Jerry Nelson
Mar 30 · 3 min read

“I’m building a website for my business, XYZ Widgets. How much will the content cost?”

That is a typical question asked by someone who is either

A) New to e-commerce, or

B) Has never worked with freelance writers before, or

C) Doesn’t understand the first thing about SEO and thinks Google is a left-wing conspiracy, or

D) All the above

During the 20+ years I’ve been freelancing, I would say D) All the above. Not by one person of course, and there are many who are astute enough not to ask. But there are enough that do to make it a headache.

What can be so difficult about determining the number of words on a site?

Life can get even more confusing when SEO strategy is brought into the mix.

Your site’s content is the building foundation for every SEO strategy implemented on your site. SEO is the mojo that drives successful popular websites, so how much juice — content — do you need to move the needle on search rankings?

Different answers from different sources reveal the confusion. According to Searchengineland, longer content — over 1,000 words — helps websites show up in search results.

Forbes says that an average of 600–700 words is choice. Forbes also calls sites with less than 300 words per page ‘thin’ by Google standards. Determining the best content strategy for content marketing is tricky at best and confusing at worst. But there is good news. Identifying the best content strategy for your website is easy.

Optimal Word-Count for SEO Rankings

We are lacking a clear consensus for the total word count per page for the best SEO outcomes.

The amount of SEO content depends on:

1. The type of business,

2. The complexity of what you want the content to say, and

3. The quality of content

Type of Business

Business’ which need to post information about key services and philosophy need to develop content which explains both of those.

Physicians and dentists, for example, should explain as many aspects of a procedure as possible. Patients want to learn about the procedure and find their answers on a single page.

A home improvement company or photographer will tend to rely more on the before and after images.

Complexity

Website content should answer your customers’ questions. Content density is important for SEO, so make sure the content is thorough. Many business owners write content which just provides an overview of what they do where they should be explaining the process, what makes their company unique and answer the questions customers may have.

Quality

Regardless of the length of copy, your focus should be on quality. Don’t include fluff or filler text just to hit a magic number of words. Write what it takes to help potential customers understand your services and answer questions.

Don’t ‘borrow’ content from other sites. Google knows when you do and sees this as duplicate content and will impact your page.

The Takeaway

A minimum of 300 words per page is recommended. Be sure to develop content for each web page on an individual basis and know some pages may only have 300 words while others exceed 1,000 words.

Take one page at a time and focus on the quality of content.

Jerry Nelson is an American freelance writer living the expat life in Argentina. You can find him at any of hundreds of sidewalk cafes and hire him through Fiverr.

This story is published in The Startup, Medium’s largest entrepreneurship publication followed by +438,678 people.

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Jerry Nelson

Written by

I am an American freelance writer living the expat life in Argentina. Hire me through Fiverr.com/jandrewnelson

The Startup

Medium's largest active publication, followed by +514K people. Follow to join our community.

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