The Golden Rule of life is to “treat others as you would want to be treated”. It’s been practised in all aspects of life, from relationships to religion. In business, however, there’s another golden rule: to appear on the first page of Google search results with SEO content.

Google has become so ingrained with our everyday lives that the term has already become a verb. If you don’t know something, Google it. Google the recipe for peanut butter cookies. Google, Google, Google. We’ve relied so much on it, to the point that over 3.5 billion searches are done on Google daily. 

It only stands to reason that we should utilise the world’s most used search engine to work for us as well. 

Meet Search Engine Optimisation (SEO). SEO is a process that helps a website become more visible on search engines like Google. It involves inserting certain keywords in your writing. These keywords will then go on to get your content boosted (hopefully) to the front page of Google. 

Need help in creating content that can rank on Google? You may want to engage an SEO content agency to help you with that. 

Unfortunately, with hundreds of people utilising SEO in their content marketing, it can be difficult for you to rank your content on search engines. That’s why we’ve done some research, and found the statistically perfect content length for your content to appear on Google. 

How do I rank my SEO content?

Obviously, the tech whizzes over at Google won’t be poring over every new webpage, manually pushing the useful ones to the top. The way that they determine good SEO content is through an algorithm that people have been trying to crack for years.

After arduous research, we’ve spotted a pattern. In order to be noticed by Google’s algorithm, your content needs to meet these 3 factors.

  1. Trust
  2. Relevancy
  3. Usefulness

Trust

It’s difficult to determine if a website is trustworthy or not, since you don’t actually get to form the kind of impression that you get when talking to a person. That’s why the algorithm measures trust by looking at how important and authoritative the domains and backlinks used in your articles are. Articles with several links to reputable sources have a higher chance of ranking highly on Google’s front page.

Once you’ve put out enough trustworthy articles, Google may recognise your website as being trustworthy as well. It’s just like how major news agencies like Bloomberg and the New York Times are seen as credible sources, since they are known for their reliable reporting. 

Relevancy

Google has been updating its algorithm to match search keywords with the most relevant content instead of just direct keyword matching. This means that you could search for stuff like “flint & steel” and have fire strikers included in the results. The more related your SEO content is with the keyword, the more likely it will rank on the search results page. 

Usefulness

There are 2 factors that determine how useful an article is. One is decided by Google’s machine learning algorithm, which cross-references your article with that of other websites. The more matches you have with other articles, the more likely your article is deemed to be useful.

The second one is based on the article’s click-through rate and bounce rates . If you have an article that plenty of people visit and click through to other articles and pages on your website, your ranking on Google will go up. 

On the other hand, if your article doesn’t have a high number of people going to other pages and articles on the website, your ranking may drop. 

Getting started on content marketing? Here are some things you should know about. 

How does content length affect my SEO ranking?

SEO content planning
Longer articles are deemed by Google’s algorithm to be more useful, so they tend to rank higher.

The longer your article is, the more likely it is to meet all 3 of Google’s algorithm requirements. 

  • Trust 
    • Longer articles can build more trust, since there is more room for backlinking and informative content. 
  • Relevancy
    • Thicker content means that your article contains more in-depth information. This increases its relevance to the topic at hand.
  • Usefulness
    • If executed properly, a longer article with more relevant information and links to established sources can prove to be more useful.

To find the perfect article length to rank on Google, we’ve scoured the internet to look at the respective word count of top ranking articles. 

What we did in our research

For our study, we’ve searched for articles using keywords from 5 random industries. 

Our aim is to test out the following hypotheses:

  • Short articles (less than 500 words) will not rank within the top 3
  • Long articles (more than 2,500 words) will rank higher

The limitation of this research is that due to Google’s algorithm including similar words, results may not be entirely accurate. For instance, when we searched for water dispenser brands, results for repair services appeared. 

We also did not include information for Page Authority or Domain Authority, which may influence the results.

These are the keywords we’ve used in our study. 

