Python for Entrepreneurs Transcripts
Chapter: SEO and Content Marketing
Lecture: Content length
0:00 So you got a list of keyword that you want to target, that you believe that prospective customers are going to be searching for in Google.
0:07 You've set up some example titles, and expanded upon that with meta descriptions,
0:10 and what about the content itself, let's think about the length of the content. How long should what you write be?
0:17 Well, the right answer is whatever is most useful to your readers, you should know your audience better than anyone else,
0:24 but let's get a little bit more specific than that. Take a look at some examples. Say I have written a new book on static site generation,
0:31 one of my favorite topics, because I use a static site generator in order to create Full Stack Python. I want people
0:37 who search for "Python static sites" to come to my site. And here is Static Site Generator by Full Stack Python. If you click on it,
0:45 it looks very similar to most of the other pages on the site, what makes the content on this page relevant for the audience?
0:51 Well, it's broken down into a chunk of content length there is just enough for someone to read in a few minutes,
0:57 we've got our header here and then a short description of just what this is and then we expand upon some of the topics, in subsections
1:05 that are going to be of interest to people that have searched for static sites, like for example why are static site generators useful
1:12 if you've never used one before and one of your developer friends says "hey, you should check out static site generators", you are going to wonder
1:18 "why would I even want to use one, what is useful about them?" So we describe a little bit about that, we have a few paragraphs,
1:25 how do they work with an example, and as you can see, we're relevant, I've added pictures that reinforce some of the concepts
1:34 that I am describing with the text. But the way that all this is broken down is that each section isn't actually that long,
1:40 just two or three paragraphs, maybe a little bit longer if it's a really complicated topic,
1:43 but it makes it easy for a reader to consume each subsection and they can skip over parts for example if they are not interested
1:50 in Python implementations because they have already picked one, they know they want to use MkDocs or Lektor,
1:57 they can just skip over this one and they can scroll down to the rest of the information that is contained on the site.
2:02 So overall, how long is this content? Well, I use a tool on the command line that is just the wc,
2:07 the word count command and when we punch some text in, it's going to give us the length of that content.
2:13 Remember that you can use the man command to get the manual, now let's use this on the content that makes up the static site generator page.
2:22 We'll go into Full Stack Python and we'll go under pages, this one is under the web development chapter,
2:28 and we can see 33-static-site-generator and we'll run that through the word count. Word count has 3 lines that are output,
2:35 the first one is the number of lines contained in the file. This file has 217 lines, and this middle one is really what we are looking for,
2:43 this page is about 1500 words long, that is typically right in the middle of the range, good size web page between a 1000 and 2000 words on a page.
2:54 It can't just be a bunch of filler words, it has to be relevant to the topic at hand,
2:58 if you want a guideline on approximately how long each page should be or if you bumped up against the maximum size of a page
3:05 and you should break it into multiple pages, aim for about 1000 to 2000 words. Finally, this third column is just a number of characters,
3:12 I don't really have any recommendation around the number of characters I would just take a look at the words, so let's go back to this page
3:19 and again just think through the content length. It's a good size page, again, about 1500 words, but it actually used to be much larger,
3:26 and that's because I used to have sections for individual implementations of static site generators, now this page is
3:33 for the concept of static site generators, rather than specific implementations. Pelican is the implementation that I used to create Full Stack Python.
3:41 If we search for Pelican I broke that out into its own page, now this page is fairly small and needs to be expanded upon,
3:51 it doesn't have 1500 words, it's pretty much just the description, little additional information, and some further resources.
3:58 And I'll expand upon this over time, but this is one way you can think about "how long should my content be?", make it about one specific topic,
4:05 maybe that's a concept, some conceptual idea that you are writing about
4:08 and then break out this specific implementations or the tools into their own pages,
4:13 but as you are just starting, you may just want to keep all that on a single page if the contents that you're writing is not large enough.
4:19 Think about your content as evolving over time, as you continue writing you may need to break things out to keep them focused on a specific topic.
4:27 So that is the way that I think about content length, as approach has been successful for jumping up the rankings in the search results,
4:35 there is certainly other approaches that you can take and you should develop your own approach, but when you're just getting started,
4:40 aim for your content to have a word length about 1000 and 2000 words and make it as useful as possible to your audience.