Is Word Count A Ranking Factor In SEO

February 3, 2024

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The quest for the top of the search engine results pages can find you doing some rather strange things.

Search engine optimisation can include lots of different strategies that will most improve the content quality and relevancy of a website, and help rank higher in the search results. One factor we know search engines love is content, but not all content is created equal.

So if you’re planning on launching a content marketing strategy such as posting on a blog, you may be wondering how many words should your posts have?

There is a bit of a debate among marketers about whether a specific word count helps you increase your ranking. But is there any truth to it?

Let’s unpack it right now.

Is Word Count a Ranking?

Content is the backbone of any SEO strategy, and we know search engines love high-quality and relevant content. Having more content than your competitors can help you improve your ranking tremendously and attract new, interested audiences simply by having your blog posts cover relevant topics in your industry.

Because content is so important, the idea that Google considers word count a ranking was born. Basically, quality content usually means long-form content, since it gives you the space to truly discuss a topic and provide potential readers genuine insights into the subject at hand.

And you can now even find recommended average word count for different types of blog posts, industries, and even target audiences.

Unfortunately, the evidence doesn’t really support this claim, and there’s a good reason why Google and other search engines don’t consider word count a ranking factor:

Content length and quality are two different things

Basically, longer content doesn’t mean quality content.

Search engines look at how users interact with a piece of content in order to determine its quality
● The level of engagement with the content
● Bounce rate on the specific page
● How much time do they spend on your site
● If they return to your site or not, etc.

The number of words doesn’t help you make sure you satisfy a user’s intent. In fact, in some cases, it might work against you.

For example, if you are trying to create blog posts with an average word count in mind, it’s possible that at least some of these articles will be either unnecessarily long or too short to actually give your reader the information they are looking for.

Both these cases can create frustrating situations for the users, meaning your content marketing strategy won’t give the results you need to improve your search rankings.

There is also a matter of keyword stuffing. By focusing on word count for SEO, it’s really easy to try and add as many popular keywords in your industry as possible in just one blog post.

This would basically encourage content marketers to create content just to suit the keyword, instead of focusing on what the content can offer the user.

How Long Should the Content Actually Be?

So content length might not “count” as a ranking, but it doesn’t mean you shouldn’t think about this topic at all.

The golden rule is that the topic you’re covering should dictate the length of your content. If you’re going into some industry insights, then long-form content provides the opportunity to go more in-depth into the topic.

But, if you’re just trying to answer common customer questions through a blog post, it’s best to keep it short.

No matter the content length, the content marketer should always focus on certain key factors when creating the texts:

● Simple and clear language
● Easy to read (short paragraphs, inner sections, etc.)
● Engaging language
● Relevant to the target audience
● Have a clear goal in mind (educate, entertain, sell, etc.)

Every single line on your website should have a specific goal. Through content marketing strategies, you are trying to attract new audiences by providing them with something truly useful. Audiences don’t necessarily care if you do that in 300 words or 1000 words, as long as they can easily go through your blog posts and find out what they need.

So it’s much better to guide your content length on whether you’ve done the job than to have fixed content word counts your writers have to always meet.

Other Factors That Improve Your Ranking

Of course, content is not the only thing that can help a website improve its Google ranking. SEO is a long-term strategy that includes many types of efforts:

● Being mobile-friendly
● Removing broken pages
● Creating simple and intuitive navigation
● Lowering page load speed as much as possible
● Adding keywords to website metadata
● Creating internal and backlinks, etc.

All these different factors work together with the content on your website and lead to one thing: a good user experience.

That’s basically what search engines are looking for. They want to offer their users link in the SERPs that can truly offer them:

● What they need to satisfy their intent
● A safe browsing experience
● A pleasant browsing experience

And the better your site becomes in terms of quality, the better chances it has to improve its Google rankings.

How to Get Started on Your SEO Strategy

By now, you’re probably thinking that an SEO strategy essentially covers every aspect of your website. And you’re right.

SEO needs to be a comprehensive and detailed effort that leads no stone unturned. That’s because all ranking factors influence each other, so even if you have amazing content, you can’t improve your ranking if your site isn’t mobile-friendly, for example.

But if you’re looking to create a new and better SEO strategy, we at Australian INternet Advertising are happy to assist you.

Reach out to our team today to find out more about our services!

Billy P.

About The Author

William Polson founded Australian Internet Advertising in 2013 and has over 12 years of experience immersed in Digital Marketing.

With an in-depth level of digital marketing knowledge, William has been sort after by and worked for, many large national brands including Subaru, Blooms The Chemist, and Nova 96.9.

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