Great Content – It isn’t All about Word count
May 22, 2016
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One of the things that clients get caught up with most frequently when it comes to organizing their content maintenance schedule or blogging calendar, is the amount of words that they should deliver with each post. The truth is, managing your strategy so that every single blog ends on the 500-word mark is pretty impossible. If you’re forcing a content writer in to these restrictions, the chances are that they’re either cutting out important information that your reader could ultimately benefit from, or adding in unnecessary fluff words to make up the final number.

So what should you be thinking about when it comes to deciding on that magic number?

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The Average Word Count of Top-Ranked Searches…

Is 2416 words. The reason for this is that the longer your articles are, the more likely they are to be well-researched and backed by a lot of useful data that’s capable of backing up your claims. Often, the longest articles are the ones that bloggers and journalists link back to on a regular basis, delivering yet more traffic to the given landing page. Rather than a quick summary of an issue that provides a singular statistic, a long article generally takes the time to explain an issue and flesh out the ideas that it talks about.

The more words in your article, the more likely you are to answer the questions that your customers are asking before they have to go searching somewhere else. However, it’s still worth remembering that the word count isn’t so much the deciding factor in quality content – rather, it’s what’s actually being said. If you can answer the same questions just as efficiently in 500 words as you can in 2000, then you should go for it!

Long Copy Outperforms Short Copy…

By 40.54%. Marketing experiments conducted a study that found long copy was capable of outperforming short copy in a series of three tests. In the first test, long copy reigned over short copy with 40.54% conversions. In the second test, long copy converted 50% of customers while short copy struggled, and in the third, both converted equally.

In other words, don’t be afraid of making your readers scroll from time to time – you’re not going to lose your audience just because you’re putting too many words on the screen. As long as the content that you provide is helpful and valuable, your return on investment will reflect your hard work.

Google Defines Thin Content at Around…

200 words. The Panda update from Google punishes websites for a number of reasons, and thin content is one of them. If the average length of an article on your website is 200 words or lower, most search engines will be extra critical of the content, and blogs of 300 words are also relatively likely to put you at risk of the “thin content” threat.

Of course, we’re talking about your online presence here – not your latest literature essay. Bloggers that simply write to meet a word count aren’t going to give you the quality or impact that you want to have. Remember that there is a difference between thin content and short content. While thin content is low in quality, refreshed from use on other websites, and brimming with annoying key words, short content is valuable, concise and ready to offer something to readers (though potentially not search engines).

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So how Do you Deal with Word Count?

Although the above statistics are worth keeping in mind when you’re developing a starting point for writing articles, remember that they’re just a ball-park. You shouldn’t really be asking your writers and bloggers to keep an eye on their word count while they’re writing. Instead, you need them to focus on delivering high-quality content that’s ideal for share ability. If conveying your message takes three thousand words – so be it, but if you can say everything you need to in less than 500 – that’s great too.