Over the years we have been told to write “X” amount of words on a page starting at 250 words with as much as up to 5000 words. Why have marketers been advised to write more and more content? Well, they have been told that the more content they write the more improved chance you have of ranking on the first page of Google in organic search.
I will get straight to the point…….No, word count itself is not a ranking factor. As I am sure you are all aware, Google updates their algorithm hundreds of times a year so the landscape of SEO is ever changing. Their are a number of ranking factors to enable your page to rank well and word count doesn’t fall into that category however their are some considerations.
So, should we abandon word count completely?
Well, without words on your page you are not going to be able to rank for the specific search term you want to rank for and without words this could impact other ranking factors.
This has been an interesting one to test. During our tests we found that the higher the word count there is an increased opportunity to answer the users intent and also increase the opportunities for back links. Both intent and back links are ranking factors.
We can all write long form content but when writing content, marketers can get carried away with the number of words they need to hit and before you know it they have steered away from the topic. If content is overwritten and goes away from the topic then you could actually damage your SEO and it is not relevant content to the users search.
I have always found when writing a post or page for any given website I aim for anything between 750 to 1200 words. In most cases this has enabled me to stay within my topic and not veer off piste.
In addition to this it enables me to weave in the correct keyword density, variations of the keyword and any LSI words which again all play a part in ranking factors.
Advice = Write until you are comfortable that you have answered your users search intent and don’t get hung up on the word count!