Short and sweet? Long and verbose? What works best for SEO?

The “official” word from Google is that the number of words on your page is not a ranking factor. Google is trying to provide their users with quality content. You can write ten thousand words and still have crappy content in Google’s eyes.

That being said, there are several studies that show pages with more words can rank better than short pages AND have other benefits.

  • 2017: ahrefs study finds the average top ranked page in Google will also be ranked highly for approximately 1000 associated keywords.
  • 2018: ahrefs study finds pages with longer copy get ranked higher. Media number of words for a #1 ranked page in Google: at least 800 words.
  • 2019: A review of 912 million blog posts by BuzzSumo and Dean found that longer copy gets more backlinks, which is largely considered to be the #1 ranking factor for Google.

What we can take away from this is the following:

The key to higher rankings is getting more backlinks, and you’re more likely to get them when you write more content.

Does that mean we need to write more fluff? Of course not. If you’re going to write with the intent of having a higher word count, then you should be providing quality information. Nobody wants to read 500 words describing a problem before hearing about your solution.

Write enough to give your readers answers to the problems they have. If you have time to provide a well-researched article with at least 1000 words then do it. Create a quality product and then market the heck out of it. You’ll get your backlinks and have a better chance of ranking well.

Thanks for reading today’s post! Let us know what you thought with a comment below. We’re focusing on SEO basics this week and then we’ll be onto a new topic next!