When I wrote articles for regional business newspapers back in the day (they were called business journals, i.e., Springfield Business Journal and Lincoln Business Journal), one criterion for the assignment was word count. I needed to stick to that number and get to the point before my word limit was up.
Every two months, my article would make the front page, and it needed to fit in the upper right section, starting above the newspaper’s fold.
Today, we don’t have to squeeze our words into printed newspapers’ limited space. The Internet offers freedom! And yet, as business-to-business companies, we’re still obsessed with word count.
In describing the project’s scope, a chief marketing officer often says, “I only want 500 words.” Why only 500 words?
There is disparity about how long content should be. In a blog post, Neil Patel breaks down the word count for each industry’s content. And he concludes no magic number exists.
“Word count is not a standalone ranking factor. Word count only has merit if the content quality is high!” says Neil Patel
So what do we need to pay attention to instead?
Our reader’s level of awareness.
Consider this report about visitors’ behavior when they go online:
“People are not likely to read your content completely or linearly. They just want to pick out the information that is most pertinent to their current needs.” How People Read Online: The Eyetracking Evidence report, 2nd edition
And according to Kate Moran, a User Experience expert for Nielson Norman Group:
“The #1 biggest mistake in writing for the web is not understanding the people who will be reading the content.”
The first question to ask yourself is:Continue reading Optimize Your B2B Content: Use the 5 Stages of Awareness