Oh no, not another “how long should my content be” article?
Oh yes, but with a twist.
Most of the “how long should my content be” articles revolve around how long content should be for top rankings.
The general consensus is longer is better for search rankings… to a point. 25,000 word posts aren’t necessary (and yes, they exist).
But what about wordcount and ad revenue?
Do longer articles earn more ad revenue per 1,000 page views?
In theory, it should. Visitors stay longer, more ads display, better engagement – all the things advertisers love.
Until today, I didn’t know there was a way to get some firm data on content length and ad revenue.
Let’s jump to the numbers.
Short answer: The sweet spot is content with 1,000 to 2,500 words.
Podcast Version (listen)
Here are the charts for 3 of my highest traffic websites:
I didn’t include site 2 because that’s more of an affiliate site so there isn’t much ad revenue data.
Site 1 (biggest niche site)
What content length earns the most?
As you can see, for three sites, all in different niches, the sweet spot word count for maximum revenue per 1,000 page views is 1,000 to 2,500 words.
You can’t assume “the longer the content, the more it earns””.
How is this information useful?
On its own it offers mild utility. However, it could save you money by reducing word count article orders from 3,000 to 2,500. The long term savings of 500 words per article could add up and as long as it doesn’t negatively impact traffic, that’s a lot more money for you – both in content savings and higher ad revenue.
Please keep in mind that this analysis has no bearing on what length of content is best for traffic. While “shorter” content may earn more PER 1,000 PAGE VIEWS, that does not mean it earns more overall.
Generally speaking, you’re still better off optimizing your content for users and search traffic, not just ad revenue.
Money vs. Traffic – What’s more important?
It’s a silly question in one sense because traffic is money.
But it’s an important question in the sense of would you rather have more traffic or forego traffic for more revenue per 1,000 visitors?
Me, I’d rather have more traffic. I should say I prefer more traffic from high earning countries such as the USA, Canada, UK, Australia and New Zealand. More traffic from low earning countries won’t do much for the bottom line. In fact, traffic from some countries could cost you simply due to server costs.
Because more traffic seems to me to be a sign of a healthier site. Good health means good growth potential. Good growth potential means good revenue growth in the future.
In other words, opting for traffic growth over maximizing revenue is forward-thinking.
Ironically, this article is not even 500 words long.
I could drone on and on beefing it up to 1,500 words, but I’m all about getting to the point. You have better things to do than read drivel and I have better things to do than write it.
Besides, if a picture is worth a thousand words, those three charts push this puppy over 3K.
Do you want similar data from your sites?
I obtained this revenue and content length analysis from Ezoic. It’s the only platform I’m aware of that offers this level of ad revenue info.
Jon runs the place around here. He pontificates about launching and growing online publishing businesses, aka blogs that make a few bucks. His pride and joy is the email newsletter he publishes.
Hyperbole? Maybe, but go check it out to see what some readers say.
In all seriousness, Jon is the founder and owner of a digital media company that publishes a variety of web properties visited and beloved by millions of readers monthly. Fatstacks is where he shares a glimpse into his digital publishing business.