How Many Words Is Enough for SEO?
Cultivating the very best content is an important and huge part of proper search engine optimization. As major search engines continue to move toward value-based content when it comes to rankings, the pressure has never been higher for brands to produce quality, detailed content.
Some discussions about content creation inevitably turn to word count, purportedly one such way of measuring a piece of content’s quality and complexity. Different websites and businesses have different MOs – and as such, the type of content (along with its length) will vary.
With that being said, how exactly does word count impact SEO, and are there set minimums you need to reach for best results? We’ll look at these questions today and shed some light on the situation.
Evaluating Your Content Type(s)
Above all else, knowing exactly what types of content you’re producing is crucial in determining how detailed – or not – you should be. For instance, it can be much easier to elaborate in a blog post tutorial than for a particular product in your online store.
By pinging users with relevant information, you largely accomplish the prerequisites of SEO: after all, quality, relevant content is the name of the game. However, some types of content will naturally be less detailed than others, with product pages and podcast landing pages being two prime examples.
In most situations, any page should strive to have at least 200 words; while this isn’t a concrete requirement, it is a good rule of thumb for allowing enough descriptors and content to adequately describe what the page is providing. For more traditional forms of content such as blog posts, you should strive to triple that number.
What Search Engines Tell Us About Word Count
While there is no evidence that search engines primarily assess word count when determining how to rank various sites and pages, there does appear to be a correlation between word count and overall rankings.
The average word count of a page ranking on the first page of Google is increasing with each passing year. Presently, the top spot in search has an average of 1100 words of content, while lower-ranked pages tend to have less. It’s important to note once again that sheer word count does not guarantee success, but content that is detailed (and therefore likely has more words) tends to perform better in SERPs.
What Human Behavior Suggests
Despite the desire for search engines to provide detailed, relevant and complex content to their users, most people don’t inherently want to read thousands of words to learn about new topics. Because of this, a good rule of thumb in content creation is to provide the bare minimum needed while still giving users the information they need. If you suddenly find yourself pinging users with long-winded posts that could be more succinctly explained, then you’re probably losing your readers’ attention spans in the process (which could lead to higher bounce rates and decreased visibility).
Ultimately, your content should aim to provide maximum information with minimum word count.
Seeing as how there is no definitive number of words a piece of content should contain, aiming for any particular quotas is rather silly. Content should be detailed – and that does come with certain word count suggestions – but creating the longest content in your niche will not inherently guarantee success. By writing for your audience and knowing what they want, you’ll produce far better results than any quota could ever provide.