Keyword list: 

  • additional buyer stamp duty
  • good content marketing strategy
  • water dispenser brands
  • best facial cleanser for dry skin
  • best barber singapore

Results of our study

Based on the keywords used, here are the top ranking articles (found on the first page of the search results) and their respective word count. 

additional buyer stamp duty

Website Title of article Number of words
IRAS  Additional Buyer’s Stamp Duty (ABSD) 1,308 
PropertyGuru  Additional Buyer’s Stamp Duty (ABSD): A Simple Guide for Property Buyers 1,230
Money Smart  BSD & ABSD Singapore — How Much in Stamp Duties Do Property Buyers Pay in Singapore? 1,021
Property Net  What is Buyer Stamp Duty & Additional Buyer Stamp Duty (ABSD)? 1,073
Singapore Legal Advice  Decoupling to Beat the Additional Buyer’s Stamp Duty 1,286

good content marketing strategy

Website Title of article  Number of words
OptinMonster  11 Steps to Create a Content Marketing Strategy to Grow Your Business 3,905
HubSpot  How to Develop a Content Strategy: A Start-to-Finish Guide 3,014
Content Marketing Institute  Developing a Content Marketing Strategy 1,231
Neil Patel 21 Content Marketing Tactics That’ll Skyrocket Your Search Traffic 5,350
SEMrush The Ultimate Guide to Content Marketing Strategy in 2020 3,134

water dispenser brands

Website Title of articles  Number of words
Water Filter Magazine  12 Best Water Coolers — (Reviews & Buying Guide 2020) 4,765
Drum It Loud  11 Best Water Dispensers in Singapore | 2020 Review & Buying Guide 3,267
Best in Singapore  2019 Buyer’s Guide to the Best Water Dispenser in Singapore 5,312
The Wedding Vow  9 Best Water Dispensers in Singapore for Clean Water (2020) 5,312
Happy Penguin Water Dispensers Singapore – options & choices 858

best facial cleanser for dry skin

Website Title of articles  Number of words
Prevention  10 Best Face Washes for Dry, Sensitive Skin, According to Dermatologists 1,246
Good Housekeeping  10 Best Face Washes for Dry Skin, According to Skincare Experts 1,117
allure  The Best Facial Cleansers for Dry Skin, According to Dermatologists 986
Mom Curls  Best Face Washes & Cleansers for Dry Skin: Reviews & Buying Guide 1,813
Healthline  10 Best Face Washes for Dry Skin 1,348

best barber singapore

Website Title of articles  Number of words
The Smart Local  10 Cheap Gentlemen’s Barbers In Singapore For Dapper Haircuts & Shaves To Pamper Your BF With 1,996
Honeycombers  Back to the barber: Guys, here’s where to get groomed 2,632
Urban Journey  9 Best Barbershops in Singapore 991
The Culture Trip  The 10 Best Men’s Barbershops in Singapore 1,335
The Everyday People  25 Barbershops for the Best Shave and Gentleman’s Haircut in Singapore 1,953

Based on our research, we’ve found out that:

  • Short articles with less than 500 words cannot make it to the top 10 rankings
  • Articles with at least 1,000 words are more likely to make it on the top 5 rankings
  • A majority of articles with over 2,000 words are in the top 3 positions

While Yoast suggests that an article should be at least 300 words long to rank well on search engines , we’ve found that articles tend to rank higher when they’re at least 1,000 to 2,000 words long. 

What should I avoid doing when ranking my SEO content? 

Although content length has a significant impact on its ranking, there are a few things that you should not do to make it longer. 

#1. Filling an article with irrelevant content

Let’s say you’re writing an article on a list of the best cakes in Singapore. Don’t go off on a tangent and include the best bakeries, the best bread houses in Singapore, and cake recipes in the same article. 

This not only damages the credibility of the page, but also hurts your consumer’s trust in your content.

#2. Lack of originality

It’s easy to create an SEO content that comprises nothing but a list of products and website pages. However, if you don’t have any content that you created on your own in your article, it’s not going to be deemed as reliable.

#3. Don’t overstuff your content with keywords

Overstuffing keywords used to work well to rank content, but it’s now considered a black-hat tactic. Having the keywords appear more than necessary in the article can make for a bad user experience, and might even lead your readers to leave your site. 

In fact, Google will penalise your site if its algorithms catch you stuffing keywords in your articles. 

Ultimately, the longer your article is, the more likely it will rank on Google. But the content length isn’t the only thing that you should take note of when drafting your article. Other factors such as relevance come into play when trying to rank on Google as well. 

Need help in coming up with original content to rank on Google? Drop us a line today.