Does You Web Page Length Matter?

by Gary on September 21, 2007 · 8 comments

in On Page SEO

Web page length is different from web page size because you can have huge page without having much on it. For instance, lengthy JavaScript and heavy images can increase the size of your web page significantly without contributing to the content of your page. So for this blog post when I say page length I mean the number of words you should have on your page. How many words should you have? And does it matter what’s the length of your web page in terms of the number of words you have on it?

My personal take is that it doesn’t really matter as long as you are giving enough information on your page. What’s important is the relevance. You don’t need to go on and one just because you have to write n number of words. But to be on a safer side I’d say you should have anywhere between 200-400 words and that too organised under proper headings. Try to have one main heading and at least one sub-heading (<h2></h2>) and a couple of links carrying your keywords as your anchor text and you are on a safe plain and after that your SEO depends on many other factors.

But why do some SEO experts insist on greater length of web page? The more you write, the more you can use your keywords, and that’s the basic idea. The keyword density should be anywhere between 2-5% of your total number of words and if you merely have say, 150 words, the 3% keywords in it will sound odd. When your text is longer you get more chance to use multiple sub-headings, bulleted lists and blockquotes and all these tags are good for SEO.

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  • Marc Levy

    Hey Gary, where do you get “The keyword density should be anywhere between 2-5%” from? Just interested as I have heard many different SEO people comment differently here. I have heard of success stories with 2%, 5% and even 7-12%.

    Just trying to get some more info out of you ;)

  • Gary

    Hi Marc, I read 2-5% was optimal years ago. It is something I have loosely stuck to throughout, it seems to work for me so I have stuck with it.

    Although I do keep an eye on the density, these days I am more concerned with ensuring I have keywords in Title, Desc, H1, H2, Bold, lists etc.

    • Marc Levy

      seems like some sound advice to me.

  • SEO Carly

    Yes between 2.5% and 5% is a good measure, and the exact figures i have stuck with as well.

    However here is a really good trick i have adopted, as i have found different niches/keywords have slightly different thresholds before a negative kicks in from hitting the spam limit.

    Do a scan of the top 10 webpages for your chosen keyphrase, find their keyword densities and average the figures and you will have an optimal density you can be sure works.

    You can even take it a step further, find the pages with the worst off-page characteristics and analyse their densities as they are obviously doing something very right on-page to achieve rankings.

    ;)

    • Gary

      “find the pages with the worst off-page characteristics” I have to say I like this approach, nice one!!!

      • SEO Carly

        No probs Gary :)

        Yeah it may sound funny to some people your paying close attention to the on-page details of the site in say position #7 instead of the number #1

        But if #1 has 100,000 backlinks chances are it’s the sheer link authority making him rank and not his on-page attributes. But if #7 is ranking there with as much backlinks as you and your in #100, it must be his on-page Google likes.

        I also do a few other checks such as domain age, allinanchor etc to get to the “nuts n bolts” of why a page ranks. Once you have identified “why” each page ranks where it does, you have all the ingredients to make a perfect page.

  • Dallas Web Builders

    Hi Gary –

    Today efficient SEO ranking is dependent primarily on the backlinks and the quality and the page ranks of sites which are linking to you. So i feel, more than the number of words which might go beyond 500 it is the banklinks..

  • ADAC

    I guess I a lot more conservative, I generally go for about 1.5 – 2.5% on my keywords. This normally works out pretty well, although I always supplement with a lot of text links with the keywords pointing at the page.