How Important is Word Count on the Web?
It’s pretty typical for internet marketers and website owners to expect to pay based on the word count of a page, but did you know that this way of thinking could be hurting you more than it is helping?
Of course, writers have been paid by the word for a very long time. But it dates back to a time long before the internet. Writers have also been paid by the inch, and other factors based on spacing in print publications.
Writing for the web is different. A blog article does not have to fit around other pieces of content, so length and word count are almost irrelevant.
Then, there’s this common misconception that a page must be at least XXX words to be worth anything to search engines. I dare you to go find a credible source that claims word count has anything to do with the value or rank of a page. (When you give up, here is a credible source that verifies word count is irrelevant: https://productforums.google.com/forum/#!topic/webmaster-de/OiOydgbpRWw)
How It’s Hurting You
When you buy web content based on word count, you are making 3 mistakes:
- You’re paying a writer who isn’t good enough at their job to inform you of your mistake
- You’re paying a writer who is probably going to use a lot of fluff to achieve the desired word count quota
- You are just as guilty as the unskilled writer, because you are focusing more on irrelevant details and not enough on the most important—what topics do your best customers / core audience want to read about?
Yes, quality really is everything. Now a longer article (750 words) might have more sustainable value than a shorter (250 word) article simply because there is more substance. Or, a 150 word article could say what needs to be said—clearly and concisely—which is always better than adding 350 filler words that take away all value.