If you’ve read a few SEO blogs, you might be slightly confused over the optimum number of website pages and the ideal length of each piece of content. It’s not uncommon to wonder: “Are more pages better for SEO?” or “Is there an ideal word count?“
It’s easy to become confused, primarily if you accept what you read and don’t conduct your own research and run some tests. As every niche is different, there are no hard and fast rules, just best practice guidelines you should try and follow.
You’ll find the answer to these questions and more in this article. So are more pages better for SEO? You’re about to find out!
Does amount of pages affect how well your website ranks?
Let’s start with the central question: Is there a correlation between the number of pages a website has and how well they rank?
Simply put, there isn’t.
Now for the more nuanced answer.
The Google algorithm uses over 200 data points to rank a website. None of these factors cover the number of pages on a website, nor is there one that outlines a minimum word count.
Even if word count and amount of web pages a website has are rankings factors, they would be pretty low down the list. Search engines still use backlinks, loading speed, ease of navigation, dwell time, and keyword intent as the main ways of ranking pages.
Another element to consider is the page quality. Just because you can create 2,000 pages or write a 15,000 words article on a topic doesn’t mean it’s worth reading or answers the user’s query/queries.
Simply put, why would a user want to read 2,000 words when 100 will answer their question. As Google mimics human behavior, it’s very good at understanding what users are looking for.
Is there an optimum amount of pages a website should have?
Again, it’s a no. I’ve seen single-page scrolling websites and sites with hundreds of pages both rank well. It comes back to page quality. Here’s what I mean by that.
The most basic business website has pages for products, about, contact, and a home page. As long as each page targets a keyword and explains why the visitor should do business with you and what you offer, you’ll be off to a great start.
Some businesses go crazy and start creating pages for every employee, including the office pets and even the tiniest of details about their enterprise. To me, this signals a lack of clear strategy, defined keyword plan, and tactics.
You’ll need a happy medium. Some pages will be low value (contact, legal T and Cs, email sign-up, etc.), which is fine. However, the majority of pages should be high-quality and target a keyword.
So, avoid creating pages that don’t have any traffic potential and instead focus on publishing posts and pages that passively attract your ideal client. For some businesses, this means an 8-page website is perfect. Others will need a couple of hundred pages.
Is outdated content an SEO killer?
An element few consider is updating pages. Instead, many go gun-ho and keep creating new pages. Old content isn’t an SEO killer but can damage the trust your website’s visitors have in your business.
It’s highly likely a page you wrote in 2008 won’t be as relevant in 2022 as things change. And as pages mature, they start to slip down the rankings, usually replaced by a more recently published page.
So, we need to keep updating our content. Also, if you had to choose between a page published in 2004 and 2021, you’re likely to select the most recently written one.
Plus over time, websites close down or pages get deleted, leaving some of the links in your content dead. And as you want to provide the best user experience, you want to update pages to keep them fresh and relevant.
Quality of content vs Quantity of content
Why use 100 words when 10 will do? You can apply the same thinking to blog posts and website content in general. There’s a trend to want to create as much content as you can and as quickly as possible.
A much better strategy is to write more, publish less and refine what you write more often. By slowing your publishing rate, you can improve your content massively.
Every tiny improvement in quality will make your website more sticky to visitors, encouraging them to stick around just long enough to read another post. Remember, the longer a visitor stays on your website, the more likely they will convert into a customer.
So focus on meaningful quality output that speaks directly to your target client and brings fresh insights and perspective. Don’t play in the content volume game as your quality will be mediocre at best, and it’ll cost you more to put right in the longer term.
Does longer content rank higher?
Some SEO professionals believe in the myth that lengthier content ranks better. They’ll use fancy graphs to demonstrate their finding yet never reveal what keywords they used in their sample. To me, these exercises and conclusions are suspect.
I’ve seen incredibly well-written 400-word articles out rank 2,000-word posts that lack structure, pace, and are riddled with errors.
In my experience, I’ve written superb articles over 1,000 that don’t rank at all, and 600-word pieces that reach the second spot on Google within two weeks.
Content length, in my experience, only counts for a little. Article quality matter more. You want to balance fully answering the user’s questions while maintaining a high quality of writing. A defined length has little to do with this.
The situation is similar to finding the magic keyword density percentage. There is no one-size-fits-all keyword density or word count.
Does more pages equal a greater amount of keywords ranking?
It’s easy to look at massive websites and wrongly conclude that they are ranking so well as they have thousands of pages. Sadly, too many believe that more pages result in ranking for a greater amount of keywords.
However, look close. You’ll quickly see these huge sites use a keyword plan that targets each stage of the buyer’s journey while providing massive value to the reader.
Another common mistake people make when looking at large websites is believing each page has the same traffic potential. With a closer look, you’ll see that only a small percentage of pages attract visitors from the search engines, and many get 0 hits from Google.
It’s important to build your digital strategy around definable outcomes than simply let’s create a whole bunch of content and see what sticks. Sadly, that thinking isn’t a robust, scalable strategy.
So, are more pages better for SEO?
Returning to the initial question: Are more pages better for SEO? Hopefully, you can see the answer is no. The same is true for ideal word count, there isn’t one.
Rather than focusing on the number of pages, make your existing pages more engaging to read, more interesting, and keep them up to date. Ensure you’re using a keyword plan that helps you meet your goals, aren’t simply taking a publish and pray approach.
It’s worth considering search engines want to rank authoritative websites that are truly helpful. So, it doesn’t matter if you have 30 pages or 3,000, it’s best to focus on quality that helps the end-user solve a problem.
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