Size does matter, but quality matters more. That statement was true in 2017 when we first wrote it, and it is even more true today.
When you’re writing a blog post, especially for search engine optimization, remember that length is secondary to the quality of your post, the structure of the article, its readability, and its engagement level.
Best Length for SEO? Update Content for Google Helpful
In simplest terms, Google said it best with their 2022 update: “Be Helpful.”
Every search query is essentially a question needing an answer. Does your answer need to be 400 words? Don’t write 1500. Does your answer need to be 1500 words? Then 400 simply won’t do.
Be Hemingway. Write with a sparsity that customers will marvel at, Google will adore, and competitors will weep.
This is modern content, now. Every word matters. But word counting is bad.
It’s not your father’s internet where keyword stuffing was the norm.
Simply and elegantly, answer the question. Solve the problem.
Keyword Optimization in 2023
There will be keywords involved – that remains our foundation.
There are the focus keywords that your blog post answers, but there are also the related semantic keywords that naturally come up in that brief (keep it brief!) conversation.
Think about the best way to explain something while leaving out the fluff. When writing, don’t write to Google. Write directly to the person who has the problem; the person who is searching.
That should be your goal with every piece of content you create.
Optimize correctly. Here’s what that looks like:
- You need one H1 tag headline, make sure you only have one H1
- Break up your content with H2 headlines
- Your H2’s should contain the keyword and its variations. Don’t repeat the keyword.
- Link to relevant pillar content on your site. Pillar content is the main topic in your niche, or it could be your services page if you are a local business.
- If appropriate, link to a recognized authority on the topic in your niche.
- Take your own photography if possible or use professional, licensed stock photography that you modify to make it uniquely yours
- Make sure the image (featured or otherwise) that is large enough to look good when shared on social media
- Optimize the size of the image to load fast. Create an ALT tag for search bots and eyesight-challenged readers that describes the image (another keyword opportunity)
- If you observe that videos are ranking for your keyword, then be sure to embed a video from your Youtube channel that is closely related to the topic, enhances the content and provides additional information
- Bullet points are a good idea for making key information easy to read
Avoid these SEO fails in 2023
We have all read blog posts that have the same keyword in every headline, e.g. Diet Trends in 2022, Lookout 2022 Diet Trends, How about Diet Trends Today, and Don’t Forget Diet Trends…
That annoys us as much as it annoys Google. Don’t be that blog post writer.
Stay on point. Don’t go down rabbit trails; those would be separate blog posts. 😉
If someone asked you for directions, you wouldn’t stray into cars’ catalytic converters or paint colors.
That’s what Google means by being “helpful.” Helpfully, succinctly, responsive and on topic.
Being highly responsive to the question at hand will improve your bounce rate, will get your reader clicking around your site and improve time-on-site scores, and spike your click-through rates.
End with a call to action like, If you’re still not sure about how to comply with Google’s Helpful update, reach out to us for experienced guidance. A single blog post is but one piece of a larger SEO plan we can execute on your behalf.
Now if you still want to know the secret about word count… Here you go.