How to determine the perfect length of content of your page
The more, the better or … ” less is more ”? What does the user want? To read as much information as possible – therefore exhaustive – or articles as succinct as possible, on the principle of “straight to the point”? On the other hand, we cannot ignore the criteria set by Google in this regard.
This time we will talk about a “dilemma” often encountered among online marketers: more precisely, about the length of SEO content within a page. As I mentioned on other occasions, in previous posts, SEO can often be a combination of various activities, all strategic, but… interpretable.
In the absence of precise and official guidelines to designate a good practice guide in Search Engine Optimization, many of the actions taken by specialists have a practical basis rather than a theoretical one. In other words, decisions and strategies often derive from previous experiences, based on the expertise of the specialist in the field.
This is explained both by the fact that we do not know exactly how Google’s algorithms work, but also by the idea that they periodically change their operating principles through various updates. Thus, we cannot consider that there is a universally valid recipe in SEO, which will give results at any time, for any type of website. Under these conditions, only by experimenting can we realize which method works best and for how long.
Such preliminary observations also apply to the design of SEO content, which is the “king” of online optimization, whether we are talking about presentation texts, blog posts or articles for the link-building process. What we know for sure is that they must be optimized by targeting the keywords of interest, they must be relevant, original and useful for the user. Regardless of the length of the texts, it is recommended that they be as well structured as possible and, of course, written without grammatical errors that would affect the user’s confidence s.a.m.d.
In addition, we must not omit the fact that in SEO, as an online marketing technique, content is one of the most important positioning factors. According some guys, “content determines contextual relevance. The way it is done, combined with the context in which it is placed and the links it refers to, determines how it is indexed and what queries (searches) it could answer”.
And yet, what is the ideal length of an SEO text, which very often remains at the discretion of the expert? Here is what information we can offer you, following the experience gained and a fresh research!
The length of SEO content is determined by word counting. In principle, any text should contain at least 250-300 words, starting from the idea that it would be a “basic” text. We refer here, for example, to a landing page that does not have a very high stake, such as a subcategory of the site.
However, the higher the stake, I mean the more important the page you want to rank in Google, the more words will increase. Thus, depending on the context, you will have to generate more extensive content, of at least 500 words or even over 1000 words.
For example, our standard is at least 500 words for blog articles, off-page articles, or site presentation / category text. In the case of a more valuable landing page or a post that deals with a hotly contested topic, the minimum threshold extends to about 1000 words.
Of course, there is no maximum threshold as long as you have something new to say, and your texts are not simple marketing messages. In addition, the length of the texts is also established depending on the competition or the volume of searches for the targeted expression!
If the interest of the users for a certain keyword is (towards) zero, your page can occupy a top position with the help of a text of only 150 words. On the other hand, in the situation where the respective keyword is defining for the client’s field of activity, this aspect will impose by itself the extension of the content from the page.
So, in SEO you can also deal with various isolated cases. In any case, the initial content may change at any time – related to the evolution of the positioning, being necessary to expand the content, but also for reasons of relevance, to update the information.
Yoast.com, on the other hand, suggests that we determine the extent of the content written according to the scheme below:
Taxonomy pages > 250 words
Standard pages / posts > 300 words
Main landing pages > 900 words
However, keep in mind that Google tends to rank higher pages with richer content. But be careful! Do not add unnecessary content, just “for the sake of art” or to forcefully lengthen the texts, because no one wants to read a long, boring and non-informative materials, which in the end will do nothing but increase the bounce rate. The quality, relevance and user-friendly attribute remain a priority, regardless of the length of the texts!
The longer a text is, if it’s strategically justifiable, the easier it will be for Google to figure out what SEO content is all about. As such, the engine will know in which category to place that page, so as to return it among its results, depending on the targeted search phrases and queries.
Don’t do keyword stuffing, however, regardless of the amplitude of the text! This is not the purpose of longer texts, but the added value you can bring to the content. In terms of density, use keywords naturally, insert images and links in your post, but also synonyms / semantic variations of the targeted expressions, in order to give Google as many clues as possible about your content.
Thus, the longer and more optimized your text is, the more likely you are to rank with that page on secondary / derivate keywords of a long tail, for example. As you approach more sub-topics of the main topic, multiple optimization will occur naturally.
Kind reminder! Keep in mind that, regardless of the number of words in a text, SEO content must be original in the first place, ie not duplicate, and really useful for visitors. This is the only way you will have the chance to generate quality organic traffic.
In other words, the so-called “thin content” does not necessarily refer to a restricted page, but to the fact that it has no value to the user; it does not bring any benefit, but focuses only on marketing or corporate arguments, without focusing on the needs of the public and without providing a complete answer to it.
First of all, you can use the Yoast SEO plugin to check the length of the texts, the density of the keywords and the inserted links, as well as other aspects. As you can see in the screenshot below, Yoast SEO will generate a list of warnings and recommendations.
As the “content is king”, it deserves proper attention. Regardless of the length, it must be of good quality, neat and well-structured writing:
- the keyword, in the form of an exact match and not only, must be repeated once in approximately 100 words (at least in the case of short tail keywords);
- the expression must be logical, accompanied by a friendly tone (avoid complicated language);
- the text must be easy to read, without interminable sentences (structure it in paragraphs, to insert bold captions, etc.);
- research for the copywriter’s inspiration and deepening of the subject can make the difference.
From the Search Engine Journal blog, we find out that you can also determine the length of the texts depending on the moment you post them, the browsing preferences of the target audience or the promotion channel predominantly used:
- shorter articles seem to be more popular for the mobile version (although those with long content can get the same number of views);
- long texts are more suitable for weekends, especially in the morning;
- social media can generate the most traffic, in the mobile version, to the pages with rich content (on the other hand, the internal links are the ones that rather lead to the increase of the engagement rate);
- Facebook directs most readers to pages with extensive content, but Twitter attracts the most active.
So, as a general rule, depending on the purpose, the importance of the page or the topic, you can start writing your texts from 300 words, well chosen and organized, enough to attract Google’s attention. If the competition for a particular keyword is very high or the landing page is a main one, you can go up to 1000 words or even more.
We cannot specify a maximum limit, as long as you have something to say and you do it naturally, without forcing things or repeating yourself; especially in the case of blog posts, where you even have the option to structure the materials in several parts, with links between them.
In conclusion, don’t forget one thing! Short and targeted SEO content does not mean “thin content”, just as broad and exhaustive content does not involve keyword stuffing. In the case of the first confusion, you will not be able to rank, and in the second case you will risk getting penalized by Google.