The Ideal Length Of Everything Online

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How many times have you found yourself writing an email and wondering, at the same time, whether you should type a bit more or to simply cut it short? Find the answer with our infographic!

There is one absolute truth and that is the fact that everyone has the tendency to get carried away from time to time. In moments like these, it’s impossible not to wish to know if all that writing is getting you somewhere or, worse, if it hurts your cause.

You want your writing to speak for yourself and place you on the spotlight. Whether it’s through emails or social media, you want to get out of that crowd, but you also want to do it the right way, right?!

To help with that, I decided to bring concrete data that has been thoroughly researched, in what the ideal length of anything written online, from titles to tweets, is concerned. Take it in and use it the next time you are writing something, anything!

Tweets – 100 Characters

Sure, there are many opinions on this matter, so it could be a bit confusing to find the right length. One thing that works all the time, is going back to the source. Twitter, in this case. Or Twitter’s best practices.

Successful Twitter posts are a combination of creativity, simplicity and limits. Up until now there wasn’t a magical limit for a tweet, but recently, Buddy Media conducted a research on this matter and discovered that tweets shorter than 100 characters tend to get a 17% higher rate of engagement.

Facebook Posts – 40 Characters

Even fewer characters than a tweet? The answer is, yes. To reach the maximum of efficiency your posts should revolve around this number.

At least, this is what Jeff Bullas’ study has to say. After measuring the posts’ engagement of famous retailers by the number of likes and comments, he observed that those with 40 characters were more engaging by 86%.

Google+ Headline – Less Than 60 Characters

For an even clearer picture, try keeping your headline on a single line. Exceed this limit and your post will get bumped, for sure!

If you can’t get your head around it and find it impossible to stay within this limit, there is one thing left to do: write an outstanding first sentence; an intriguing teaser to what’s about to come.

Headlines – 6 Words

People scan the body of a text, but they also scan headlines. Therefore, here’s one thing to remember: a reader will remember the first and the last 3 words of a headline. So, 6 is a perfect number!

These headlines are extremely hard to write which is why they are so rare to find. The truth is that you’ll be able to create them on rare occasions, but on all the other times when you don’t manage to do it, here’s what you should focus on: make every word count. Especially the first and the last 3.

Blog Posts – 1600 Words, 7 Minutes

Check out what Medium does in this area! They shifted their attention from the number of clicks to the attention of the readers. How do they manage to stay engaged?

After measuring the number of seconds spent on a post, compared to the length of that particular post, they concluded that 7 minutes is the ideal read time for a blog post. To put it in words, 7 minutes means about 1600 of them.

Paragraph Width – 40-55 Characters

This is the key point where the reader’s ability to comprehend the text is maximized. Plus, depending on your intentions, you can give the impression of simplicity or complexity. Ideally, you would want to make it look simple for an easy understanding, so 40 to 55 characters should do it.

You might have noticed that online publications tend to have the leading paragraph signaled in a different font, compared to the rest of the text. It’s a tricky move writers do, in order to help their readers focus better and go from one line to the next one in a blink of an eye. Shorter lines mean less work for the reader.

Using a different, bigger font gives the reader the impression that the text is airy and, therefore, easier to grasp. A great introducing atmosphere for the actual text.

Email Subject Lines – 28-39 Characters

September, 2012. MailChimp conducts a study on email subject lines, concluding that their length is irrelevant, not affecting at all the number of clicks or openings.

However, around the same period Mailer Mailer, ran a research on the same topic, but with completely different results. Here’s what they managed to find out:

  • 4 – 15 characters – 15.2% open – 3.1% click
  • 16 – 27 characters – 11.6% open – 3.8% click
  • 28 – 39 characters -12.2% open – 4% click
  • 40 – 50 characters – 11.9% open – 2.8% click
  • 51+ characters – 10.4% open – 1.8% click

Video Presentations – 18 Minutes

TEDx organizers have concluded: 18 minutes is the maximum amount of time for a presentation. This is the reason why every speaker is advised to keep his own below this limit.

This statement comes after long studies on attention spans. Scientists have discovered that people can focus on a presentation for only 10 to 18 minutes. Anything longer than that will result in a failure to receive the message.

When the brain processes the new information it receives, a significant amount of glucose, oxygen and blood flow are being used, so that the neurons can be able to create and then use energy. The whole process will result in fatigue.

There is also a psychological approach on this matter: apparently, the more we are being told to take in, the heavier this information feels. It gets harder and harder to absorb it, until we hit a point when we lose it. We stop paying attention or even worse, we forget everything.

Title Tags – 55 Characters

Title tags are the titles you see in your Google search results. They are defining all web pages, so in your efforts of attracting new visitors, you should strive to make them no more than 55 characters. Otherwise, Google will truncate it with an ellipsis.

Domain Name – 8 Characters

If you are in the process of finding a name for your startup, you are most likely going to find this piece of information extremely useful. What defines a good domain name?

  • Short and catchy (easy to remember)
  • Easy to spell
  • It describes a concept
  • It contains a .com extension
  • Doesn’t contain numbers or hyphens

To wrap it all up and make sure that the retention of the information has been ensured, here is an infographic that will help you store everything even better:

the ideal length of everything online startus magazine

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