Writing For SEO: How Much Is Too Much? (SEO Tips)
If you are writing for SEO, you’re most likely doing it to increase organic traffic. Your content acts as a signpost, which Google reads to decide whether your brand is trustworthy, useful, and authoritative. If it is, you’ll head up the search query results. If not, you’ll languish pages back, where click-throughs are few and far between.
Writing for SEO requires a nuanced approach that balances keyword optimization with quality content. But, before you put the proverbial pen to paper, how much do you need to write to get it right?
Why Is SEO Content Writing Important? What Is The Best Word Count For SEO?
One in seven people worldwide visits Google at least once per month. Which equates to an astronomical number of potential customers for your services. Even if you are a hyper-local rather than a global business, Google is still one of the best ways to reach a relevant audience.
However, not all search engine results pages (SERPS) are created equal. If your website doesn’t appear on the first page for a search term, it’s likely it won’t be found by your audience.
The first page of Google results captures 71% of clicks from search traffic.
What Is The Best Word Count For SEO?
So, how do you beat your competitors and get that all-important first place organic listing on Google? If you’re putting together a content strategy or writing for SEO, you might be wondering how long should a blog be, or how many words you need to write for your website homepage.
Essentially, there are no hard and fast rules. Research shared in Forbes suggests 600-700 words is optimal, however, Search Engine Land advocates that content of 1,000 words or more will get higher rankings in the Google SERPs.
The SEO experts agree on one thing. Content of fewer than 300 words is not sufficient to be seen by Google as worth ranking particularly highly.
Your word count will also depend on…
- The type of content you are writing.
Medical services, for example, are likely to want to include highly-detailed explanations of procedures to answer patient questions and develop patient trust. Websites for other industries, such as interior design services, will be naturally less text-heavy and more reliant on images.
- The complexity of the content.
Easy-to-grasp concepts will require fewer words, but you still need to be thorough in your writing. Rather than just giving an overview of your services, go through your processes and customer journey in depth. Anticipate the questions your customers will ask and provide answers.
- The quality of the content
Don’t be tempted to fluff your content to reach a word count. Quality content, unique to your website, will outperform a page of filler. If you are writing for SEO you need to focus on being accurate, informative, and include links to other high-authority websites.
But, writing for SEO is not just about word count.
The best performing content is the sum of different factors, including word count, how useful it is, and how relevant it is to your audience.
How To Optimize Content For SEO?
Effective SEO content writing is like a magic potion. Alongside an appropriate word count, here are some of the other ‘ingredients’ you will want to add to your content cauldron.
- Natural use of relevant keywords.
Ensure your target keyword appears several times throughout your content, but don’t shoehorn it in. Write as naturally as possible, and if you can get your keyword in the title or main headings, so much the better.
- Content that is written for your audience, not for you.
Know what pain points your would-be customers are experiencing and offer solutions to their problems through your content.
- Accurate copy that links to reputable sources.
Keep your spelling, punctuation, and grammar on point, fact-check your writing, and link to respected other sites to position yourself as an industry expert.
Word counts matter when you are writing for SEO, but there are no hard and fast rules. The industry you work in, the quality of your writing, and other content optimization will impact how your content performs. As a rule of thumb, don’t go below 300 words. Google will see this as too ‘thin’. Instead, aim for 500-600 words as a minimum.