As Strategists at Newfangled, we get to spend a lot of our day talking to really smart people who ask really insightful, thoughtful questions on a regular basis. Call it a perk of the job. Today, we launch a new video series that will feature all of the Newfangled Strategists, as we chat about some of the more common topics that get thrown our way.
To kick things off, Senior Strategist Chris Creech and I chat about a question we receive quite a bit: “How many words of content should I be posting to my website each month?”
If you’re familiar with Newfangled, you’ve probably heard us recommend 3,000 words of unique, indexable content each month. But why is 3,000 the golden number? Watch the video below (or read the transcription) to find out!
And as always, we’d love to read your thoughts or questions in the comments section.
Chris: Hi, I’m Chris. This is Lauren. We’re strategists here at Newfangled, and we’re putting together a new video series. We’re going to go through some common questions that we get each day, people looking to us to answer questions from content to e-mail marketing to marketing automation. Across the board, we get a lot of common questions, so we wanted to take some time to answer those and put it out there on our blog, so that we can share that with all of you guys.
I guess to get us started, one of the things that we hear a lot is, why do we recommend writing 3,000 words of content a month? We recommend that in a lot of our writing, but we probably haven’t done as good of a job as we should at explaining why. Lauren, do you want to get us started?
Lauren: Yeah, it’s a great question. It’s something that, like you said, we put out all the time. There are a couple of reasons why, specifically, the number 3,000. If you haven’t heard this from us before, what we say is that, in addition to any gated content that you write and you’re producing each month, we also recommend that you put out 3,000 words of unique, indexable content per month on your website. Unique content meaning that it’s not duplicative, it’s something new. It’s something that you haven’t written about precisely before or precisely in the same way. Indexable meaning that it’s available to search engine spiders to be crawled on your site.
The reason that we recommend 3,000 words is that Google has a number of factors that fit into the SEO algorithm, that they’re using to rank sites on search engine results pages. One of the things that they’re really looking for is frequency of new content posted to your site. If Google comes and crawls the site and realizes when they come back to crawl it again that there’s been new content posted, that’s a clue. That’s a cue to Google that they need to come back. They need to be coming back and frequently crawling the site to index any new content that you post.
Chris: It learns from that.
Chris: If you have posted once and then you don’t post again for a month and Google’s coming back every two weeks and realize, okay well maybe I don’t need to come back every two weeks. Maybe I’ll come back once a month.
Lauren: Yeah, you’re training Google essentially.
Lauren: Three thousand words —you can split that up over four to six blog posts in a month for example. When Google comes back to the site, it’s learning, “Hey, there’s new content here, and I need to come back more frequently.” That’s a good thing. That’s going to boost your results on those pages. The second factor to consider is the thoroughness of the post. This is where we really get to the word count specifically. If you have a topic that you’re an expert on and that you can write about with some authority, but you’re only publishing posts that are 100 words, 150 words, and your competitors are posting blogs or articles that are 500, 600, 700 words, Google is going to prioritize the more thorough post because that’s going to allow Google to be better at its job of providing the most thorough, relevant results to users.
Chris: Simply by having more content on the page, there’s more keywords, there’s more data for Google to collect and know more of what is this topic we’re talking about. Not only do they prefer the longer post, but also they can learn more about it if there’s more content there.
Lauren: What we’ve seen from years of doing this is that 3,000 unique, indexable words is a nice threshold that is actually achievable in a given month. You could do 5,000 words per month or 10,000 words per month, but, man, who has the time? Three thousand words is one way that we’ve seen that you achieve that frequency that you’re looking for, you’re hitting that thoroughness target, and it’s actually something that most teams can accomplish when there’s a right structure in place.
Chris: Yeah, it’s a good balance. You say, okay if we’re doing four or five posts a month at 500 to 750 words, you’re there. Then again, as you mentioned, that’s outside of anything that is gated behind a form.
Lauren: Yeah, that’s a good point.
Chris: While creating 3,000 words is great, you’re probably going to be creating more than that because you’re doing things that are white papers, webinars, things that are behind a form.
Chris: Yeah, four or five blog posts a month, 500 to 750 words, 3,000 words of content.
Chris: That’s our spiel.