content length

One of the most common questions we receive from clients is “How much content do I need to make the most out of my webpages?” Simply stated, there is no set recommendation. In the old days of SEO, a mark of at least 300 words was a plateau for bloggers and businesses looking to drive traffic and improve their content marketing strategies. Since Google Panda launched in 2011, we have seen a dramatic shift away from an established “correct” amount of content for webpages and blogs.

With an increased amount of awareness to the user experience, there has been several points of evidence that point to altered our way of thinking about the length of content. In fact, longer form content typically performs better in search engine rankings. With the latest version of Google’s Page Quality Rating Guideline leaked to the internet, we have uncovered yet another clue in this to guide us towards a “magic number” in content writing.

What Makes for a Satisfying Amount of Content?

“creating high quality main content takes a significant amount of at least one of the following: time, effort, expertise, and talent/skill.”

How much content do you need to create a high quality webpage? “A satisfying amount of high quality main content,” instructs Google’s guidelines. While this may seem unclear to many, the message is simple. What Google is looking for within the pages on your website is enough content to satisfy your message. Simply stated, if your content can reach its endpoint and provide a wealth of information in 300 words, then you should write 300 words, although this number is unlikely to provide a sufficient amount of information for most topics. When writing, try to give as much information as possible without a specific word count in mind. For example, if you aim for 1,000 words but can only provide 600 words of relevant information for your blog topic, it is better to stop at 600 than it would be to provide an additional 400 words of “fluff content” so that you can reach your word count goal.  As a rule of thumb, the broader the topic you choose to write on, the longer your blog should be in order to provide as much information as necessary on your topic.

Another important consideration that Google’s guidelines mention is the quality of the main content. When writing, you should be paying close attention to the quality of the content that you are writing. According to Google, creating high quality main content takes a significant amount of at least one of the following: time, effort, expertise, and talent/skill.” Look to make certain that your content serves its purpose while demonstrating an in-depth level of knowledge on the topic.

Ultimately, the purpose of your page will help you to decide how much content to include on your page. High quality informational pages should aim to educate and inform while high quality humor or satire blogs should entertain and make you laugh. No matter what your topic, make certain that your page is serving its purpose to its fullest potential.  The key with any piece of content is to write for your target audience. According to a Nielson report on how users read the internet, web users typically have time to read at most 28% of the words on your page, and many users have time for even less than that. Therefore, it is crucial that writers work hard to write for their specific audience – keeping them informed, entertained and engaged along the way.

The Case for Long-Form Content

So, with content creators bombarded by messages and statistics pointing to the fact that ‘consumers don’t have the time to read entire articles’ and ‘users are looking for an easier way to digest content,’ why should businesses bother writing longer blogs and articles when a very little amount of people will read through the entire post?

While shorter may be better in some cases, the same principle does not apply to SEO and content marketing. In fact, recent studies have proven that long-form content (Main Content, Supplemental Content and Advertising Content all combined) is not only thriving, but also driving up web traffic, consumer engagement and conversions.

So if internet users are looking for a way to get their information fast, what is making this longer form of content so successful? According to Google, “high quality pages and websites need enough expertise to be authoritative and trustworthy on their topic,” coining SEO’s latest buzzword in SEO “E.A.T.”

With the new emphasis on a page’s E.A.T. rating, website content that appears to be too short, thin or fails to supply enough information to the user will certainly lose points as a Google Page Rater scores their content. Additionally, the majority of users responded well to content that provides an in-depth understanding on a given topic. Fill your content with expert information and insight to help a page’s E.A.T. rating will skyrocket along with its user engagement and search engine rankings.

content length samples

The above screenshots (click to enlarge) display two reviews of the same movie from two different review sites. Both discuss the movie’s plot, leading roles and their respective opinions on the film. However, the review on the left has a shown that their review has taken significant time and knowledge of the film, helping to boost the page’s E.A.T. rating and bring this review near the top of search engine results.

While there is no clear-cut ‘right size’ for content, having more content means more space to not only offer in-depth information in your posts, but also demonstrate your expertise and authority over any given topic to help build your site’s trustworthiness.

If your business is having trouble determining how to make long-form content work for you to improve your search rankings, turn to the team at Eyeflow. Our team of SEO consultants and content marketing experts will work with you to help you boost your brand’s authority through creative and captivating content. As Pittsburgh’s leading internet marketing firm, Eyeflow works to provide your website with the latest SEO strategies and techniques, helping build your business’s E.A.T. ratings and assert your web authority. Contact us today for a content audit and discover the difference that Eyeflow can make for your business.

Key Takeaways:

  • There is no clear-cut word count when it comes to writing, instead content creators should focus on fulfilling the purpose of the page to the best of their ability.
  • All high quality main content should demonstrate “significant amount of at least one of the following: time, effort, expertise, and talent/skill.”
  • While working towards achieving its purpose, content must also work to both inform and engage a viewer, helping to reduce bounce rates and improve engagement.
  • Shorter is not always better when it comes to SEO. Recent studies have found evidence suggested that longer forms of content works to build a webpage’s E.A.T. ranking and improve their overall SEO performance.

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Cory is the Director of Content Development at Eyeflow. He graduated with a degree in Multimedia from Point Park University, where he held focus in print writing and online content. When not at work, Cory spends his time conquering Pittsburgh's hills on his bike, tackling DIY projects and crafting creative recipes.

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