Wednesday 30 January 2013

How Long Should an Internet Article Be?

Keep it short and to the point. I believe the Internet has changed because the world has changed; because of the Internet. People have developed speed reading skills. I sense that most people do their reading on the Internet and on the go; in caf├ęs, pubs and restaurants etc. They want information now and on target. It has to be without waffle. The tablet computer is the reason for this, and Wi Fi.

All newspaper articles - the hard copy version - are embroidered with verbosity. Newspapers are far too big. There are far too many pages and far too many words written. You can often crystallise down a conventional newspaper article to about one tenth or less of its length. The reason: papers have to have some bulk in order to sell them. People are used to that, but years ago they were much thinner. Bring it back, please.

On the Internet articles should be about half of their previous length. What length is that?

Well, my experience tells me that about 300 - 750 words is the right area to target.

If you can say it in 300 words, then say it but that is an absolute minimum. Add a picture, too, because you should not forget SEO in respect of images. A lot of web pages are found and accessed through Google Images. Never forget that SEO angle. But don't SEO the text. It doesn't work in my opinion these days.

In conclusion:
  1. Keep sentences short. It makes them easier to understand.
  2. Use subheadings, if suitable, as this breaks up long text making it look more readable.
  3. Make the point succinctly.
  4. Get to the point quickly.
  5. Make the point in the opening line as Google lists this under their search result link.
  6. Add a picture but make it good and relevant. Caption it with the title of the article.
  7. Write about 500 words.
The quality has to be there, though, time and time again. This is just a bit over 300 words.

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