While there are many ranking factors when it comes to gaining that top spot on the big G, it seems as though there are a select few that have significantly more weight than others.
One of those “select few” is word count.
For a long time it was thought that one could simply write a 1500 word article and jam it full of keywords and bada bing bada boom you have an article that ranks at the top.
BUT…things have changed.
When we are doing SEO one of the questions we ask ourselves is,
“what is Google actually showing on page 1 of the search results?”
We were actually shocked by the results and it seems that many SEO’s are late to catch on.
With some of the more recent algo updates from Google, content has played a major factor. The “Bert” update in particular rewards content that is relevant and well written. Not only that but it rewards articles that are a specific length with a specific number or words.
Yes that is right. Google is looking for a specific number of words in an article.
This subtle change has had a drastic impact on rankings. We have taken pages that had 1500 words, reduced them to between 300 and 500 words and seen the rankings soar…Whoa.
How Many Words Should A Page Have?
So how do you determine how many words your article should have?
At Simple SEO we analyse the top 20 search results for a given keyword and take the average word count from all of them. This can be filtered down if you are focusing on certain competitors but for now we deal with the overall picture.
Here is an example:
Keyword: furnace repair Kelowna
We are a bit biased, living in Kelowna, so we chose a local term.
We can do this manually by visiting each website or we can use tools that automatically pull the data from the serps. There are lots of tools available so if you have questions about it just ask us but for now it doesn’t matter WHAT tool we use but rather that we recognize that word count plays a factor.
A simple search shows us a list of domains along with their wordcount, h1 tags and keyword density as far as our selected keyword is concerned. If we average out the word count values we quickly see that on average, the top 20 listings for this search term have 862 words on the page.
This is a very simple foundation exercise that we recommend when setting up a blog post or a service page…really any page. For whatever keyword or search term you are targeting, make sure you optimize the content in every aspect including word count!
If you have questions about what you read here or you are looking for someone to help get your business ranking better then talk to us at Simple SEO!