How Much Is Too Much? SEO Content Word Counts

by | May 29, 2023 | Writing Tips | 0 comments

Good marketing content should make things happen. That could be persuading a potential client to click to visit a website, add something to the cart, pick up the phone to call you, or more. Many elements go into how an SEO content writing service actually does that and the content word count of any type of SEO article is one important element.


What Are The Correct Word Counts for SEO Content?

content word counts for SEO

When it comes to SEO and optimizing content for search engines, the simple rule is that more is better. More content around a subject (and related subjects) gives you more indexable space to add keywords and show Google that your piece of content is all about the topic you’re trying to rank for. That being said, more content isn’t always better when it comes to the type and purpose of the content. A 1000-2000 word blog would be acceptable because a reader expects to find out all the answers to their questions in that medium. A 1000-2000 word product description, on the other hand, is sure to turn off readers immediately and push them over to competitor sites.

You may need multiple pieces of SEO content on more or less the same topic, but exactly what is to be written and the SEO word count length will vary greatly. Some things like meta descriptions or Twitter posts will have forced limits but for most things, you are left on your own to determine the content word count lengths you want.

Following are some industry guidelines to help you get started. You can use these SEO content word counts when you write your own content or when you work with a professional article writing service.


On-Page SEO Content

how many words should a web page be

Website content’s job is to create a home base for your most sought after organic keywords and to move people along in the buying cycle. Every page should give just enough information to accurately answer a specific question and instill the reader to click to the next step or to call you. The content should also be long enough to be able to insert your top keywords naturally without the content sounding spammy. Website content is usually written by skilled copywriters that can engage readers while expertly inserting keywords in as concise a way as possible.

How Long Should Web Page Content Be?

In general, web pages should have an SEO word count between 200 and 400 words for the main body of content. This, of course, does not include a sidebar or navigation content. Exceptions can also be made for longer “how it works” type content, that goes into more depth on specific services or selling benefits.


E-commerce SEO Content

how many words should a product description be

Some exceptions to the above guideline (when it comes to on-page content) include category or product description pages on e-commerce sites. Typically, product and category descriptions are meant to be succinct and highlight only what you need to know. These small descriptions aren’t the place for flowery, run-on sentences. You usually only have a few seconds to tell someone what the product is and why they should buy it. Being concise about benefits, features and selling points is a must in e-commerce content.

How Long Should Product Descriptions Be?

Product descriptions are going to be the e-commerce content type with the shortest SEO word count. The ideal SEO word counts for individual product descriptions would be between 50 and 250 words. Most of these words are going to come in the form of bullet points and even incomplete sentences in order to drive home the point.

The reason for this is that your product page likely already has images, product specs, customer reviews and pricing listed. The only thing left is to sell consumers on are the specific benefits and features as quickly as possible. When people are shopping online, they are usually quickly comparing between a few sites. Getting consumers the information they need as quickly and simply as possible is to your advantage.

How Long Should Category Descriptions Be?

The ideal word SEO count range for a category description would be between 100 and 300 words. Category descriptions are a place where you can set the stage for the use-case of multiple products as well as highlight why potential consumers should buy them from you. Since you’re talking about more than just a single product, you have a little more leeway to be able to add extra words (and keywords) for SEO benefit.


White Papers

how long should a white paper be

White papers showcase your thought leadership in a given area and establish you as the expert. They are also used to help explain a complicated subject, service or product in a problem/solution format.

How Long Should a White Paper Be?

How long should a white paper be? The simple answer is that your white paper word count will likely be longer than most types of SEO content.  A good white paper should have an SEO word count of at least 1,000 words in length but could be close to 4000 or 5000 words, in order to provide the level of detail truly needed here.

It’s also good practice to include a lot of cited research and images to illustrate points in order to make your white paper word count that much more effective.


Informational SEO Articles

In a way, you can think of these SEO documents as condensed white papers. They should always provide very useful and specific information but in fewer words. Optimizing content specifically around a single keyword phrase with a lower competition difficulty level may allow you to start ranking organically without as many words.

How Long Should an SEO Article Be?

SEO articles should focus on a specific keyword phrase, and not be as broad as a guide or as extensive as a how-to blog post. Most SEO article’s word count should be between 500 and 1500 words.

This means the message and content of these SEO articles will be more focused than in white papers in order to get the point across succinctly. On top of that, utilizing SEO posts in this way gives you a chance to still get some SEO ranking from long-tail keywords while also helping you stay in budget (since most content writing services charge per word).


Blog Posts

seo word count

Let’s face it—some blogs exist almost solely for the purpose of boosting SEO. Other blogs are really intended to be read, boosting credibility and follower loyalty. The best blog posts, however, do both. Because of this, there is no one-size-fits-all word count for blog posts. In general, the blog word count of newsworthy posts designed to fuel the part of the SEO engine that rewards fresh content can be as short as 500 words but should be created more frequently.

Blogs designed to be more thought-provoking—even controversy generating—can be as long or longer than SEO articles or even white papers. The longer the blog word count, the more captivating it should be. An integral part of this is the voice used to keep readers interested.

How Long Should a Blog Post Be?

If you’re looking to create informational content that also helps you rank for high-volume industry terms, then longer SEO word counts are necessary. So how long should a blog post be? According to recent studies, the average word count length of a blog post that was winning the top spot in search engine rankings for keyword phrases was 2000+ words. It’s good SEO word count practice to save your longer blog posts for your more in-depth guides so as not to overwhelm your audience with too much content in every post.


Press Releases

SEO content word counts

Press releases are meant to be a formal way to introduce a company change, new product, key employee, or any other relevant story pertaining to a company or organization. A written press release is designed to cover the who, what, why, where, when and how of the information. They also have some very specific formatting elements that need to be followed in order to be deemed as such.

How Long Should a Press Release Be?

The ideal SEO word count for a press release is usually in the 400-500 word range. This allows you to have enough words to fill out each section of the press release (think title, description, body, boilerplate, etc.) without losing the impact of the announcement because it’s buried too deep somewhere in a massive online document.


Match SEO Word Counts to Content Purpose

At the end of the day, the most grammatically perfect sentence is not at the heart of what SEO content writing is about. Matching the message, audience, vehicle and SEO word count length are what will deliver the results that you need. This combination of the art and science of writing is what a content writing service thrives on. We live and breathe this every day, making sure that our SEO content does what our clients need it to do.

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