The Anatomy of A High-Performing Blog Post

What makes a successful blog post?

Marketing platform, SEMrush analyzed 700,000 posts on blogs that receive between 50,000 and 500,000 average monthly unique page views, to find out the common characteristics among high-performing posts.

The results make for interesting reading.

Let’s dive in.

Key Findings

  1. Longreads of 3000+ words get 3x more traffic, 4x more shares, and 3.5x more backlinks than articles of average length (901–1200 words).

2. Shorter articles (300–900 words) have zero shares 4.5 times more often than long reads of 3000+ words.

The results of the study show that “people are more driven and engaged by blog posts containing more information.” And the most unsettling part of this data, according to the study, is that if your article contains less than 3000 words, there is, based on our study, only a 50–50 chance that you will get any social shares.

3. Articles with long headlines (14+ words) get 2x more traffic, 2x more shares, and 5x more backlinks than articles with short headlines (7–10 words).

The study’s conclusion is that “a longer headline compared to shorter ones gives more insights about an article’s value and thus drives more people to read and share it.”

4. Articles with list headlines (those that start with a number like “N things…”, “N ways…”, etc.) get 2x more traffic and 2x more social shares than other types, followed by guides and “how-to” articles.

5. 36% of articles with H2+H3 tags have higher performance in terms of traffic, shares, and backlinks.

The study’s conclusion is that “well-structured articles (in this research, articles with both H2 and H3 tags) are more likely to be high performing.”

6. Articles with 5 lists per 500 words compared to articles with no lists get 4x more traffic and 2x more social shares.

Following on from the finding that articles with list headlines perform better than other types, the data shows that the presence of a list boosts your copy’s performance, and the more lists you use, the better for your article.

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Social Media Consultant. Keynote Speaker. Digital Storyteller.

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