When we explain the importance of blogging to our clients, they always ask us how long their blog posts have to be in order to rank in the search results. Most of the time, we advise writing at least 400 words for blog posts and at least 900 words for cornerstone content. Without enough content to analyze, Google has a hard time understanding what your text is about. You need to provide Google with some context, if you hope to get your content ranking.
Why does word count matter?
Generally, Google tends to rank longer, more in-depth blog posts higher than shorter ones. This is because the more words a post has, the more context clues Google can use to understand your post. When a post has less than 300 words, Google thinks of this as thin content. In other words, because Google can’t understand the topic of your text, it believes your post isn’t thorough enough to provide the best answer to the customer’s search query. So for those posts where ranking in the search results is one of your main goals, you definitely want to take the time to flesh out your ideas and beef up that word count a bit.
This doesn’t mean rambling just to take up space and satisfy Google, though; no one wants to read badly written, lengthy articles that don’t really “say” anything. Instead, it means planning out and writing awesome quality content that solves a problem or answers a question your customer has. Include relevant images, great headings, and links to related content on your site. Make sure the information you provide is high-quality and useful to your customers, and over time, Google will reward you handsomely for it.
Ideal word counts
Here is a brief summary of minimum word counts we recommend.
|Regular post or page||>300 words|
|Cornerstone content page||>900 words|
Of course, always keep in mind the nature of your content when deciding on an ideal length for your post. Here at MotorClick, most of our blogs are between 1,000-3,000 words, because our content typically requires a bit more explanation and detail than you would need in a post about pet food, for example.
How to write a great post that meets your word count
Just having a higher word count does not give you high-quality content that will rank in the search engines. With longer posts, you need to make sure your posts are easy to read and structured well. Once you have the central point of your post – the question you will answer or the problem you will solve – your post should systematically explore that topic. It should follow a logical train of thought and follow a predictable structure with clear headings and topic sentences. This helps people scan your text to find the information they need quickly.
Another key to keeping things readable, especially for mobile users, is keeping your paragraphs and sentences short and to the point. When you start editing your post and optimizing it for search engines, be brutal in taking out those unnecessary words and sentences. If you don’t need them, delete them. This will save some room for the content that your customers really want.
Perhaps more importantly, your content must also be original, reflecting your uniqueness as a brand. This can be difficult, especially since everything under the sun has been written about somewhere, by someone else. Think about your USPs and what makes you stand apart from your competition. How can you work that into your writing style and the way you present information to your customers? Do some keyword research to see what words your customers are searching for online, and look at how your competitors create content to answer those questions. Can you do better? Then go for it!
The word count of your posts and pages can definitely influence your rankings in the search results. However, you should never compromise the integrity and quality of your writing just to beef up that word count. If you cannot find a way to improve and lengthen your text, perhaps consider trying to improve another post and use it to rank in search instead. Ultimately, use your best judgment and track your progress through analytics, so you can see where these efforts pay off, or if you may need to make some adjustments.