Determining the Right Length For the Best Performing Articles

Affiliate MarketingRecently, at Webati, some of our staff writers got into a heated discussion over what the “right” length was for articles that were being used for marketing purposes. If you ever visited the Ezine website, they offer a number of helpful tips and tricks for new writers. One of their most controversial pieces of “advice” is that a 500 word article is always going to outperform a 1,000 word article.

Is this true? Is it a bunch of nonsense? We’ve talked about before all of the crazy Penguin and Panda updates that Google has put out. Lately, there has been a lot of emphasis placed on the quality of the content that’s being put on the web. Logically, doesn’t that mean that a longer article is going to perform better than a short one?

The answer to this debate is going to boil down to one question:

Outperforms in what way?

How is the article supposed to be performing? Are you judging its success by overall number of views? Are you looking for better search engine rankings in Google? Do you judge success by more syndication of the written article on other sites? Are you looking for all of the above?

The production of articles is one of the driving forces in marketing for those who are involved in the online affiliate marketing niche. Through backlinks, your articles gain more exposure, which will hopefully be generated into more sales for your company. For this reason, at Webati, we’re firm believers in the fact that there isn’t a predetermined “right” length for articles. For example, with our in house staff writers, we have them write an article that is necessary to provide a comprehensive overview of the subject at hand.

This might require one of our writers to produce a 400 word article, but for more in depth topics, the article could be as long as 2-3,000 words. In affiliate marketing, the purpose of writing such articles is to answer a query. Since you are essentially becoming a provider of information online, your first responsibility is to answer the question at hand to the best of your ability, without worrying about what the length of the article is.

This leads us to the topic of syndication, which is one of the most powerful metrics we have at our disposal when determining an article’s success. In its most basic definition, syndication could be described as how many other sites choose to reblog or repost your article. This is one of the reasons why Ezine was originally created. Its primary function is to provide site owners a place in which they can pick and choose free content that is relevant to the products and services they offer. In exchange for using their content, the writers are provided with more exposure through bio boxes and backlinks. It’s a win/win situation for both individuals.

In this one particular instance, it is our opinion that a longer article is going to outperform a shorter one. There’s been a lot of chatter on Google lately as to whether it is better to pick a shorter article or a longer one for affiliate marketing purposes. It is 100% true that most affiliate marketers are writing for a group that demands instant gratification. The question is, are articles with fewer words going to provide the gratification people are looking for if they do not cover the topic thoroughly?

What are your opinions? Would you choose a longer article? Tell us why or why not in the comments below.