Shifting Content Marketing Focus from Word Count to Reader Count
SEO writers have been trying to find the perfect formula for high SEO rankings for decades. One recent trend in SEO is long form content, articles that are 2,000 words and even longer. While there is evidence that long form content does get reader engagement and adds to your SEO ranking, it’s not essential for getting rankings. Shorter articles that are well written and relevant to your reader can rank just as well, even better than low-quality long form content. There’s no magic number for word count. Long form content shouldn’t be your goal. The goal is audience engagement.
Focus on Search Intent for Quality Content
High quality content isn’t about a specific word count. Excellent content resonates with the reader. When you provide high quality content, your reader shares it. Other websites link to your content. Maybe the reader leaves a comment. High quality content encourages the reader to read through other pages on your site. These things tell the search engine bots that your site is an authority on the subject and that you are providing relevant content.
Instead of working toward a specific word count, think about the reader and what is being searched for online. This can depend on your industry, your audience and your keyword. Great content serves the reader, not the business. Searchers want information fast. If your content doesn’t provide the right experience, then your audience will go to your competitor.
Create content that is comprehensive. Stay on topic without adding fluff. Don’t try to extend the content to hit an arbitrary word count by extending the content with generalizations or discussing content that is slightly related to the original topic. This confuses readers and search engines. Filling content to hit target word counts while sacrificing quality can even drop your ranking. Search engines don’t know which topic to rank your page for.
High quality content helps your readers get the information they want. When you do your part, the audience responds. If your website analytics don’t reflect audience engagement, then you need to look at where your content isn’t hitting the mark. Look back at what content is working and what isn’t. Use that information to drive future content posts.
Word Count Is a Myth
Although long form content has its place, high quality content is the name of the game in 2020. High word count isn’t going to be enough to maintain your ranking if it doesn’t meet the end goal of user experience. It sounds counterintuitive to put the answer to the question in the first paragraph. But online readers want the answer first. Make your content so engaging that they’ll want to keep reading. Tell your readers what you want them to do by telling them what steps to take, i.e. join your newsletter list, contact you for more information or make a purchase.
Keeping up with SEO algorithms and customer behavior can be an ongoing challenge. MintCopy, a content agency with the best SEO writers, can help you with a content strategy that will keep your readers coming back for more. We focus on quality, not quantity.