In the digital world, it’s not just what you say but how many times you say it that matters. For example, if your competitor has 10,000 words to say about their product and you only have 2,000 words to present your point of view, then you are at a disadvantage. The more often they come up in internet searches for a particular product or service, the higher their ranking on Google’s search results page for that keyword (we’ll talk more about this below).
Word Count for SEO vs Content Quality
So what’s the best approach for SEO content creation? Should you fill your pages with as many words as possible, or should you focus on the quality of your content? That depends. It depends on who is doing the writing and what your ultimate objective is. For example, if I wrote a blog post about building swimming pools, you wouldn’t want me to ignore grammar and spelling. You want your pool builder to know the subject; otherwise, you might end up with an unsafe or unsanitary pool.
On the other hand, if I produced content for a swimming pool parts supplier (let’s say spas and accessories), then it wouldn’t matter if my writing was good or bad, as long as my content contained the keywords that potential customers would type into Google when they wanted to buy a swimming pool. So even if no one bought their products because I was such a poor writer (but not likely), it still wouldn’t matter to them. In this case, all I need to do is put out product information with those keywords so that Google will be convinced that they are the number one provider of swimming pool parts in New York.
The moral of this article is: keep your eye on the prize. What do you want to accomplish? Create content for search engines or create content for people? Of course, if you’re writing to please human readers, you need excellent grammar and spelling, and your writing needs to be interesting and compelling. But, on the other hand, if you’re writing for search engines, it doesn’t matter how many times you say a keyword or what kind of words you use as long as they appear often enough in the right places.
What You Need to Know about Google’s PageRank Algorithm:
In the early days of search, a website’s link value (the number and overall quality of links pointing to its pages) was the most important factor in determining where it would rank. Then back in 2001, Larry Page and Sergey Brin created PageRank (PR), a “link analysis algorithm” developed to assign a numerical weighting to each link that passes quality review.
Nowadays, PR is used as part of Google’s search algorithm and has been expanded over the years to include other factors. In its basic form, PageRank uses the following steps:
An incoming link from another website counts as a vote for that website.
The more votes (links) a page has, the more likely it will be given a high PageRank score.
Google uses an “exponential function” to determine what factors influence how many votes each link will get.
It’s important to note that PageRank should not be confused with the Google search algorithm (although it is a part of that). PageRank influences how high your website will rank in a search engine result, but you also have to pass the Google sniff test. As long as you create content that meets or exceeds expectations for your niche and you carefully optimize it according to best practices, then all of your hard work might be for nothing. On the other hand, if your content fails to stand out and persuade visitors to take action, then you’re in trouble.
It’s quite a big deal. The truth is that search engine optimization does not stand on its own. It can only help you if your content is engaging and compelling for human readers, which means you need to hire an SEO copywriter who is experienced in the art of persuasion. In many cases, this required a team approach with an SEO copywriter (or team) and someone knowledgeable about your niche. In the end, you want to look like a high-quality resource in your field with content that persuades readers to take action. In addition, it’s important to note that quality content can help increase your link value because other websites will see how valuable it is (and link to it), which will increase the page’s PageRank score. I’ve seen this happen in tests, and you can see for yourself using a Link Explorer tool from Ahrefs.com.
So … that brings us back to the question of whether or not your writing should focus on quality or keyword density. My opinion is that your content should focus on both quality AND keyword density. Still, it’s important to understand that sometimes you need to sacrifice quality for the sake of SEO. For example, if I choose between writing a well-researched article about “swimming pool parts” or an article that uses all of my target keywords correctly (but without any research), I will choose the latter. However, if there are enough “easy” keywords to use in my article, I’ll opt for the former instead.
As you can see from this article, quality and keyword density go hand-in-hand when producing content that’s optimized for search engines. This is another great example of why search engine optimization isn’t a standalone process. On the contrary, it works best when you work with a team.