blog post length

Does length matter when it comes to blogging on your medical website?

Yes, it does, but long blogs for the sake of it won’t make a big difference. Your content needs to be relevant to your target audience. So a blog post on your private practice website that uses an extra bunch of sentences to increase the word count will simply not cut it.
blog post length

Does length matter when it comes to blogging on your medical website?

Els van der Veire - Co-founder Digital Practice

Els Van de Veire

November 29, 2021

Answer the questions that people may have about 1 specific topic

What makes a great blog article?

Typically, a blog article explains one topic in more depth, and ideally, your article links back to a few internal pages on your own medical website and to a couple of external pages on platforms like PubMed.

The key to writing a quality blog article is making sure you answer relevant questions on your topic, based on the expectations of your target audience. In other words, which questions do patients have about that 1 specific topic linked to your specialty.

When you answer all these questions, you have written the perfect blog article, according to Google, and we cannot agree more.

I just finished writing a blog article for one of our customers on fertility testing. My client runs a multidisciplinary women’s health hub and they offer pre-fertility work-ups with in-house women’s health GPs, to shorten the waiting times when patients need to see the fertility specialists.

So I asked my client a series of questions. The same questions patients would ask.

  • What is a pre-fertility work-up?
  • What will be investigated?
  • Who needs it?
  • What’s the benefit of doing a fertility check with the women’s health GP?
  • What’s the cost?
  • What happens after the testing?
  • And how can I improve my fertility before seeking treatment?

My customer took the time to answer each question and this gave me a perfect framework to work with and to finish the blog article, including the keywords I had researched prior to writing the blog.

When I finished, I counted the number of words: 1,146. If it would have been 800 or 1,600 I would have been happy too, as long as each and every relevant question was answered.

Blog post length is not a ranking factor

Google SEO word count

It’s not. And yet, according to many digital agencies, it is.

Why is blog post length not a ranking factor?

If it were, it would be way too easy to trick the Google algorithm.
Els van der Veire - Co-founder Digital Practice
Els Van de Veire | Co-founder of Digital Practice

"Google doesn’t reward you to write sentences for the sake of writing sentences. Google doesn’t count the number of words on a page and use that number as an indication of quality."

Why do many agencies say blog post length is a ranking factor?

Well, because you may start thinking that blog articles with the bare minimum of words will help you rank number 1 on Google. Unfortunately, it doesn’t work like that.

It’s all about quality content and we have discussed this topic before here in our Grow online magazine.

Els van der Veire - Co-founder Digital Practice
Els Van de Veire | Co-founder of Digital Practice

"You can’t interpret Google’s statement as a confirmation that blog post length does not matter at all. Producing quality content on medical websites is about presenting the topics your target audience wants to know more about. It’s about answering the questions they may have. That content is to be presented in a way so your patients can easily understand it."

In other words, if a topic requires multiple answers because patients have a lot of questions, and you know from experience that you have to explain it really well in daily life, then do so. But if a topic can be handled in a short post, by all means, go for it.

blog post length

What is the minimal blog post length?

Longer blog posts should be the rule

According to RankMath, a WordPress SEO plugin, the minimal length is 600 words. But just like there is no ideal blog post length, there is also no rule that you should use 600 words and over. It’s just a recommendation, assuming you have chosen quality content over quantity content and are looking for an indicative word count.

That being said, HubSpot research data suggests writing longer posts should be the rule rather than the exception for your blog. Longer posts help you build authority and they tend to perform better than shorter posts because they have more headings and more keywords when written well.

Summary

Ideal blog post length

Here are my recommendations for ideal blog post lengths on medical websites:

  • Don’t focus on length only, focus on your topic and answer all questions patients may have.
  • When you outsource your content marketing, make sure to give relevant input so your medical marketing agency has content to work with.
  • If you really need that number to aim for: go for a minimum of 600 words, ideally between 1,000 and 1,500 words, and if you have a lot of relevant information your audience is interested in, go for more.
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Let’s talk about your blog strategy

Average blog post length

Leading doctors who leverage their blogging efforts can see all sorts of business growth happening once they create momentum: Google visibility goes up because they are now consistently publishing optimised quality content. GPs start noticing the movement and start referring more often. And patients who land on their website build trust because there is a lot of educational value. If you need help with defining your average blog post length, the place of blogs in your strategy and the use of digital in general, book a free consult with Kris to boost your online presence.

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