Does your blog wordcount affect SEO?

does blog wordcount affect SEO

By now you probably know how having a blog on your website boosts SEO. Not only does it help you rank for keywords, establish site credibility, and provide a steady stream of content—a blog also provides answers to your readers. But Google’s algorithms and real humans searching for content value very different things. Google might want to see your keyword appear at least three times in subheadings, but people will think it’s strange to read “carburetors for sale in Fort Worth TX” more than once in a text. So how do you strike a balance?

You know that you can’t write a post full of keywords alone because people won’t read it. You also can’t ignore keywords entirely and write to your audience because Google won’t show it to anyone. Some people think that this boils down to wordcount alone—that some magic number exists that helps you rank higher and provide just enough info to keep someone’s attention. But is that really true? Does blog wordcount affect SEO?

Some people think that this boils down to wordcount alone, that some magic number exists that helps you rank higher and provide just enough info to keep someone’s attention…but is that really true?

The long and short of it is…drumroll please…yes and no.

Surprise, it’s not an easy answer! There are a number of factors that affect how well your blog posts perform for SEO, but wordcount is the most nebulous. Let’s take a look at some of the most important facts to consider and discuss why and why not wordcount makes a difference.

1 | There is no Google algorithm that discriminates based on wordcount alone.

There have been numerous studies in the past that attempted to correlate wordcount with high page rankings. These studies churn out “sweet-spot” numbers of anywhere from 1760 words to 1890, to 2000+, often based on analyzing millions of sites at a time. But Google has been adamant that short articles won’t rank lower just for being short, and that wordcount is not part of their ranking system. So why the high wordcounts on so many top ranking sites?

2 | Blog wordcount depends entirely on what you’re writing about.

While you may remember an essay or two from high school where you stretched a thin premise over 1,000 words, that’s not recommended for SEO blogging. Users want questions answered concisely, and search engines want happy users. So recommended wordcount can and should change depending on what the theme of your content is.

If you’re answering a query like “Difference between your and you’re”, you can keep that nice and tidy at around 200-300 words, and you’ll likely make the featured snippet pretty easily (side note: the current holder of that spot provides about 170 words of explanation and a couple of info graphics).

But if you’re answering something like “Explain String Theory,” you’ll need a lot more space to cover the topic in any useful capacity. (The top result there clocks in at around 1200 words, which is impressively concise!).

Ranking higher in your niche depends less on how much you write, and more on how well you write it. And because of that…

3 | Wordcount can change from post to post!

3 | Wordcount can change from post to post!

Because there is no robot or program to fool with precise wordcount numbers, you should feel free to change it up as needed. Maybe you’re writing a 10-item list of must-have beauty products one day, and the next you’re discussing what’s the best hairdryer on the market. One can be done in about 500-700 words, the other may need less (or significantly more depending on how strongly you feel about hairdryers.)

4 | How often you post matters a lot more than how many words you write.

While there’s no magic number here either, sticking to a consistent blog schedule will benefit your SEO a lot more than writing longer posts. This is because search engines may not rank you based on wordcount, but they do rank based on how current your information is.

If you manage a blog about web design, Google isn’t going to place much stock in your post from over a decade ago titled “Is HTML5 the new Flash?” If your content isn’t relevant anymore, it’s not actively contributing to your SEO.

Posting weekly or biweekly blogs is recommended for most companies. This shows Google that you provide steady, relevant content, and it gives you the chance to build a regular following. This also ensures you have content ready to share on social media on a consistent schedule.  

5 | As long as you provide relevant content, your SEO will be fine!

At the end of the day, it comes down to whether your content is up to date, accurate, and revolves around a central keyword that’s relevant to your website without overusing it in text. Everything else is still important, but ultimately secondary. So worry less about whether you’ve got enough content to hit 1890 words and focus more on quality and whether you’re providing something useful to searchers. Your SEO will thank you!

Bottom line, wordcount doesn’t technically affect SEO…

It mostly matters how thoroughly you cover your chosen topic and how frequently you post. Use as few or as many words as you need to, research your topics well, and post several times a month at minimum, and you’ll likely find your SEO on the rise.

That’s it for this week’s Red Arrow Blog. If you found these resources useful, let us know below! And be sure to follow our social media for weekly articles to help you make the most of your business.

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