It is best to keep your Google+ text within one line. It enhances the appearance and readability of your posts. A Copyblogger Demian Farnworth, after having a detailed analysis of Google+ suggested that the ideal length of headlines should be kept within 60 characters. Although it is important the headline should be attractive, yet it is necessary to keep it short.  The readers may not want to read too much in a headline. If the headlines contain too many words, the reader may not want to read any details. That can never sound good to a post writer. Many of the most read posts are seen to have a headline within 60 characters. The ones who didn’t, seriously flopped.

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In case your headline cannot be shortened, there is another advice. According to the Google+ layout, the first three lines of your post are visible to readers. Make sure to utilize these three lines to grab the readers’ attention. It is so important to write an intriguing first sentence that captures the reader and compels them to read more.

As far as the overall length of your Google+ post is concerned, Quintly Research has some facts and figures that can explain a lot about these posts. According to the research, most of the people preferred 5 character posts. Astonishingly, the second most read posts contained 442 characters. As to extract from this research, Google+ headlines should be kept within 60 characters. However, you may write as long as you want once you can attract the reader with you first sentence.

Limit your Title Tags within 55 Characters

When your page searched on Google, Title tags appear containing parts of text that is available in your page or blog. Recent changes in the format suggest that a title tag can have a maximum of 60 characters or else it will be truncated. This is done to ensure readability just to ensure that the users have the basic idea about the page. Keeping it short is best. After thorough research, the ideal length of a Google tagline is within 55 characters.

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It may seem easy to limit a title tag but there is a bit more complexity than you might think. The text used by Google is Arial. The font proportionally spaced and each letter may take a different space depending on its width. For instance, lower case “a” consumes less width than a lower case ”m”. The overall width of your title tag also depends upon the characters that are used in your tag. Therefore, a smart tagline needs to have a proper choice of words that says the most within a limited length. Due to this fact, designing a title tag may take time.

As we penetrated a little further, most of the truncated tags after cutoff consisted of around 54 to 57 characters. Therefore it is best to have a title tag within 55 characters. Following this general rule, you can safely design your title tags without worrying about truncation of any important material.

Tweet within 100 Characters

Tweets have a limitation of 140 characters. This helps them to be consumed easily in any mobile device. In order to determine the ideal length of a tweet, why go anywhere else when twitter has the answer to your question. Ideal length of a tweet is considered to be around 100 words. This is not a magical figure however; tweets within 100 characters have a higher engagement rate.

Track Social and Buddy Media keep a close watch on social media. Their results also suggest that the best tweets always contain around 100 characters.

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Consider tweeting with conciseness rather than long sentences. It can bore a reader. It is also advisable to redraft your tweet once or twice just to make sure you can reduce it down to as minimum characters as possible. Most readers like it short and precise which is exactly what your tweet length should be.

 

According to a few analysis tweets having 71 to 100 characters had the highest number of Retweets followed by tweets containing more than hundred characters. The length between 71 – 100 characters is considered ideal as a person can group together some attractive sentences as well as add a researched headline to back up the post.

Facebook Posts Should Ideally Contain 40 Characters

Speaking of a Facebook post where users have much more room for a larger post as compared to a tweet, it is astonishing to know that the ideal character count of a Facebook post is just forty. It may not seem too long and may hardly contain two sentences. Yet it is surprising to know that the posts containing 40 characters have much more followership than other longer posts.

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A study by Jeff Bullas suggested that 40 is just the character count you need to have for a popular Facebook post. He analyzed this popularity on the basis of likes and comments that a post receives. Comparably to others, these short Facebook posts have 86 percent higher rate of engagement.

Another set of characters that constitute a post and is much likely to gain popularity contains 80 characters. Studies suggested that posts with this character count have a higher rate of engagement than that of a lower character count by 66 percent.

Short posts are highly likely to flourish. Blitzlocal conducted a research on the length of Facebook posts. It went through more than 110 billion Facebook posts and concluded that ‘the longer the post the lesser its followership’. It concluded that the ideal character count for a Facebook post is 100 to 120 characters.

As to conclude from these different researches, it will be appropriate to say that there are two sets of character counts that are most ideal for a Facebook post. Either keep it to 40 characters that is a maximum of two sentences or articulate your post between 80 to 120 characters. It may be a group of two to five sentences, a space enough to convey a valuable message.

Ideal Headline length is 6 Words

Most people are interested in the actual material of the article rather than its headline. Although a headline attracts a reader, seldom a reader prefers to read a headline that is more of a sentence than an attention grabbing phrase.

