Ranking on page one of Google Search is the new form of advertising and marketing. As I often explain to potential customers and clients, the first page of Google is prime real estate. That is the oceanfront property with the view. Page 2 is a little further inland but still decent property and page 3 to page 10 is small town south where you aren’t going to get much for your land or house.
With this in mind, a large number of people are constantly asking questions related to length of content and ranking on the first page of Google Search. Do not get me wrong, I am one of those advocates that feels as if longer content is better. That said, we must understand that Google wants to display search results that please the users. If a user simply wants a three word answer they do not need 3500 words on a topic.
The best way to rank on the front page of Google Search is to create many valuable pieces of content. There are going to be some blog posts that are only 300 words and other blog posts that are 8000 words. Think about what you would be looking for if you happened to search that keyword phrase. What would keep you engaged and interested in a blog post? Would you prefer a video or audio file? Would pictures or professional photos help? These are questions you should ask yourself.
There is no one set answer on the length of content that it takes to rank on the front page of Google Search. I will say that the more competitive the keyword phrase more content won’t hurt. In fact, in almost all situations more content won’t hurt. What I would not do is try to continue to write and write just because you want words on a page. If you find that you are going on and on about the same topic and not adding any value to the resource then it is time to stop.
We have all been out to eat with a friend that tells a story that goes on way too long. Eventually we lose our concentration and totally forget what the story was about. By the time the story is complete we have no interest in the outcome. Think about this when writing content for your website. If you go on and on with no direction you are going to cause your readers to simply click the back button which is very bad for SEO. If users click the back button a few too many times you are going to find that your search rankings drop.
Break Up Your Content
If you feel as if you need to write a blog post or resource that is 5000 words I would strongly suggest breaking up the content. Breaking up the content is as easy as adding a few subheadings or simply bolding the headline for a specific section as seen above. This will allow users to take a break in the middle of the article.
Those that are very technologically savvy can create a drop down menu at the top of the blog post that allows the user to jump to a specific section of the page. This is extremely helpful for the user and will help you rank better in Google Search. If you aren’t technologically savvy there are no worries. Google is not going to penalize you for not having drop down menus.
Quality is Better Than Quantity
For years I have stated that SEO is partly “words on a page”. After getting a few “spoken” blog posts transcribed I have to retract my statement. By putting words on a page you could be hurting your SEO. If you have poorly written articles or blog posts that are incoherent you are not going to rank well in Google search. Users are going to come to your site, reach the first two or three poorly written sentences and simply go back to the search. This is known as a user bouncing.
If your bounce rate starts to increase you will find that your Google search rankings will drop. Part of the Google Algorithm is to see what users do when the get to your website. If Google sees a user click a website then immediately come back to search the algorithm has to think the resource was not valuable in any way. This would mean it should not rank at the top of page one of Google Search.
Always try to get quality on a page rather than just words on a page. I do feel as if many quality words on a page is the best SEO copywriting strategy but not everyone has this skill set. If you struggle to write over 500 words do not try to outdo yourself. Put the best quality 500 words you can into a single blog post. When something else comes to mind you can always go back and update that blog post with more quality content.
Don’t Be Afraid to Hit Publish
One of the biggest mistakes I see is when writers or business owners critique their content way too much. While quality matters do not be afraid to hit publish. If you sit and critique your content for hours and days you are never going to get anything published to the web. If you are somewhat well written and you have put forth your best effort that is likely better than most of the content that is published to the Internet these days.
Always make certain to read over your content and edit it as you deem necessary but do not worry about every single word and sentence. By doing this you are going to find that you only produce one or two blog posts a month and that is not going to help you rank in Google Search as much as multiple quality blog posts.
If you have a problem hitting publish remember that no one will read your content if it sits in draft form. At least hitting publish will give someone the opportunity to read what you have written. The worst case scenario is they comment and tell you there are tons of grammatical errors. From past experience, I can tell you that this will happen about once out of every 50 blog posts you publish. Most readers realize no one is perfect and there are going to be a few grammatical errors here or there. Trust me, if you made the error someone else has likely made it.
Hit the publish button and you will find that you get many more search visitors to your website. Don’t worry about length of content so much as quality of content. If you need help expanding your resource remember there are millions of people sitting on a computer every single day looking for something to do. Reach out to some people on Facebook, Twitter, Reddit, Craigslist or blog websites. You will be shocked at how many people will help you with your content creation and editing.