‘Content is King’, a phrase probably you have heard or read a million times over the web. Now there is a slight change in the phrase. The modified version is ‘Quality Content Is King’. With the algorithms getting smarter with each update, the content has to be informative, unique and user-friendly. There are many blogs over the web that talks about, the quality of content, the type of content or what titles to use. But very less focus on the fundamentals of the content.
Enough said, let’s take a look at the fundamentals of content in 2014:-
Know your audience, it sounds so simple huh! But take it from a professional, it is not easy to know your audience intimately. Before designing any content strategy or writing any content, it is more than important to know your audience in and out. As we all have heard, it is always the small things, like:-
- What are their needs and wants?
- What makes them attracted to your content?
- What drives and motivates them towards your content?
- What information in the content they are looking for?
are just the questions to get you started. All you have to do is getting to know them, talk with them through social media, know what they are looking for, respond to their demands.
Keywords and Word Count
Remember, to insert keywords is an art. The search engines are getting smarter and they crawl and mix-match the keywords with synonyms as well. So, faster you forget about keyword stuffing, faster you can move on. Content is the meat and keywords are the veggies that surrounds the meal. It supports the meal, but it is not central. As far as the word count is concerned, try to focus on the content and not the count. The days are gone when short and simple USP used to work, now the audience wants to know you, the brand, they want information that can help them take decisions. So, if the content is long don’t worry as far as it is unique. But don’t use fillers texts to increase the length.
That brings us to the other important debatable topic, which is WORD COUNT
The debate for the length of the content is still on going. One group believes in short and simple content. While other group believes in long, informative content. One of the most reputed website QuickSprout, carried out a detailed study about word count. And they concluded that The average word count of Google favored blogs is 2000. For the supporters of 500 word count content, it might come as a shock. The below screen shots indicated the result.
Not just Google, but in social media blogs over 1500 word count have more shares compared to the ones below 1500. Check out the image:-
If people connect with the content then they want to know more and in detail about everything. So, they look for long and informative content and not short and salient content. People are also becoming smart searchers as mentioned in this blog. Longer search queries like 4 to 7 words are used compared to 1 or 2 words queries.
- 1-word searches = 20.29% (previously was 19.02%)
- 2-word searches = 23.65% (previously was 32.58%)
- 3-word searches = 21.92% (previously was 25.61%)
- 4-word searches = 14.89% (previously was 12.83%)
- 5-word searches = 8.68% (previously was 5.64%)
- 6-word searches = 4.65% (previously was 2.32%)
- 7-word searches = 2.49% (previously was 0.98%)
- 8-word searches = 3.43% (no one did 8-word searches in 2004!)
The data suggests one thing very clearly. If you are looking to capitalize on content, use longer content for your web pages, as longer the content, higher the chances to rank good over SERP.
To conclude, I hope the above statistics convinces you to start writing long and informative content. The group of people who believes, short content can bring traffic to website and attract more audience with 1 or 2 phrase keywords needs to read the above stats and move along. The days were in the past when 500 words content used to rank well, but not anymore. If the audience is educated through the content, they want to know more, and it is only possible if the content is lengthy.
Still, I would like to suggest some tips before you start writing long content:-
The quality still matters – just because you have to write 1000 to 2000 words, doesn’t mean you can use filler texts or irrelevant data. The QUALITY of the content is what brings the audience, irrelevant of the length. You can’t expect to write 2000 crappy words and expect people to read it and share it. No ways!
The copy is not sure shot to bring traffic – for many web pages and products shorter copy’s can have good results, but you must have a good following and it should be relevant. One of the prime reasons that shorter copies work is because of the following on social media. It is very important to have social media accounts, the length of the copy comes next.
Stick to point – OM Malik the founder of GigaOm stated , “If you can write a post in 1000 words, you can write it in 500 words, and if you can write it in 500 words, it is possible to write it in 250 words”. The point in the statement is that, write what is relevant and point-to-point. Don’t use filler text or fluff the words just to increase the word count.
I hope the post will help you with your confusion of word count for content. I am planning to share more details about the length of content, why the length actually matters, also the pros and cons of the word count, in my coming posts.
I am always open to suggestions, so if you have any please feel free to write in the comment box below. You never know your comments and thoughts can actually help understand things better.