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Anatomy of Performing Content

Planted 02020-01-06

A nice reminder that the longer the better, headlines are important, building links requires effort, and people love lists.

Long reads

  • Pages with 3000+ words get x3 more traffic, x4 more shares and x3.5 more backlinks than articles of average length (901-1200 words).
  • Short (300-900 words) articles are not shared at all x4.5 more often than long reads of 3000+ words.


  • Listicles get the most shares and traffic (up to 2x more than other types of blog posts), followed by guides and β€œhow to” articles.

Long Headlines

  • Articles with long headlines (14+ words) get x2 more traffic, x2 more shares and x5 more backlinks than articles with short headlines (7-10 words).


  • Well-structured articles with h2 and h3 are more likely to be high performing (36% of articles with h2+h3 have high performance in terms of traffic, shares and backlinks).
  • Articles with 5 lists per 500 words get up to x4 more traffic and up to x2 more shares than articles with no lists.

This data is from SEMrush analysis of 450,000+ tweets, hundreds of thousands of search queries, 700,000+ blog posts, and 1,200+ surveyed marketers across the globe.