There is no set amount of words that is optimal for SEO

The best word count for SEO… doesn’t exist!

The Misconception of the Ideal Word Count

There is a widespread idea that a fictitious “ideal” word count exists out there for Search Engine Optimization (SEO) purposes. Many believe that as long as they hit this set number, their content will unquestionably be rewarded by search engine gods and rank higher in the search engine results pages (SERPs). But in reality, that’s not entirely accurate.

This belief has driven content creators to incessantly strive towards hitting certain count landmarks, often leading them to compromise their article quality. They end up padding their contents needlessly, making it less valuable for human readers, just so they can meet an invented SEO standard, which quite frankly, might not even exist.

The truth is, no “ideal” word count for SEO exists. Rather, search engines like Google stress on quality content over quantity, relevance, keywords usage, and reader engagement among other factors more than the length of your post.

Let’s consider the case of two blogs: One with over 2000 words filled with repetitive information, while the other stands at 1000 words, concise, to the point, providing high value to its readers. The latter despite being shorter, would likely perform better in terms of SEO.

  • Focusing on your content relevance and value should be the priority.
  • Long form content does have a place but shouldn’t become filler text
  • The length of your article should be dictated by the needs of your topic and audience, not an arbitrary number.
  • Keywords should still be incorporated strategically in your content, regardless of length.
  • Your audience engagement such as shares, comments, backlinks matters greatly for your SEO score.
  • The intent of your content, whether it satisfies what users are searching for, influences how it ranks on SERPs.

Understanding Google’s Algorithm

Let’s take it a step further, the emphasis on quality and relevance is better understood by unraveling the intricate workings of Google’s algorithm – the most popular search engine. Since the “Hummingbird” update in 2013, Google’s sophisticated algorithms prioritize ‘context’ over simple keyword matching.

Re-cycled contents, even if it meets the much debated “ideal” word count, will not curry favor with Google’s crawlers. If your article does not provide substantial value, or if it is just puffing up known information, then it is less likely to rank high on SERPs.

It all depends upon how well you have met your audience’s expectations, answered their queries, and essentially, how useful they find your content. Keyword stuffing won’t trick Google, but instead it might lead to penalization.

Suppose you’re writing a detailed guide about baking macarons. You would want to include tips, common pitfalls, possible variations, and maybe even some history. A short 300-word article wouldn’t do justice. On the contrary, if you’re giving a brief overview of different types of pastries, a concise 800-word blog might fit perfectly.

  • Google’s algorithm appreciates unique, valuable content over keyword-loaded ones.
  • Hitting an exact word count won’t necessarily help your content’s performance.
  • Focusing on delivering comprehensive, accurate, and engaging content works better.
  • Adding multimedia elements like pictures, infographics can help break up text-heavy content and improve engagement.
  • Regularly updating your content indicates that your website is active and relevant, contributing to a better SEO score.
  • Understand what your audience wants, answering their queries accurately leads to higher site times and favorable SEO.

Analyzing High-Ranking Content on SERPs

One empirical way to understand the relationship between word count and SEO is by analyzing high-performing content. When you search for a keyword, often the top results are comprehensive guides or exhaustive articles.

However, it isn’t that they rank higher because of their length. They provide in-depth coverage of the topic, naturally leading to a longer post. Sure, longer content has more opportunities for keywords, but it’s also about providing substantive value to readers.

For instance, ‘how-to’ guides typically perform well because they cover a topic thoroughly, answering potential questions and solving corresponding problems. This improves time-on-site, engagement rate, and shares – all relevant signals for SEO.

  • Analyzing top-ranking content can give insights into what works for a given topic or keyword.
  • Articles offering a deep analysis, research-based facts, or comprehensive coverage typically perform well for SEO.
  • The length of these articles is a result of detailed exploration of the subject matter, not the cause of their high ranking.
  • Frequently sharing valuable content can lead to higher website authority, which indirectly boosts your SEO performance.
  • Proper organization of content with heading tags (H1, H2), bulleted lists make it reader-friendly and SEO-optimized.
  • Internal linking helps keep users engaged, reducing bounce rates while increasing dwell times – both beneficial for SEO.

In Conclusion: Quality Over Quantity

Given this thorough analysis, it’s safe to conclude that the focus should be quality over quantity. It isn’t about how many words you’ve written, it’s about how valuable those words are to the reader. Remember *content is king*, but only when it provides real, unique value.

Here’s a summary table that encapsulates these insights:

Parameter Recommendation
Word count fixation No “ideal” word count, focus on relevance and value
Google’s Algorithm Context matters more than keywords
Analysis of high-ranking content Quality, comprehensive coverage matters

Vigilantly observe your content’s performance, adjust where necessary, implement SEO best practices but at the center of it all – ensure you’re putting out quality and engaging content that suits the needs and curiosity of your audience.