SEO Content Guide [2020]: How Much Content is Good for SEO Rankings?

Last updated: 07-04-2020

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SEO Content Guide [2020]: How Much Content is Good for SEO Rankings?

There is a question in every mind: how many word counts do you need to rank in the first place? What is the best length of copy for SEO? Here you can find out the reality behind word count and SEO.

“How many words are required to be written?”

It’s a question I mostly hear when discussing clients’ requirements of copy to enhance their pages.

The motivation for the copy, the characteristic it needs to have must be in it and the audience it is talking to is often lower deliberation.

For some specific reason, whenever an SEO brings up copy the follow-up discussion centers around word count.

It is often said that longer content has better ranking, right? Isn’t that what you are often told?

The additional words are written on a page, the more “dependable” the search engines will examine your work to be, and the higher you’ll rank.

This is an idea that is often discussed on Twitter or in meetings but without any truthful basis to it.

So, why is the common agreement that the longer copy makes for more rank-worthy pages?

There are many studies that are often repeated in relation to word count.

One study from Backlinko, issued in April 2020 cited the “average Google first page result contains 1,447 words.”

It would be really simple for some people to get this information in separation and suppose it means that pages need almost 1,500 words to rank top on page one.

That isn’t what this study is presenting nevertheless.

The study gives an idea of similarity between top-ranking pages.

This is connection, not condition. We will discuss more about it later.

There are many reasons that should go into consideration how long a page’s content should be and they can’t all be about just ranking the page.

It is really necessary to keep in mind that copy on a page should be there to aid the human visitor, not a search bot.

The number of the word count of the copy on that page should be as much as it is needed to aid the user in achieving their goals on the page – whether that is quickly recognizing the answer to a question, giving an in-depth clarification of a subject, or simply giving the gamble of a product.

User requirements should be kept at first and supreme.

I can understand it; you want to know how many words you need to write to be with the best possibility of getting a first-page ranking.

The problem is, there is no defined word count.

The search engines will rank pages higher that best meet a researcher’s searching query.

Rarely is the “volume of words” something that will be the determining factor for users.

The standard of the copy and how good it answers their questions will be of more significance.

The capacity of words on a page is not the right way to calculate the standard of its content.

There is also the most common idea that you just need to have as many words count on your page as the top-ranking challenger.

The problem that stumbles a lot of people up when searching at word count is confusing association and causation.

If you just look at the top 5 ranking pages for your selected search term and see that they all have almost 2,000 words it is easy to understand that you would consider that is what is needed to rank great for that term.

Only the word count is not the determining factor.

However, longer pages might be ranking well accidentally due to their length.

Lengthy pages might be more interesting and “link-worthy” as recommended by HubSpot’s study carried out in 2015.

In revolve, it could be the link profile of the page that gives rise it to rank well.

It could also be that lengthy pages directly allow for the more in-depth answers needed to rank good for some searching queries.

What is important to note is, correlation does not equal causation.

lengthy content ranking better than shorter content does not mean lengthy content is the reason for a good page ranking.

Maybe longer content might give better performance than shorter content in some cases, do not get into the trap of supposing longer content is greater than shorter.

Google’s own SEO starter guide states, “Content should be factually accurate, clearly written, and comprehensive.”

Comprehensive is not a synonym for lengthy.

Comprehensive refers to  “complete and including everything that is necessary.”

That would have recommended that copy requires to be sizeable enough to cover everything a user might want to know as an answer to their query.

For some searches such as “the history of the English monarchy” that could be a considerable amount of text.

For others, such as “gas prices near me” it can be notably less.

Yes, Content could be too lengthy.

One problem with writing a copy to a specific word count is the piece can become weak.

In an offer to get a random amount of words the writer might simply start stuffing or repeating concepts or words.

It also can influence how well the copy will get rank for the keywords you are targeting or searching for.

Stuffing the message of the content can also result in the keyword subject of the page being knocked off course.

Rather of writing a concise page about the actual keyword topic you are forced to initiate other ideas to pad the content.

This can negatively affect a page’s capacity to rank for your selected keywords.

The key to apprehending how much content is required for a page is to stop looking at it as a selected target to hit.

Rather, we need to look at the reason for the page.

What the page has been generated to do is of high significance when considering its capacity to rank well in the natural search results.

Is it an instructive page?

Was it designed to signpost users to other pages on the site?

The purpose of the page will reflect on how much copy needs to be on it.

The major characteristic when selecting how long content should be is user objective.

What would a user want when arriving on the page?

If you get to know what a user needs from your page it guides you to make sure it is comprehensive enough to meet those requirements.

Making a page long for the sake of ranking does not help the user.

This in turn does not help you either. Even if your page does rank well, rankings should not be the final goal of any SEO work. Transforming traffic is a more important principle.

If a user gets on your page to find an answer to their question but cannot see the wood for the trees, then you have not met their requirement.

Another key deliberation is how to copy length affects conversion.

Some pages directly do not need a great bundle of copy in order to help the visitor complete the required action.

Too much content might be off-putting for a product category page for the occasion.

So what is the best word count for SEO?

Content length should never be read out by a word count.

It should be as long as it is required to help deliver the message of the page and allow users to complete their wanted actions on that page.

The longer copy might have superiority in some SERPs but it is not the word count of copy only that is the determining factor on rank.

At the end of the day copy on a page shouldn’t just be about ranking only. It should meet the requirements of the user and encourage conversion.

There is no ideal lengthy word count for that.

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