This is a question we get all the time: when content writing for SEO ranking, what’s the optimal page length? Just how much content writing do I need to do to get and keep the attention of Google’s spiders?
It’s a common question, and if there were an easy answer, then we would give it to you.
In reality, every page is unique and what works for one will not always work for another.
We realize that’s a frustrating answer to a common question, so allow us to elaborate.
Content Writing Page Length: Some Considerations
Like we said, there’s no single answer to the question “How long should my content be?” Arriving at an answer to that question requires that we take a look at the following aspects of your content:
However long your content is, it should be structured with a title header and appropriate subheads.
Breaking your content up logically makes it easier to read, but there’s also an SEO tool at work here: Search engine spiders can tell when text is bold, or italic, or inside header tags. When a search engine robot sees h1 or h2 tags, or even bold text, it interprets that text as being more important than the rest.
Make sure that your title and subheads contain words and phrases that will add value to your search ranking – including keywords will help, and also including related terms, and even some secondary and tertiary search terms in the h3 headers can help.
One of the dangers of writing for a specific page length is that writers can become trapped in a pattern.
When writing a sonnet, we know that we have to produce three quatrains of iambic pentameter with a “turn” around line 9, and close with a rhyming couplet.
Now now, calm down. I didn’t mean to dredge up bad memories of high school English. I’ll wait for you to recover from the flashbacks.
I only used the sonnet reference because it’s a perfect example of concrete, structured writing. When you write one, you know exactly how much you need to write and how you need to write it.
While this is(sometimes) great for poetry , it’s usually bad for content writing.
Some topics can be covered in fewer than 500 words. Others need at least 2,000 to do them any kind of justice. Making yourself a slave to the word count can mean you end up beating a dead horse – conversely, some topics demand a little more explanation, so don’t sell yourself short either.
The Keywords You Didn’t Count On
Good writing is natural writing. Don’t get so hung up on word count and writing hyper-focused pages that you forget to write for people.
Write posts that you would want to read, and write them in such a way that you clearly explain all your points in concise, structured language.
When you think of content writing as natural writing, many people find that they begin seeing traffic for keyword phrases they didn’t even optimize for. Take note of these items and adjust your writing topics accordingly.
How does this relate to page length?
Well, a post of 800-1000 words that is compellingly and naturally written stands a much higher chance of snagging the search ranking for these additional keywords and phrases you didn’t count on than, say a 300-word post does.
A lengthier post will have a tendency to be more search engine friendly, but remember: only write a longer post if you can fill the word count with good content.
If you find yourself running out of things to say around the 400-500 word mark, then say what you need to say, and call it a day.
Optimal Page Length: Don’t Worry About It.
So wait – that wasn’t really an answer at all to the question of how much content is enough, and how much is too much, was it? Well, that’s because there isn’t an answer, as we’ve said way back in paragraph 1. Still, we can give you a general idea of what to shoot for without getting too specific.
Not less than 300 words
As a general rule of thumb, pages less than 300 words or so are barely worth writing. There just isn’t enough information in a 100-200 word post to really catch a wide variety of web searches, and shorter content generally ends up with a tighter focus, sometimes to the detriment of search results.
Not more than you can stand to read
Do some web searches – not only in your industry, but also some web searches for things you’re interested in. Search for things you want to know, and see what you find.
When you look at the search results, don’t pay attention to word count until after you’ve read the post. When you find a few that are compelling and highly engaging to you, and you actually managed to read them all, see how many words they are.
This will give you a general guideline as to how much you should be writing, and hopefully as you perform your searches, you’ll see that there isn’t an “optimal” length beyond “enough words to completely explain your topic.”
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