SEO & Word Count: Does The Content’s Length Really Matter?

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SEO & Word Count: Does The Content's Length Really Matter?

SEO & Word Count: Does The Content’s Length Really Matter?

Updated on: 6 January 2023

SEO & Word Count: Does The Content's Length Really Matter?

Every year, SEO services providers and professionals stress the importance of generating new content for SEO purposes and users alike. Additionally, Google updates to their algorithms and AI, such as their recent helpful content update 2.0 and link spam update, certainly put digital marketing agencies and marketers on high alert, making them more conscious about their strategies in pushing content towards the first page.

With many sources recommending the varying amount of word counts for better rankings – ranging from as little as 250 to more than 2000 words, the crucial question is: Does word count matter when it comes to SEO? Do longer contents really mean better ranking, as most would say?

In this article, we will explore what Google has to say.

The ideal word count for SEO

While there is no common consensus on the ideal word count, many would agree that longer content generally outperforms shorter content. And this makes perfect sense. Google’s algorithm has been updated to improve consumers’ useability and value. Hence, longer content provides a better opportunity for its system to understand your content better. Additionally, there are some reasons why longer content ranks better.

  • Long content provides better quality information: Longer texts provide Google with more information to determine its context. The longer your optimised content is, the more often your keywords will pop up. Longer texts also mean more links, images, and headings to use.
  • Long-tail keywords: With longer content, your website can also rank for long-tail keywords that relate to your target keywords. Through longer texts, you can cover multiple topics with long-tail keywords, targetting a wider reach.
  • Longer content is not thin content: Google typically considers content with few words as thin content that, unlike longer content, does not meet consumers’ needs and questions.

With that being said, it is not necessarily that longer is most certainly going to be better.

Rather than length, it is the quality of your content that matters

Google’s Senior Webmaster Trends Analyst, John Mueller, once stated that word count does not factor for better ranking in SERPs. He specifically said that “Just blindly adding texts to a page does not make it better.”

Rather than connecting higher word count with better SERP ranking, Google’s AI focuses on original, high-quality, and relevant content. Short content with straight-to-the-point facts is ideal for certain queries, while lengthy, detailed contents are ideal for other queries.

So, what, then, should you really focus on for better SERP ranking? Here are some factors that affect your SERP ranking that you should capitalise on to your advantage.

1) Content structure

Content structure refers to how your content will appear to your consumers. Elements such as heading tags are elements of good content structure that help your website provide easy-to-digest content as well as direct them to the correct pages. It is all about providing the best user experience.

2) Information quality

Google is headed towards a user-centric experience. Hence, websites with quality, beneficial information are favoured over insubstantial ones. Fluffing your content just to fill up the word count will only hurt your SERP ranking as they are unnecessary and unhelpful.

In order to improve your SERP ranking, you need to follow the EAT factor, which is providing Expert opinions, Authoritative information, and Trustworthy content. Also, always make sure that your content is original.

3) Link-building

There are many misunderstood factors and myths of link-building, such as it no longer being relevant.

Rather than focusing solely on building up your word count, you should focus on building quality links, both internal and backlinks. With quality content, if you follow the EAT factor, it will naturally translate to quality backlinks. Likewise, including internal links to relevant pages helps to connect your consumer to other relevant solutions.

The path to SERP ranking success is a two-step process that translates from longer content to better links which then leads to high lead generation and higher SERP ranking.

Conclusion

As long as we have satisfied the search intent and provided the best-quality answer, we have created not just a piece of well-ranked content but also well-linked content that will generate lots of backlinks, leading to even better SEO rankings.

Long gone are the days when spamming keywords and writing long meaningless content are favoured. While our article still stresses the need for longer content for better SEO ranking, it is for a more well-rounded reason. And higher word count alone will not help you achieve a better ranking.

The way to go is by generating helpful content that your consumers are looking for. Rather than focusing on length itself, prioritise what they need – which is compelling, helpful, credible, and relevant content. With a clear end goal for your content, you’re one step closer to boosting your site’s authority and credibility.