Content MarketingSEO

SEO Content Length Guide [2021]: How Long Content Should be for SEO?

There is a question in every mind: how many word counts do you need to rank in the first place? Or how many words per page for SEO? What is the best length of copy for SEO?

Here you can find out the reality behind word count and SEO.

“How many words are required to be written to improve SEO rankings?”

It’s a question I mostly hear when discussing clients’ requirements of copy to enhance their pages. SEO word count is a topic for debate for a very long time now.

The motivation for the SEO content copy, the characteristic it needs to have must be in it and the audience it is talking to is often lower deliberation.

For some specific reason, whenever an SEO brings up copy, the follow-up discussion centers around SEO word count.

SEO has been an integral part of digital marketing, similarly content is an integral part of SEO or I would say root or fundamental of SEO. Every SEO strategy has content marketing in the centre.

What is the believed myth about word count for SEO ranking?

It is often said that longer content has a better Google ranking, right? Isn’t that what you are often told?

The additional words are written on a page, the more “dependable” the search engines will examine your work to be, and the higher you’ll rank.

This is an idea that is often discussed on Twitter or in meetings but without any truthful basis it.

So, why is the common agreement that the longer SEO content makes for more rank-worthy pages?

Misreading studies about SEO word count

There are many studies that are often repeated in relation to word count for SEO ranking.

One study from Backlinko, issued in April 2020 cited the “average Google first page result contains 1,447 words.”

It would be really simple for some people to get this information in separation and suppose it means that pages need almost 1,500 words to rank top on page one in Google.

That isn’t what this study is presenting nevertheless.

The study gives an idea of similarities between top-ranking pages.

This is connection, not condition. We will discuss more it later.

What is the best word count for SEO?

Many people ask “How many words on a page are required for SEO? Or What is the right content length for SEO?

There are many reasons that should go into consideration how long a page’s content should be and they can’t all be about just ranking the page.

It is really necessary to keep in mind that SEO content copy on a page should be there to aid the human visitor, not a search bot.

SEO content-length: The number of the word count of the copy on that page should be as much as it is needed to aid the user in achieving their goals on the page – whether that is quickly recognizing the answer to a question, giving an in-depth clarification of a subject, or simply giving the gamble of a product.

Not only content length but the content on-page SEO optimization is also important to rank better in search engines.

User requirements should be kept at first and supreme.

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That’s true, but what’s the finest word count for SEO, really?

I can understand it; you want to know how many words you need to write to be with the best possibility of getting a Google first-page ranking.

The problem is, there is no defined word count.

The search engines will rank pages higher that best meet a researcher’s searching query.

Rarely is the “volume of words” something that will be the determining factor for users.

The standard of the copy and how good it answers their questions will be of more significance.

The capacity of words on a page is not the right way to calculate the standard of its content.

There is also the most common idea that you just need to have as many words count on your page as the top-ranking challenger.

Association & causation

The problem that stumbles a lot of people up when searching at word count is confusing association and causation.

If you just look at the top 5 ranking pages for your selected search term and see that they all have almost 2,000 words it is easy to understand that you would consider that is what is needed to rank great for that term.

This isn’t the problem.

Only the word count is not the determining factor.

However, longer pages might be ranking well accidentally due to their length.

Lengthy pages might be more interesting and “link-worthy” as recommended by HubSpot’s study carried out in 2015.

In revolve, it could be the link profile of the page that gives rise it to rank well.

It could also be that lengthy pages directly allow for the more in-depth answers needed to rank good for some searching queries.

What is important to note is, correlation does not equal causation.

lengthy content ranking better than shorter content does not mean lengthy content is the reason for a good page ranking.

How long should a copy be?

Maybe longer content might give better performance than shorter content in some cases, do not get into the trap of supposing longer content is greater than shorter.

Google’s own SEO starter guide states, “Content should be factually accurate, clearly written, and comprehensive.”

Comprehensive is not a synonym for lengthy.

Comprehensive refers to  “complete and including everything that is necessary.”

That would have recommended that copy requires to be sizeable enough to cover everything a user might want to know as an answer to their query.

For some searches such as “the history of the English monarchy” that could be a considerable amount of text.

For others, such as “gas prices near me” it can be notably less.

Can content be too lengthy?

Yes, Content could be too lengthy.

One problem with writing a copy to a specific word count is the piece can become weak.

In an offer to get a random amount of words the writer might simply start stuffing or repeating concepts or words.

This doesn’t make for a good read.

It also can influence how well the copy will get rank for the keywords you are targeting or searching for.

Stuffing the message of the content can also result in the keyword subject of the page being knocked off course.

Rather of writing a concise page about the actual keyword topic you are forced to initiate other ideas to pad the content.

This can negatively affect a page’s capacity to rank for your selected keywords.

The key to apprehending how much content is required for a page is to stop looking at it as a selected target to hit.

There is no perfect word count for SEO.

Rather, we need to look at the reason for the page.

The motivation of a page

What the page has been generated to do is of high significance when considering its capacity to rank well in the natural search results.

Is it an instructive page?

Was it designed to signpost users to other pages on the site?

Is it a transactional page?

The purpose of the page will reflect on how much copy needs to be on it.

Read: Why you should write long content to improve SEO?

User objective

The major characteristic when selecting how long content should be is user objective.

What would a user want when arriving on the page?

If you get to know what a user needs from your page it guides you to make sure it is comprehensive enough to meet those requirements.

Making a page long for the sake of ranking does not help the user.

This in turn does not help you either. Even if your page does rank well, rankings should not be the final goal of any SEO work. Transforming traffic is a more important principle.

If a user gets on your page to find an answer to their question but cannot see the wood for the trees, then you have not met their requirement.


Another key deliberation is how to copy length affects conversion.

Some pages directly do not need a great bundle of copy in order to help the visitor complete the required action.

Too much content might be off-putting for a product category page for the occasion.

The exact amount

So what is the best word count for SEO?

There isn’t one.

Content length should never be read out by a word count.

It should be as long as it is required to help deliver the message of the page and allow users to complete their wanted actions on that page.

The longer copy might have superiority in some SERPs but it is not the word count of copy only that is the determining factor on rank.

At the end of the day copy on a page shouldn’t just be about ranking only. It should meet the requirements of the user and encourage conversion.

There is no ideal lengthy word count for that.

Brief thoughts on if the word count matters for SEO

  • The size of your document matter when it comes to web content. But you cannot specify an ideal length of the content but as per general SEO concept the higher, the word count is, the higher the rankings.
  • Using more words means more chances of ranking, but it is not granted that you will get a higher ranking if you write lengthy. There are lots of other factors included to rank higher, so one cannot depend on just content length.
  • Generally, SEOs prefer lengthy content to target more keywords and by using several long-tail keyphrases many keywords can be targeted by keeping the keyword density in control. So, writing a short paragraph means you are losing your opportunities to maximize the targeted keywords.
  • As we all are aware our audience searches in various ways by combining the words, so if the content is enriching in terms that are required by the audience than there might be a high chance that they got hit by content.
About author

Lillian Aubrey loves to travel and write about different things. She has written many articles for 5 years. She has a very vast experience in writing articles, blogs, and guest posts. Currently, she is working in Get Set Go Web writing department. She wrote many articles for Get Set Go Web. She loves to travel and she has shared her traveling stories through some articles and add some beautiful pictures from his traveling.
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