Numbered lists are considered a staple of marketing content. People like numbers. For whatever reason, lists that start with a number draw in more readers than articles that don’t. The most likely reason is that numbered lists indicate that there will be numerous points that the person can take away from the content, while a long article without a numbered list is more likely to ramble and possibly only discuss one or two things of value.
So there are millions of pieces of list content out there. But what about lists about the number of numbers to make into a numbered list? You read that sentence correctly. Here are the seven most ideal number of items to have in a list for the purposes of titling the list.
People like top 10 lists. People love top 100 lists. Not only is that 10 times as many items as 10, but it’s also a pretty number and divisible by 5 and 10. Easily one of the best numbers out there.
Runner up is a classic but no less valuable – the number 10. Top 10 lists are the go-to number for anything that isn’t a load of fluff. That’s because it’s hard to come up with 10 items when you’re making it up on the fly, so they indicate that real value is going to be delivered to the reader. 10 is also Adrian Monk’s favorite number, which is a reference that is going to be lost on many of you.
7’s are eye catching for reasons that few people understand. For some reason, 7 has become the magic number for blog posts and web content, with many people creating “7 Benefits of X” and “7 Reasons for Why…” Anyone that starts a post with a 7 is not to be trusted. Wait, nevermind.
10’s annoying little brother, 5 isn’t really up to par with the big boys, but it’s also easy and meets everyone’s needs. Most search engines are filled with people that wrote 5 point articles which makes your 5 point article a bit superfluous, but then again often 5 points are all you need. There’s nothing at all wrong with a 5 point article, but if you can stretch it to 7, you should.
3 isn’t a great number. But it also has its benefits. Guess how many benefits there is to using the number 3? I’ll give you a hint: The Holy Hand Grenade. “Three shall be the number thou shalt count, and the number of the counting shall be three. Four shalt thou not count, neither count thou two, excepting that thou then proceed to three. Five is right out.” These benefits include:
- There are often articles you write with only 3 or so pieces of interesting information, and a bunch of fluff. Writing about just three things limits your article to something more meaningful.
- Three is a number that many visitors like because they’re looking for immediate information. The larger the number, the more they have to read, so 3 draws them in.
- 3 is more than 2.
So there you go. Five. I mean, 3.
6. Any Prime Number
Really, once you get over 10, all prime numbers are valuable. Why prime numbers? No idea. but 13 is a better number than 14 and 15, and 37 draws more attention than 48 and 33. It’s hard to pinpoint exactly what about prime numbers is interesting to visitors, but it is, so there you go.
Never forget that a single piece of excellent information is often as valuable to the visitor as any larger list if it answers the question they’re looking for. You also get interesting headlines like “The Number 1 Thing You Need to…” One isn’t the loneliest number when it comes to numbering your articles, and if you have information worth elaborating on, it can be a useful title.
So there you go. You just read a list of the best numbers to use to make a list, and you’ll never get those three minutes of your life back. Why not make that time you spent worth it? Contact Great Leap Studios today.