When we’re working with clients on either a new site or on SEO review/audit, one of the most common issues we come across is the words on the page. The problem we run into isn’t necessarily which words are on the page, but rather, the number of words. One thing I often stress to clients is to give Google what Google wants. One thing that is pretty clear is that Google wants to see at least 300 words per page.
If a page has less than 300 words, it will likely be considered to have little value to a human user. The Google search algorithms are so advanced that they will read a page and “think” much like a human user. Therefore, if there isn’t enough content on that page, Google will assume it is of little value to the site and users which equates to a poor ranking for that page.
When Google is reading through your page, there’s no exact way to say, “Hey Google, THIS is the keyword for this page!” Back in the day, we had the KEYWORD metadata that worked, but between the abuse that happened with that metadata and, more so, the advancements to the algorithms, we now need to focus on how we use the keywords we set for a page in the page content. Google will be looking at a page and if they see a word or phrase used 2.5% – 3% of the time, they’ll know that those words are the keyword(s). If there are 300 words per page minimum and the keywords are used within the frequency range mentioned above, the content will read like a regular conversation between two people.
One thing to avoid doing however is adding in fluff content. If you have a page you’re looking to add to your site and can’t come up with 300 words, it begs the question: is that content even worthy of its own page? Adding fluff or filler content to your site just to make Google happy will backfire most of the time. Write the content to address the needs, concerns, and questions that your end users might have. 300 words can be tough to come up with, but keep in mind that is the count for the entire page: headings, paragraphs, lists, everything.
300 words on a page can sound like a daunting task. Changing your mindset from, “How can I get this to 300 words?” to, “What do my clients and potential clients want or need to hear?” can oftentimes change things up enough for many writers to have an easier task at hand . At the end of the day, Google wants to show nothing but quality content and websites to its users. Our job is to provide that quality content on our websites, so that Google can help get our site to our users.