Most writers are asked to fulfil word count requirements when engaging in SEO content writing. So, how important is it? Is word count still relevant to search engines?
Good question! After all, Google’s recent algorithm updates have kind of turned SEO on its ear. If keywords hardly matter anymore, why should word count?
Well, there will always be differing opinions about this. But in the end, there is no hard-and fast rule about word count. Writers need to keep in mind that the new rules of content marketing dictate that content must be relevant, targeted and engaging. If it takes 250 words to get to that goal, so be it. If it takes 1,000 words to achieve marketing greatness, well, great.
The important thing to remember is that the right amount of words is the amount it takes to answer your readers’ questions, solve their problems and address their concerns. It’s the amount of words it takes to encourage consumer action.
SEO copywriting guru Heather Lloyd-Martin has something to say on the subject. Check out her article “What’s the ‘Best’ Word Count for Google?”. She makes some good points about whether or not writers should stress about word count, and what they should really focus on.
So, next time you get an assignment with a tight word count range, go ahead and follow instructions. And at the end, ask yourself the following questions:
- Did I give readers all the information they need to know?
- Did I fulfil the client’s specific requirements?
- Did I anticipate and overcome objections, questions, concerns?
- Did I avoid adding "fluff" in order to get to the max word count?
Whether you went to the upper limit, or barely met the minimum, your content is successful if you can answer “yes” to all of these questions. So, are word count requirements fact or fiction? You decide!