Does Word Count Matter?

By
Cameron Walker

The world of search engine optimization (SEO) is constantly changing, with digital marketing experts constantly changing their strategies to adapt to the algorithm set forth by Google.

With regards to writing blogs and articles, one of the most constantly asked and debated topics has to do with the word count. One major contributor to this belief is that many assume that word count is an SEO factor.

However, webmaster John Mueller from Google already confirmed that the search engine giant doesn’t consider word count as a ranking factor. Instead, Google prioritizes content based on quality, relevance, and originality. With that in mind, does word count still matter?

What Do Other Experts Say About Word Count?

There’s no official word count to follow when it comes to writing marketing content. However, we can look at what the experts have to say after they’ve gone through their findings.

According to a report by Neil Patel, the average word count for industries they’ve analyzed was around 900 words or less. He mentioned that most people don’t write extremely long blogs simply because it doesn’t make sense.

A blog post from the popular SEO tool Yoast stated that writing more than 300 words for regular posts or pages is ideal. They also suggested that writing long, high-quality blog posts of 1,000 words or more can increase your chances of ranking on Google.

One of the go-to resources for actional SEO and content marketing, Backlinko, revealed that the first page results in Google contained posts having an average of 1,447 words. They even recommend publishing long-form content simply because these pieces tend to rank better in search engines.

How to Find the Ideal Word Count for Blogs

At the end of the day, Google’s statement that they don’t consider word count a ranking factor prevails. Their employees themselves have confirmed that the number of words used on a page isn’t taken into consideration in search rankings.

This statement means that a post containing 1,400 words doesn’t automatically mean it will rank better than a page with only half the word count. The total number of words on a page isn’t an indication of quality. Some pages may have a lot of words that don’t benefit readers while others may be shorter but are relevant to what people are searching for.

To help you determine the best word count range for your marketing campaigns, consider the following tips:

  • Find out what your competitors are doing and use the average word count in their posts as a benchmark for yours.
  • Try incorporating long-tail keyword variations in your blog posts over time.
  • Identify and pay close attention to search intent as this helps define whether your readers want a short or long-form post.
  • Use SEO tools that help you review your past performance and see what content length works best for your website.

How to Write a Blog

Besides working on the word count, you should also learn how to properly write blogs in the first place. Doing so will help ensure that your content will be relevant to searchers whenever Google crawls and scans your pages.

Consider these steps below when writing a blog post:

  • Create a plan by selecting the appropriate topic, developing an outline, and carrying out research on the subjects you wish to discuss.
  • Craft a compelling headline that will capture the interest of your readers. Typically, titles between 50-60 words perform better than overly long (70+ characters) or overly short titles. Be sure to make it both an accurate description and attention-grabbing, such as “Top 5 Things You Might Not Know About Roofing Installations.”
  • Begin writing your post, making sure that you incorporate the keywords throughout the content.
  • Use images, humor, analogies, and explanations whenever necessary to make the content helpful and engaging throughout.
  • Proofread your blog post for grammatical errors and spelling mistakes.

Conclusion

Although the number of words by itself doesn’t mean anything to Google, it’s important to note that the search engine will always aim to satisfy user intent. The search giant has always been about pleasing its users by providing them with the best search experience possible.

This could easily mean searchers looking for longer posts that supply the answers they’re looking for.

With that said, it’s important to focus on providing what searchers want and not stick to a predetermined word count all the time. If a short-form blog satisfies users, then there’s no reason to extend it further.

Do your research to find out the ideal word count that suits your niche.


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