How Much Content Does Your Site Need to Rank on Google?
by Editorial Staff
If you’re starting a new website, or you have an existing site that isn’t performing as well as you’d like it to, one of the first things you might think about is how much content your site needs to rank on Google.
After all, we all know that text-heavy websites tend to rank higher than sites with less content, right? It’s true that as a general rule smaller websites tend to rank better than larger ones. But there are so many other factors that come into play when considering how much content your site needs.
Would a lengthy blog post about cats help or hinder your ranking? What about images and videos? How do structured markup and keyword density affect SEO? And what about links from other sites—do they help or hinder the search engine’s opinion of your page? With so many different factors at play here, let’s take a look at everything you need to know about how much content your site needs to rank on Google:
How Much Content Does a Website Need to Rank on Google?
The short answer to this question is not very much. A growing number of studies have shown that if your content is relevant, you don’t need a lot of it to rank well on Google. The SEO experts at BrightEdge recently conducted an analysis of 100,000 websites and concluded that a top-ranking website only needs around 500 words per page.
However, another study by STAT revealed that most search engine optimizers recommend around 1,500 words per page, so it seems that there’s still some confusion around this topic. The exact number of words on a page needed to rank highly is a hotly debated topic, with many SEO experts recommending between 1,200 and 2,000+ words. It’s worth noting, though, that low-quality
content with a high word count isn’t likely to rank as well as high-quality content with fewer words. Indeed, many website owners have seen their pages drop in the SERPs after Google’s recent update, which demotes sites with low-quality content. This is a sign that, despite the growing number of studies revealing that your content doesn’t need to be very long, Google is still taking length into account.
How Much Content is Needed for SEO?
This is the key question most website owners want to know the answer to. As we’ve seen, the amount of content needed to rank on Google is a hotly debated topic, but most experts seem to agree that around 1,000 words per page are a good rule of thumb. It’s worth noting, though, that this isn’t necessarily how much content you need for your page to be useful. Indeed, many of the highest-ranking pages on Google are only a few hundred words long. Your content needs to be detailed and useful rather than just packed with keywords, but it should also include a good amount of text. If you want to rank well on Google, you can’t just write a single paragraph and call it a day. You need to include plenty of detail, and you also need to link to other pages and include keywords to help Google’s bots know what your page is about.
The exact words you use don’t matter as much as the overall length of your content, but it’s worth noting that Google does place some emphasis on your page title. In fact, this short snippet of text can make a big difference to your page’s performance. The longer your title is, the better—but you should also ensure it has your main keywords in it.
Words and Links Matter Most
Despite the fact that we’ve seen many high-ranking pages with only a few hundred words, and others with far more, Google’s Panda update has made it clear that content is still an important ranking factor. Indeed, one of the main ways in which Panda targets low-quality websites is by penalizing sites with inadequate content. This suggests that your content really does matter—but it also suggests that other factors are important.
As we’ve seen, keywords and links are the most significant factors in deciding how much content your site needs to rank, with length coming in a close third. This doesn’t mean that you should simply stuff your page full of keywords and links, though. There’s a fine line between having good content and having spammy content, and it’s important to walk that line.
Your text should be helpful and well-written, and it should also include your target keywords. Keywords are the words that your audience is likely to search for, so make sure you include them throughout your content. You can also link to other pages on your site, and to external sites, to help Google’s bots find and understand what your page is about.
Structured Data Helps, Too
In addition to having well-written, detailed content and plenty of keywords and links, you should also consider using structured data on your pages. Now, we don’t mean the kind of data you’d post on your company’s financial site, but rather the data that helps Google understand what your page is about. This structured data can include items like your business name, address, and phone number, in addition to your website’s topics and categories. While it doesn’t have a huge impact on your rankings, it does make your page easier to find and understand—and it also helps you track how your page is performing.
On the other hand, don’t worry about things like alt tags for your images, as these don’t have much of an impact on SEO at all.
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Video and Images Help…But Don’t Rank on Their Own
When we talk about the importance of having images and videos on your pages, we don’t mean that they’ll actually help you rank. Rather, images and videos are powerful tools for increasing your click through rate (CTR), which means that more people will click on your page and stay there for longer. This can have a significant impact on your rankings, especially if you link your images to other pages on your website.
It’s also worth noting that while images and video don’t help with your rankings, they can hinder them. In other words, if you use images or videos on your page without including your target keywords, they can actually harm your performance in the SERPs.
Indeed, Google’s algorithm seems to take these types of images and videos into account when deciding how much content your site needs to rank. If your images and videos don’t include your target keywords, or if they’re not particularly relevant to your page, Google may assume that your page is low-quality and demote it.
As we’ve seen, there are many different factors that come into play when determining how much content your site needs to rank on Google. However, there are a few things that all high-ranking pages have in common: They have a high word count, lots of links and images, and are written by knowledgeable authors.
If you want your website to rank high, you should make sure it has detailed and useful content, which includes your target keywords, links to other pages, and relevant images and photos. We hope, now you can understand how much content your site needs to rank on Google.
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