Working with many small (and big!) businesses that manages their own content and website, we are often asked:
“How much content should I be posting to my website?”
If you’re familiar with Think Intuitive or have worked with us before, you know we recommend at least 3,000 words of unique (non-duplicate) content that can be indexed by search engines. However, I’ve realized that despite encouraging this mantra…I haven’t done as great of a job explaining WHY this is.
So why is 3,000 the magic number? Let’s find out!
3,000 is the Magic Number for Search Engine (SEO) Success
The reason why we recommend 3,000 words is because Google (along with major search engines Bing and Yahoo) utilizes several variables in their SEO algorithm to rank websites on search engine results pages. As such, one of the major components of their algorithm is the frequency of which new content is posted to your site. If Google (or any other search engine) visits and crawls your website and realizes that when it returned to your site that there has been new content posted, the search engine robot will accept that as an important cue that it needs to come back more often. As a result, search engines ‘learn’ that they need to come back to your website more frequently and crawl your site to index any new content that you may have posted since their last visit.
On the other hand, if you post on an infrequent basis such as once a month, Google will eventually learn to match this interval and start to come back once a month instead of every week. You are essentially training Google.
Three thousand (3,000) words—you can complete this all in one post or you can split it over six posts in a month’s period. Either way, Google will recognize the content as it learns and say, “Hey, there’s new content here. I need to come check back more frequently.” This is a HUGE benefit for you because it will boost your website rankings on search results based on the applicable keywords of your content.
Your content should be relevant to have authority
The other factor to consider is the thoroughness of your content—this impacts your relevance ranking. This is where the word count specifically matters most. If you’re an expert in your topic/industry/market with some authority on the subject, but you are only publishing posts that are 100 – 250 words, and your competitors are posting blogs or articles that are 800, 900, or 1,000 words; Google will prioritize the posts with the most word counts because it allows them to be better at its job of providing the most thorough, relevant results to users. By simply having more content the page, there are more keywords data available for Google to collect and know more about what the topic the website is talking about. Therefore, Google prefers longer posts because it allows them to learn more about it if there is more content available.
Based on our experience working with local businesses, bloggers, and professional organizations; the recommendation of 3,000 unique, indexable words of content is a reasonable threshold that can be achieved within a given month. You COULD aim for 6,000 words per month…or even 10,000 words per month; but, who really has the time? The 3,000 words recommendation has been a reliable threshold that most teams can accomplish with reliable consistency at the right frequency and accomplish the thoroughness target compared to the competition.
For example, if you’re doing three to five posts a month at 600 to 1,000 words, you have accomplished the right amount of content!
Keep in mind this in addition to anything that is gated behind a form (protected content).
In conclusion, our spiel is at least 3,000 words of content in as many or as in few posts as necessary to achieve that threshold.