The Ideal Length For All Online Content

The Ideal Length For All Online Content


How many times have you found yourself writing an email and wondering, at the same time, whether you should type a bit more or to simply cut it short?

There is one absolute truth and the fact that everyone has the tendency to get carried away from time to time. Nobody wants to put limits on one’s creativity, but having guidelines backed by research will help make sure your posts are seen by the most amount of people and result in higher engagement, propelling your hotel’s story in front of more eyes.

Nowadays, content is being created and posted on such a wide variety of different sites, it can understandably be challenging to know what each of the best practices are.

Tweets – 100 Characters

There are many opinions on this matter, so it could be a bit confusing to find the right length. One thing that works all the time, is going back to the source. Twitter or Twitter’s best practices.

Successful Twitter posts are a combination of creativity, simplicity, and limits. Buddy media conducted a research on this matter and discovered that tweets shorter than 100 characters tend to get a 17% higher rate of engagement. 71-100 character, in the “medium” range, get the most retweets.

Facebook Posts – 40 Characters

40 is the magic number that Jeff Bullas found was most effective in his study of retail brands on Facebook. He measured the engagement of posts, defined by “like” rate and comment rate and the ultra-short 40-characters post received 86% higher engagement than others. The 40-character group also represented the smallest statistical set in the study (only 5 percent of all posts qualified at this length), so best practices on Facebook also include the next most popular set: Posts with 80 characters or fewer received 66 percent higher engagement.

Google+ Headline – Less Than 60 Characters

To maximize the readability and appearance of your posts on Google+, you may want to keep your text on one line. Demian Farnworth of Copyblogger studied the Google+ breaking point and found that headlines should not exceed 60 characters. To maximize the readability and appearance of your posts on Google+, you may want to keep your text on one line. Demian Farnworth of Copyblogger studied the Google+ breaking point and found that headlines should not exceed 60 characters.

Here is an example, The post below had a headline exceeding 60 characters and got bumped.

This post kept the title within 60 characters and stayed on one line.

If your Google+ headline simply can’t be contained in one line, then you can turn to Plan B. Write a superb first sentence.

Your first sentence has to be a gripping teaser to get people to click “Read More.”

Here is an example,

In terms of overall post length, Google+ posts average 156 characters, according to Qunitly Research.

Headlines – 6 Words

People scan the body of a text, but they also scan headlines. Therefore, here’s one thing to remember: a reader will remember the first and the last 3 words of a headline. So, 6 is a perfect number!

These headlines are extremely hard to write which is why they are so rare to find. The truth is that you’ll be able to create them on rare occasions, but on all the other times when you don’t manage to do it, here’s what you should focus on: make every word count. Especially the first and the last 3.

Blog Posts – 1600 Words, 7 Minutes

When measuring the content that performs best on their site, Medium focuses not on clicks but on attention. How long do readers stick with an article?

In this sense, an ideal blog post would be one that people read. And Medium’s research on this front says that the ideal blog post is seven minutes long.

After measuring the number of seconds spent on a post, compared to the length of that particular post, they concluded that 7 minutes is the ideal read time for a blog post. To put it in words, 7 minutes means about 1600 of them.

Paragraph Width – 40-55 Characters

This is the key point where the reader’s ability to comprehend the text is maximized. Depending on your intentions, you can give the impression of simplicity or complexity. Ideally, you would want to make it look simple for an easy understanding, so 40 to 55 characters should do it.

You might have noticed that online publications tend to have the leading paragraph signaled in a different font, compared to the rest of the text. It’s a tricky move writer do, in order to help their readers focus better and go from one line to the next one in a blink of an eye. Shorter lines mean less work for the reader.

Using a different, bigger font gives the reader the impression that the text is airy and, therefore, easier to grasp. A great introducing atmosphere for the actual text.

Email Subject Lines – 28-39 Characters

MailChimp conducted a study on email subject lines, concluding that their length is irrelevant, not affecting at all the number of clicks or openings.

However, around the same period Mailer Mailer ran a research on the same topic, but with completely different results. Here’s what they managed to find out:

  • 4 – 15 characters – 15.2% open – 3.1% click
  • 16 – 27 characters – 11.6% open – 3.8% click
  • 28 – 39 characters -12.2% open – 4% click
  • 40 – 50 characters – 11.9% open – 2.8% click
  • 51+ characters – 10.4% open – 1.8% click

Video Presentations – 18 Minutes

TEDx organizers have concluded: 18 minutes is the maximum amount of time for a presentation. This is the reason why every speaker is advised to keep his own below this limit.

This statement comes after long studies on attention spans. Scientists have discovered that people can focus on a presentation for only 10 to 18 minutes. Anything longer than that will result in a failure to receive the message.

When the brain processes the new information it receives, a significant amount of glucose, oxygen and blood flow are being used, so that the neurons can be able to create and then use energy. The whole process will result in fatigue.

There is also a psychological approach on this matter: apparently, the more we are being told to take in, the heavier this information feels. It gets harder and harder to absorb it until we hit a point when we lose it. We stop paying attention or even worse, we forget everything.

Title Tags – 55 Characters

Title tags are the titles you see in your Google search results. They are defining all web pages, so in your efforts of attracting new visitors, you should strive to make them no more than 55 characters. Otherwise, Google will truncate it with an ellipsis.

Domain Name – 8 Characters

If you are in the process of finding a name for your startup, you are most likely going to find this piece of information extremely useful. What defines a good domain name?

  • Short and catchy (easy to remember)
  • Easy to spell
  • It describes a concept
  • It contains a .com extension
  • Doesn’t contain numbers or hyphens

Graphic that encompasses all the guidelines mentioned above

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