Content Length and SEO: How Long Should My Content Be?


We all know that having optimised content on your site is important, but one often overlooked point is content length, exactly how long should a blog, or product page be?

Content length is one of the more debated topics in the world of SEO, how much impact does word count have on rankings, and is it a ranking factor? In this blog, we want to review these claims and provide a good practice guide for your content.


Content Length: The Points of View

The main consensus over the past few years has been that “Content is King”, meaning having more good quality, relevant, content than your competitor is the best way of getting ahead in SERP rankings. With this in mind, more content is best, so it would be reasonable to say that longer content would be better.

Articles appearing in the top 10 positions on Google have around 2,000 to 2,500 words, in fact, research from Hubspot looking into word count against average traffic, points to this roughly being the optimum length for articles to drive traffic to the site.

However, there is another school of thought that content should be as long as it needs to be. That good quality content is better than more content. This means that a good 800-word article on a topic is better than trying to stretch it to become a 2,500-word article.

But this is all just talking about blog or article pages, all pages are not created equal, some require more content than others. Should a landing page have more or fewer words than a category page or a product page? This a good question, Yoast gives a weighting to the minimum amount of content on the page depending on the type of page.


What About Thin Content?

Thin content refers to a page that is light on content and doesn’t meet the word count required on a page. Tools like Yoast have determined that around 200 words are the minimum that a page should have, but this is context-dependent. This is based on the idea that a search engine needs enough data to ascertain what a page is about, Yoast starts at around 200 words as does ScreamingFrog.


What Does Google Say?

John Mueller, Google’s Senior Webmaster Trends Analyst and Search Relations team lead is known for giving the SEO world some key insights about the inner workings of Google over the years and has given some indication of how important that word count is when it comes to how Google views and ranks a page.

To summarise, for Google an explicit word count is not a ranking factor, however, the quality of the content and how it is interacted with is more important.


Conclusion: Good Practice

As shown above, word count is not a ranking factor, what search engines care about is providing accurate answers to user’s search queries. If this takes 50 words to do, then this is the right number of words for the content, if it needs 5,000 words, then use 5,000 words.

However, intent and expectation are important, if a user is expecting a technical and in-depth answer to a question, it needs to be provided, similarly if 2,000 words are used on a product category, this could push the products so far down the page that the user experience is terrible. For most pages, 200 words should be enough to give an overview and could be seen as a minimum, but this is by no means a hard and fast rule.

If you feel your content needs to be reviewed, or want an SEO health check, Brave are the people to talk to. Experts in SEO and all aspects of digital marketing, we can audit your site, so a roadmap to achieving your website goals and objectives can be built.

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