You have probably read a few articles relaying the importance of having a certain number of words or character count. You may also have noticed that throughout the years this keeps changing, the advice is constantly being updated – but by who and why…and does it really matter?

For example, when Talk was in its infancy, the hot trend for blog articles was around 2,500 words. That was it. That was the golden goose. If you didn’t meet the requirements you would find yourself stuffing words and repeating sentences like you were back in high school, trying to make your 2 minute speech last the required 5. 

When it comes down to it – there shouldn’t be a blanket approach when it comes to word count. Sometimes a badly drawn infographic on Wiki-How is JUST as effective and higher ranking than a company that waffles on for 3 pages about how to cook the perfect egg. 

These days, the powers that be at Google are judging your content on whether a user clicks on the search result and then quickly clicks off again. This way, they know if a lot of users are jumping ship on your article…it’s probably not very good and unlikely to rank highly. But the question today is, does your word count matter when it comes to ranking and your overall organic traffic? 

Yes, we want to help you figure out if you actually have to sit at your desk, writing blog after blog or if you can just as easily gain traffic from a video or infographic. 

We’ve pulled some data from everyone’s favourite SEO king, Neil Patel to get you the answer backed by data. No we aren’t going to write 2,500 words about it….some short and succinct bullet points will do.  

A LIST OF INDUSTRIES INVOLVED IN THE DATA ANALYSIS

  • Education
  • Investment
  • Entertainment
  • Travel
  • Sports
  • E-Commerce
  • Retail
  • Insurance
  • Economics
  • Technology
  • Construction
  • Automotive
  • Real Estate
  • Engineering
  • Energy

So with this in mind – what is the average word count of each of the industries listed above?

*Image reference Neil Patel

This shows that these industries, on average, are not writing a massive 2,500 words…in fact – they aren’t even breaking 1,000. We’re seeing an upwards trend of marketers writing detailed, but short content that users can easily consume. 

Let’s face it, we aren’t really turning into a society that thrives on long-form content anymore. We’re a bit more – get in, get out and get the facts. 

What type of content are these industries producing? 

 

content distribution

*Image reference Neil Patel

As you can see from the results, a lot of these industries lean on the good old “How to” and “Why” posts, providing their intended audience with takeaway information they can use. 

If we take a deeper look at these “How To” post that are so popular amongst a variety of industries, we can take a focussed look at the average word count here.

 

how to blog

*Image reference Neil Patel

From the data, we can see that ‘How To’ posts tend to be a little longer in length, with most sitting up over the 1,000 word mark. So this being the most popular form of content post  – let’s now take a look at the average number of keywords to see:

How many keywords rank on the 1st page of Google for content and their word counts?

 

first page of google

*Image reference Neil Patel

Taking a look at the above the 1001 – 1500 are smashing it when it comes to their shorter word coin counterparts. But that being said, the runner up is the 2,500 – 3000.

So, does word count affect your blog performance? 

Word count won’t always determine if your blog article is a hot success. Badly written copy is still bad, no matter how many words are in it, and if you are chucking in the fluff or doing a naughty keyword stuff to make up for the shortage, you won’t get very far. 

We can determine from the data above that shorter blog posts do mean that Google may not find enough content to rank you for. However, after a certain point, Google has seen enough “words” to determine what your article should rank for. 

Hence the sweet spot of 1,001 – 1,500 words.

Have you found the right word count for your industry? We’re curious to know!