When it comes to optimal content length, there is disagreement among both marketers and SEO experts. In light of Google algorithm changes in recent years, some argue that longer content brings better results while others say that shorter, frequently written content is the right approach. The reality is there is no perfect length for website content. How long a page is depends on the audience being targeted, the industry being represented and the source of the desired traffic. The following outlines important considerations when deciding on content length for SEO.
Keep reading as the experts at New Hampshire marketing agency explain more.
There are four vital factors that determine content length:
- The source of traffic. If a website’s audience comes primarily from social media platforms, shorter content will likely perform better.
- The specific industry. If there is a high level of competition, longer content may be required for a better ranking.
- The target demographic. A middle-aged audience needs longer-form content than teenage web users.
- Established authority. When authority is already present, shorter content works very well because there is nothing to prove.
Before creating content, it is also important to consider how many writers are available, the number of topics and how much of the budget can be committed to the task.
Ideal Word Count
Blogging platform Medium has found that content of 1,500 to 2,500 words that takes approximately seven minutes to read receives the most attention from visitors. This works out to a reading speed of about 200 to 300 words per minute. The length presents a reader-friendly format that brings valuable SEO benefits. Any content over 2,500 words is likely to lose the audience.
Depth Over Length
Before publishing posts that are over 2,000 words to improve SEO, it is crucial to consider the depth of the content. Depth is the actual value that the words are bringing to readers. This is much more important than mere length. Google ranks content by how well it works with keywords, not just how long it is. It is very easy to write a fluffy piece that is 3,000 words with very little to no depth. High-quality content answers questions and always offers value to visitors. In addition, long-form content should always be properly formatted for easy readability:
- Organization with headings and sub-headings. Most web users skim content, and using headings will help them to find what they need quickly.
- Numbered lists and bullet points. This breaks down complex topics even further and assists the reader with comprehension.
- Videos and images. Both can be used to break down content sections as well as illustrating important points. Visitors often respond more positively to content that is in video format or is otherwise interactive.
- Short paragraphs. This is related to the skimming point above. People are more likely to engage with content that does not require reading a large wall of text. Short paragraphs of two to three sentences each will keep visitors on the page.
All content on a website should have a specific purpose. It should express an opinion, answer a question or help a visitor gain greater understanding about something. It is only effective if it has value. While content length does matter, it should have enough depth to keep it meaningful. If a question can be answered in 200 words or fewer, the reply should not be stretched to 3,000 words. Conversely, if a question requires a long response, it should not be compressed into a shorter format because of SEO concerns. The length of the content should always be a good fit for the topic.
Content length impacts search engine rankings, and longer content often does better than shorter content. All posts should offer depth, excellent presentation and value for the best outcome.