Since the dawn of SEO, page word count has been at the forefront of major discussions about its ability to achieve high keyword rankings.
In the age of machine learning and mobile-first search, word count may be just as relevant as keyword optimisation and other factors that affect search ranking.
Is Page Word Count Still Relevant?
If you’re applying ongoing SEO strategies for your website, or have a reliable SEO agency working with you, you probably know about Google’s mobile-first update. The core algorithm update and other vital changes revolutionised SEO for mobile devices and artificial intelligence.
Today, SEO specialists develop high-quality and competitive content by focusing on search intent and user-oriented pages. No longer is keyword spamming an effective technique to rank on top of Google SERPs, but contents need to aim for an ideal word count.
That’s because machine learning algorithms allow Google to interpret a search query as naturally as a human being. Webmasters can no longer manipulate and abuse search crawlers with keyword spamming and poor content spinning since the search engines now process content by analysing context and search intent.
But with context and user-friendliness in mind, can we figure out an ideal word count for SEO-friendly pages?
What is the Ideal Word Count for SEO-Friendly Pages?
When writing regular blog posts, landing pages, or about us pages, we recommend writing at least 300 words. This is the bare minimum to get your page off the ground. That word count range is commonly the sweet spot for long-tail and high-quality content that both Google and your audience can easily understand.
John Mueller, Google’s webmaster trends analyst, also states that long texts and content don’t automatically equate to higher search rankings.
In other words, content that rank better isn’t necessarily longer than others but deliver information that best answers a particular search query.
Collated: Best Word Count Statistics
Our team at Red Search brought together relevant statistics and industry research to determine whether John’s statement is evident in the real world.
Yoast, Backlinko, and Search Engine Journal conducted three different studies with millions of searches to estimate the ideal page word count, and here is what they found:
- Yoast – Ideal word count for SEO is roughly 1,000.
- Backlinko – Millions of Google searches showed pages with a word count of about 1,450 ranks better.
- Search Engine Journal – For blog posts, a post length of about 1,900 is ideal.
From there, it’s safe to say that the figures lean towards the average word count of 1,450 words. But when writing high-quality content for your page, we advise focusing on quality and answering the search intent rather than beating around the bush to publish long yet dull pages.
Besides, before Google’s official statement on the matter, page owners associated page word count with better rankings.
That may have been a component for the statistics, but it’s more evident that intuitive and user-centred content with ideal length will rank better than long-tail yet poorly written pages.
Context & Relevance Is King. Word count, Queen.
SEO has become more comprehensive and ‘human’ than before in the age of machine learning, mobile search, and intuitive user experience. Modern SEO specialists look more into content that users would understand without having to read large chunks of text.
It’s also worth noting that writing long text without a proper outline may lead to content that drifts away from the main topic, causing Google to rank you on the wrong queries. Hence, putting attention to context while keeping a good balance on your word count will go a long way.
In summary, stay on-topic and go-in depth. Your SEO rankings will naturally follow suit.
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