Search Engine Optimization (SEO) results rely on the content you publish. And the first question that comes to mind is how long my content should be so that it easily ranks. Several digital marketing experts will give you a range of word counts to follow. As per their recommendations, it will help you improve your SEO rankings.
So, what word count for SEO is all about? Does word count really matter for SEO rankings? What is the ideal word range that you should follow? And does Google really care about the word count of your content? Let us find out!
Is word count really a factor in your SEO rankings?
The short answer is- not really. While many have the misconception that Google focuses on word count for SEO rankings, the search engine doesn't blindly rank random text on a page without any reason.
So, Google doesn't look for a predefined number of words on a link before ranking it. What Google's algorithm looks for is relevant, original, and high-quality content. SEO rankings improve when your content ticks all these boxes.
Why Long-Form content performs better?
While Google itself claims that it doesn't look for a particular word count and only concerns relevant & original content, you will still find many tools and blog posts suggesting longer word counts.
Well, higher word counts help Google's algorithms. While the search engine isn't searching for a link with a given number of words, long-form content does help the algorithm in understanding what the content is about. This is why long-form content gives you an edge. Moreover, well-written and comprehensive content also positions you as an authority due to the trail of various keywords. This helps improve your SEO rankings.
Keyword tools therefore often base their word count recommendations on competitive analysis. However, this doesn't mean that all you have to do is fit in a particular word count for SEO. Rather, you need high-quality, original content for better SEO and long-form content is just to make the job of Google's algorithms easier.
What is the right word count for your content?
SEO is mainly related to organic growth. Therefore, SEO rankings depend a lot on the content that you have published and the right combination of keywords with a high degree of relevancy. As such, every content that you publish is unique and there can be no straightjacket formula for an ideal word count. You have to analyze your content and the word count used by your competitors to decide what should be your word count.
Here are a few factors that you must keep in mind while deciding the word count for your content.
Find your keywords strategy
How many keywords do you want to rank for? If you have just one keyword in mind, a concise write-up may be sufficient and you won't have to think in terms of word count.
However, if you have to rank for multiple keywords, you will have to make a shift to long-form content. You can increase the length of your write-up, talk about the primary issue from several angles, and rank for long-tail variations of your primary keyword, which will help you bypass the intense competition and target higher conversion.
Make a competitive analysis
What is the ultimate purpose of competitive analysis? Outranking your competitors, right? So, this should be the target when you decide on word count for SEO too. If you are confused about your word count, you can use keyword research and content optimization tools to find out the word count of top-performing articles for a given set of keywords.
Know your audience
While writing any type of content or deciding the word count for SEO, you must keep the search intent in mind. In other words, you should know what your target audience wants. Are they looking for basic, concise information in search results or do they want comprehensive information?
When you provide your audience with the kind of information they need, they will stay on your page for longer. This will help improve your search engine result rankings.
If you have to provide detailed information, you should at least match your competitors' word count or even exceed it, if needed. Otherwise, it should be crisp and concise instead of thinking in terms of word count.
Review your performance
If your search engine results rankings are not improving, you might need to make some changes to your strategy. Review your SEO performance regularly to decide if the word count is working for your SEO goals.
You can also analyze if you have hit the sweet spot with a particular content length. If yes, you should stick to the same word count for SEO. However, if you find that shorter articles are not doing the trick, you may want to increase their length.
But how do you do that? Remember, superficial and irrelevant content will never work with Google's algorithms. Writing irrelevant content will only damage your SEO rankings. So, we recommend that you get back to the basics, do some intense keyword research, and churn out relevant content to increase the word count for SEO rankings.
Summing it up!
There is one clear inference- there is no ideal word count for SEO. However, for every unique write-up, a word count will help Google's algorithms decide the relevance and quality of content to rank it appropriately. Deciding the word count for SEO is all about targeting this word count while also retaining other metrics for better SEO of the published content.