How long is the perfect text for the web?

Service Business

The way you read on monitors differs significantly from reading a book or a printed magazine. Knowing both issues is of paramount importance when you write to the internet. Do you know how human eyesight scans letters on a monitor and how the brain then processes this information? The perfect text for the internet - how can this knowledge help you write texts of the perfect length for your web pages?

How the human brain processes information

The human brain recognizes letters as small images that have yet to be put together to form words, sentences, etc. When writing to the Internet, it is also worth knowing that the average Internet user loses interest in a text after about 7 minutes. During this time, he can read about 1,500 words.

Research shows that the way in which content is conveyed affects the amount of information remembered. It is estimated that we remember only 1/10 of the information from the read text and 2/10 from the recorded recording. We process information presented graphically, e.g. on infographics, much better. As much as 90% of the data remains in short-term memory and they do not disappear so quickly - after 3 days, we can still recall up to 63% of the information contained in the infographic.

While the variety of forms of content presentation is limited in printed books, when writing for the Internet, you need to ensure that the content is presented in an attractive way. Photos, infographics and videos complement and sometimes even extend what is described in the article.

The multimedia character of the text also increases its marketing value. According to research conducted by MikeTek and published on, supplementing the text with video material alone makes the article three times more valuable to link building than the words themselves. This value doubles if, apart from videos, you also diversify the content with graphics and bulleted lists.

Reading patterns on monitors

Nowadays, the knowledge that content on monitors is scanned rather than read seems common. Concise headings, short paragraphs, clear letters and the most important parts of the text in bold are the secret of the most-read articles. The width of the column is also important (there should be no more than a dozen words in one line) and a paragraph consisting of about 5 lines.

The Nielsen Norman Group, one of the most famous and recognized UX consulting companies in the world, presents several patterns of reading digital content:

  1. F-pattern, which assumes that if the text or parts of it are missing headers and lists, the user only briefly scans the content, and his eyesight sticks to the left side. Note that the shape of the F follows the left-to-right reading direction. In the case of content, e.g. in Arabic, the letter F is reversed.
  2. Spotted pattern, which paints heatmaps in dots during eye tracking research, hence the name of the pattern. Eyesight fixation on specific words may result, for example, from bold content, linking or other styling. Focusing on the spotted pattern can also be seen where the Internet user expects certain content encouraging to take action, eg in an e-shop on the "Go to cart" button.
  3. Layer-cake pattern - heat map indicates that the eyesight focuses primarily on the headings and subheadings, which may or may not mean that the Internet user does not read the correct text at all between the headings.
  4. Commitment pattern indicates the loyalty of the user to the company. The text is read cover to cover. The user is motivated to read each word because he knows and appreciates the brand or the person who published the article. He is convinced that he is dealing with a valuable text.

Is there a perfect text for the internet?

As you can see, supplementing the written word with graphics and video, as well as the layout of the article according to the patterns of reading on various devices, are issues no less important than the appropriate length of the text for the Internet.

According to the previously cited data from the SEO blog, the appropriate length of the text is at least 900 words. Articles that are shorter perform less well in link building. The ideal number of words is in the range of 1800-3000. Texts of this length are up to 15 times more effective than texts of less than 600 words. In turn, the hints from YOAST SEO, a popular WordPress plugin that helps in optimizing your blog for search engines, indicate the ideal length between 300 and 1000 words.

The way in which Internet users search for information influences which texts are considered the best. Gone are the days of typing 2- or 3-word phrases into search engines. Today, the number of words is even twice as large, and the phrase accurately describes what the Internet user is looking for. As a response to such a long query, Google displays content up to 2,000 words long.

Surprisingly, many bloggers, such as marketer analytics developer Neil Patel, encourage not to shorten content as long as it is naturally long, but written with a light pen, an interesting and comprehensive topic. His tips also apply to the promotion of posts on social media. Based on his own experience, he argues that longer blog posts with a length of more than 1,500 words promoted on Facebook and Twitter gained about 1/3 more reactions than shorter ones.

Text length - choose the perfect one

In content marketing, good text is text that is unique, optimized for search engines, answers Internet users' questions and covers the topic. As a result, the reader will be pleased that they took the time to read the content in which they found answers to all their questions. In addition, he will be happy to share it on social media.

However, is there a predetermined length of the text that will make it readily readable and Google will like it? There can be only one answer: no! There is no golden recipe for the perfect text. When writing, you need to consider your audience and the type of content you are creating. Moreover, the place where the content is published, such as Twitter, may impose restrictions on the number of characters.

Also keep an eye on the content of your direct competitors. Enter the phrase you want to base your expert article or blog post on in Google. The content that is in the highest positions in search results is rewarded by Google algorithms and readily read by internet users. What is the conclusion of this? Their length can be considered ideal. Take the average and assume that your text should count about this number of characters.

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The general conclusions indicate that:

  1. Blog entries should exhaust the topic while retaining the voice and tone of the entire blog. Stay consistent with the form of communication adopted so far. You can enrich your post with multimedia materials and quotes, but always keep your own unique style. After all, he was the one who brought you so many followers!
  2. The title of the email can determine whether someone opens it. Do you want your sales e-mails and newsletter to be readily read? There is no research to prove that a shorter email subject is more attractive. It is important that it fits on the screen of an average smartphone, i.e. it has about 45-50 characters with spaces.
  3. In social media, the content of entries does not have to be short, but it is worth enriching it with a visual layer, e.g. a photo. Some media, such as Twitter, have their own restrictions - a single entry cannot exceed 140 characters. The most frequently shared and liked posts on Facebook are of a similar length.
  4. Descriptions of categories and products in online stores give you even more freedom, although you should always choose keywords and the correct structure of the text. In both cases, building e-commerce is important. Some stores focus on descriptions in the form of an accordion, then the content can be broken down into several short, independent answers. The descriptions also depend on the type of product - not much can be said about the screws, but it is worth writing more about a specific plant species and method of care.

If you are wondering how long an article you write for a blog or website should be, remember that there are no strict guidelines. Think about keywords and the way your brand communicates. Do not forget about the way we read on the screens - take care of the aesthetic division of the content, supplement it with graphics and video. One feature of good text on the web is constant - always think about the user when writing!