Content marketers and copywriters are frequently asked the question ‘is there an optimum word count to get noticed by Google?’. It’s a widely-debated topic, which many in our industry disagree over. But, we have an answer – and in short, it’s no.
Let’s explain why.
250 words used to be the number tipped as optimum – whether for core web content, or a fresh new blog post. But more recently, that amount has been viewed as limiting, with some arguing that content over 1,500 words is positioned higher on Google rankings.
So, when tasked with creating a blog post or web page, content professionals are often left scratching their heads, not knowing whether to write lengthy articles, or smaller snippets of information.
Here’s what we think:
Rather than worrying about word counts, we should be focusing on creating fresh, engaging content that we know our readers will enjoy, and Google will favour as relevant.
Here are a few tips to nailing great content that your audience – and Google – will love:
- Sometimes, there’s no getting around drafting a long, wordy article – there are some topics that just can’t be executed in 250 words! But make sure it’s something your audience wants to read. And if you’re not sure whether they will, then ask them! Run a Twitter poll, mail out a survey, or simply send them an email. Ultimately, every paragraph should be compelling and add value.
- Study what’s working. Look at your Google Analytics to find out your most-read blogs and how long your audience spends reading them. If lengthy content seems to turn them away, for example, then perhaps write some shorter, snappier articles. It’s a classic case of supply and demand!
- Don’t bulk out content just to hit a word count. Whether your blog is 150 words or 1,500, if it’s relevant, then Google will rank it.
- Do your keyword investigation – it might sound boring, but the research phase is one of the most important. By looking at what users are searching for, it can help you come up with a blog post idea that solves a reader’s problem and keeps them engaged.
Our friends at The Bigger Boat, a digital marketing agency, add some further advice: “We’ve always advocated ‘quality vs quantity’, so don’t be hampered by an arbitrary word count. It’s still important to do research to help you determine the title of the blog post and the core of the content, but from there you should write naturally about the subject.
“It’s not as simple as writing a certain amount of content anymore – Google has become much more sophisticated through utilising technologies such as machine learning to influence rank. You could write a huge piece of content that’s not engaging, and it might not rank as well as a shorter, more focused, visual and interactive piece that grabs a user’s attention”.