Bnonn, a headline expert suggests that only the first three words are absorbed by most readers reading any headline. He recommends that in order to get your headline completely read, it is best to keep it within 6 words.

In case there is no possibility that you can shrink your headline within 6 words, you can still make sure that your headlines are read well. According to Bnonn, a general rule prevails that if a headline does not fit in a tweet, it is considered too long. He suggests that it is better to worry about the quality than quantity. According to him, a headline should have the most intriguing first and the last three words.

Bloggers Should Keep it to 1600 Words

An ideal blog post should not exceed a time limit of more than 7 minutes which makes an average of 1600 words. For researching about ideal length of blog posts, the number of clicks on a post is not considered. Instead, it is more dependent on how long a user reads a certain blog.

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Research conducted by Medium contained the average number of seconds that readers spend on an article versus the length of the blog post. The length of the post was also determined in time. Among all these posts, 94% of these blog posts were less than 6 minutes long. It was concluded that the bulk of users spent a time of reading posts that lasted about 7 minutes which corresponds to a word count of 1600 words.

Inclusion of photos and graphics can further reduce the reading time. However, it is suggested that a blog post is kept within 7 minutes of total reading time.

SerpIQ took a different approach to determine the ideal length of a blog post. It was more of a SEO approach. It took the top ten search results from Google and then carried out a word count in each of them. This is more of a random way of measuring the ideal blog post because every website or blog will have its own research criteria corresponding to its word count.

SerpIQ suggested that writers should not worry about how much to write as long as they have the material worth sharing. If their article offers quality, readers will automatically be attracted to them. However, statistically speaking, SerIQ suggests that the blogs containing around 2400 words were most read by the users.

Your paragraphs should be 40 t0 55 Words Wide

Many readers may find it strange as to how can width affect a readers mind set but according to a research by Derek Halpern, a social media expert width of a paragraph has psychological effects on a reader’s mind. He concluded that content width can reflect to the complexity or simplicity of the article. It may also help the reader comprehend better.

This is one reason that online sites will always have a unique layout. This is to ensure that the reading material is absorbed by the reader and they are not bored by longer lines. It psychologically engages the reader giving an impression that the paragraph is short. In most cases, the opening paragraphs have a different and a larger font with lesser sentences.

Ideal Presentations last 18 Minutes

While presenting a topic, it is most advised to keep it in a range of 15 to 18 minutes. TED a famous presentation forum suggests that the ideal time for a presentation is 18 minutes. This is an average time of presentations that include names such as Bill Gates and Steve Jobs.

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Scientifically speaking, a person can pay attention to a certain topic for 12 to 18 minutes. Chemically it involves certain compounds in a human body which causes energy loss and ultimately fatigue. Hence, it is important to keep a presentation within 18 minutes so that people pay full attention to your work.

Another detailed research from Dr. Paul King from Texas Christian University suggested that a person tends to load its mind once asked to comprehend. As the load gets heavier, they may not be able to sustain it. This results in people forgetting some or all of the material that was discussed.

He carried out this conclusion on back of a research he conducted himself, where he observed that students who took three 50 minute classes a week remembered more than those who took one 3 hour class a week.

TED Curator Chris Anderson says that the 18 minutes strategy works best for those who can continue for an hour. This helps them to bring out the best subject and issues from their vast research and also helps keep discipline while presenting.

Subject of an Email should be kept between 28 to 39 characters

A research from MailChimp suggested that there is no limit of an email subject line. However, other researchers conclude that it is better to use 28 to 39 characters in an email. However, writing longer or shorter has not had any bad impacts.

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MailChimp suggested that a although the marketing world follows a general rule of keeping a subject line to 50 characters, there can still be exceptions particularly in cases where there are larger audiences. Users may want to know more about a certain subject.

Ideal Domain Names Consist of 8 Characters

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For those who are fresh starters, a domain name with maximum of eight characters is the best choice. According to Daily Blog Tips, a domain name is considered good if it is short and spells easy. Also, it should be easy to recall and should be descriptive. Better not to contain hyphens and commas and it should have a .com extension.

According to their research, more than 70% of 250 websites had a domain of less than 8 characters.

Bottom Line

No matter how good your content is, if it is not according to the needs of your audience it is likely to go unread. The length of your online content is as important as the content itself, so before you dive deeper in research waters, you must have an idea about how long your content will be. This will help you create the content, which would be an ideal fit for your audience.

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