Here’s the short and direct answer:
Yes, content length can affect SEO. In general, longer content tends to rank better in search results because it can cover a topic in more depth and provide more value to the reader.
However, it is important to note that simply increasing the length of your content for the sake of SEO is not a good strategy. The content should be useful and relevant to the reader, and it should also be well-written and easy to read.
The best approach is to focus on creating high-quality content that is informative, engaging, and meets the needs of your target audience.
Now let’s go a bit more in detail.
How does word count affect SEO?
While word count is not a direct ranking factor, it can still have an impact on your SEO efforts. This is because longer content tends to be more comprehensive and can cover a topic in more depth, which can be helpful for both users and search engines.
Longer content can also provide more opportunities to include keywords and phrases that can help improve your search engine ranking.
That being said, it’s important to strike a balance between having enough content to thoroughly cover a topic and not overwhelming readers with too much information.
It’s also important to focus on creating high-quality content that provides value to your users, rather than just trying to increase your word count for the sake of it.
In general, it’s a good idea to aim for content that is around 500-1000 words long, but there is no specific word count requirement for SEO.
The most important thing is to create content that is helpful and informative for your target audience.
Are Long Form Articles Always Better for SEO?
Longer form articles are not always better for SEO.
While longer content can be helpful for covering a topic in depth and providing value to users, it’s important to remember that the quality of your content is more important than its length.
A long, well-written article can be beneficial for SEO, but a shorter, high-quality article can also perform well in search results. This is because they can answer the user’s query immediately, with a short concise reply.
It’s also important to consider your target audience and the type of content they are looking for. If your audience prefers shorter, more concise articles, then it may make more sense to create content that meets their needs.
On the other hand, if your audience is looking for more in-depth information on a particular topic, such as case studies, or detailed reasoning, then longer content may be more appropriate.
In general, it’s a good idea to aim for content that is comprehensive and covers a topic in detail, but it’s also important to ensure that your content is well-written, easy to read, and provides value to your users.
The most important thing is to create content that meets the needs of your target audience and helps you achieve your website’s goals. Start with the main message.
Research Insights about Content Length and SEO Impact
Yoast, a company that provides SEO tools and services, conducted a study in 2022 that analyzed the relationship between the length of a post and its search engine ranking.
The study found that the optimal word count for different types of pages varies. As a general guideline, Yoast recommends that:
- taxonomy pages (pages used for organizing content and data) should have a minimum of 250 words,
- regular posts and pages should have at least 300 words,
- cornerstone content pages should have at least 900 words, and
- product pages should have a minimum of 200 words.
Another study by Ahrefs in 2020 examined around 900 million webpages and discovered a strong positive correlation between word count and the average number of referring domains (websites that link to a particular page).
In a separate study, Ahrefs found that almost 91% of all pages receive no organic traffic, largely due to a lack of backlinks.
These findings suggest that the relationship between content length and search engine ranking is more complex than a simple “longer is better” equation.
Instead, it seems that longer content leads to more links, and more links ultimately lead to better rankings and more organic traffic.
My Recommendation on Content Word Count
In summary, it is important to create content that is long enough to provide enough information for search engines to understand what the page is about, and that meets the needs of your target audience.
This may require different word counts for different types of pages, as well as a focus on meeting the “search intent” of your users – that is, the purpose or goal behind their search query.
Instead of trying to write long content for the sake of it, it’s important to focus on creating content that is useful and valuable to your users.
This can mean organizing your content in a way that puts the most important information first, such as in an executive summary or newspaper article, and providing answers to user questions as quickly as possible.
By providing value to your users from the moment they arrive on your page, you can improve the user experience and increase the chances of your content ranking well in search results.
So, first provide the most useful information and advice at the beginning of your content.
Then you can then go into more depth and provide additional details for readers who are interested in learning more. This can help to keep readers engaged and improve the overall quality of your content.
It’s also important to give users a clear path to take the next step, whether that means signing up for a whitepaper or newsletter, purchasing a product, or reading related articles.
By making it easy for users to find what they need and take the desired action, you can increase the chances of achieving your goals, as well as improve the overall user experience on your website.
In the past, the focus of SEO was on including a specific keyword or phrase as many times as possible in order to rank highly for that term. However, this is no longer the case, and there are no hard and fast requirements for content length in modern SEO.
While longer content can be beneficial for SEO, it’s important to remember that simply increasing the word count of your content will not necessarily help you rank higher in search results.
Instead, the key is to create high-quality content that meets the needs of your target audience and satisfies their search intent.
By providing valuable information that addresses the needs and interests of your users, you can improve the chances of your content ranking well in search results.
In addition to creating quality content, it can also be helpful to perform outreach initiatives and build incoming links from other reputable websites.
This can help to increase the credibility of your site in the eyes of search engines and improve your search engine ranking.