Does Word Count Affect SEO in 2022?
What Should Be the Word Count in Web Pages? Is 1000 words per page too much?
Are you questioning how much content should be on a web page? Is there really a magic number for SEO?
Did someone tell you that your website needs more content to rank but you are worried about overloading your visitor with too much text and distracting or boring them with words? Does content development stretch your budget too thin and you are wondering if it really needs to be a high priority?
The short answer is that there is no magic, perfect number of words on your website page to make it rank. You only need to be really worried if your website page has little or no text at all.
From there, it’s a matter of:
- Creating engaging content that educates your visitors (answers their question and anticipates additional questions);
- Helping Google fully understand everything that you offer and the value you provide;
- Establishing yourself as the expert in your field and build the credibility needed to grab the top ranking;
- Ensuring everything from a Technical SEO perspective is in order.
In this article we go into more detail about why more content is better from an SEO perspective and how you can get started in creating the content your website needs for better visibility, traffic, and website performance.
5 Reasons Long Content Matters – Statistics to Support Higher Word Count Pages
Don’t just take our word for it. Here are several recent statistics that help prove the value of more content over less content when it comes to SEO and ranking power.
1. The average page-1 article on Google contains 1,447 words.
Long-form content continues to dominate search results and is proof that thin content (a fancy word for content that isn’t long enough) falls short in fully covering the topic. Google likes to rank websites that answer the searcher’s original query and gives an in-depth review of the topic.
2. Top-3 position pages are 45% longer in content length than a 20th position result.
This tells us it’s not all about a “magic number” of words in order to get your page ranked. It’s a matter of content length in comparison to competing websites. You may be operating in a market where competitors all have 2,000 plus words on a similar topic page – in order to outrank them you’ll probably need to produce even higher quality, longer pages. Longer isn’t always better but if you have significantly less content than your competitors, writing content is a really good place to start.
3. 15% of all Google search terms are being searched for the very first time.
This one is very intriguing and follow the reasoning here. People search in all kinds of crazy, obscure ways. There will always be the popular high search volume phrases like “restaurants near me” which are highly competitive and hard to rank for. There is, however, huge opportunity to create quality, in-depth content that will potentially speak to these 15% of searches. Having just a couple hundred words on your page probably won’t capture rankings for these less popular, obscure searches – you need long form content.
(Source: Search Engine Land)
4. Visitor interaction like time on site and bounce rate affect rankings, which can be influenced by content.
Did you know that time on site was named as a top important ranking factor by SEMrush.com? Google takes this as a sign that the visitor likes what they find on your website and therefore your website is a good search result deserving of a top ranking.
One way you can engage your visitor and have them spend more time on your website is by providing quality, in-depth content that answers their questions and provides even more information. Your content can anticipate their needs and move them along the buyer’s journey.
5. Over 90% of content gets no Google search traffic.
Insert jaw drop here. Only 10% of the content on the Internet will get traffic from Google? Sadly, most is just buried in Search Results. This is proof that it’s not just about producing hundreds of words on a page. You have to get the content right.
And you have to get the rest of your SEO correct – technical, off-site, and more. This is an important reminder that this article isn’t suggesting that 1000’s of words on your website will guarantee results. You must combine your SEO content strategy (including content length) with a sound overall SEO strategy. It’s more than just applying keywords into paragraphs and paragraphs of text.
6. Long form content allows you to rank for more keywords.
Follow along here again on this one. The higher the word count on each page, the more ground you cover and the more opportunity you have to rank for a wider set of keywords. Long content will allow you to create a diversified and sustainable SEO strategy supported by hundreds and hundreds of well-ranking search queries. You no longer have to rely on just a handful of rankings and what would happen if you lose one. Yes, we understand that many websites still have those big “money keywords” that if they rank #1 for, their traffic skyrockets. But having long form content and capturing more keywords creates a much needed safety net.
So How Much Content Should be on a Web Page?
Before we answer this question let’s stop and think about the precedence that in depth content sets in establishing you as an expert in your field. If you go into significant detail on a specific topic and even have multiple pages of content expanding on and supporting that topic, Google will take that as a sign that you really are an expert. Especially if your competitors have next to no content written on the topic.
With this said, we recommend aiming for a realistic minimum of 400 – 500 words or more per page.
We have witnessed numerous pages with over 1000 words ranking very well also. You just need to make sure that, regardless of your word count, the SEO content is well written and the page stays on topic (themed) and remains relevant.
Remember that you are not writing your pages for the Search Engines to read but for your visitors to read. Put yourself in their shoes. If your web page has long form content:
- Are all 1000+ words informative and useful?
- Would you want to read all 1000+ words on the particular topic?
- Can the 1000+ words be divided into two or more pages to provide a better, more focused user experience?
Along with content quality, the number of words on your page needs to get high rankings and convert the subsequent website visitors into customers.
As a popular saying goes:
“Don’t worry about your word count; Worry about making your words count.”
How to Increase Your Website Content and Not Bore Your Visitors
It has been determined that yes, your website needs content, and that historically websites with more than 1,400 words on the page rank better. What if you are still weary about having too much content on the page?
Here are some creative ways you can add content into your website while still being relevant, interactive and engaging:
- Break up your content with enough headings so that it is easy to skim.
- Create an FAQ section on the page that helps answer additional questions around the topic and educates your visitor.
- Create “How To” lists to help give guidance to your visitor.
- Add interactive content to the page, such as images, videos, audio clips, and more.
- Insert testimonials (as relevant) to establish trust throughout the content.
- Use call-to-action buttons, forms, and other action enticements throughout the page so the visitor can take action before finishing reading the text.
Additional Content Resources:
If you are still unsure about the purpose of quality content or how to go about creating quality content to maximize your SEO efforts and engage visitors, check out the following resources that our staff and other industry leaders have created:
- 7 Secrets for Creating Evergreen SEO Content
- Quality SEO Content Checklist & Best Practices
- 7 Search Ranking Factors Analyzed (SEOMoz)
- How to Create High-Quality Content (Search Engine Journal)
- 10 Ingredients of Great Content Writing (Neil Patel)
- 10 Benefits of Consistent, High-Quality Content Marketing (Hubspot)
Professional SEO Content Writers
Our SEO Content Consultants and Writers are highly skilled at balancing content length with quality, branding, and engagement. If you are worried about your website’s content and if it is hurting your SEO efforts, contact our team online or call us at 1-888-262-6687. We’d be happy to talk with you and perhaps provide a Content Audit to help direct your efforts.