How much content is enough?

How much content is enough?


At AFX Design we have the privilege of seeing many websites grow. This is because the business owners have dedicated valuable time to regularly update and add new content to their website. This is great, however it is not uncommon that we notice articles that do not have enough good-quality content.

How do we know how much content is enough?

The answer is in fact very simple, but backing it up is harder. We know there is not enough content because it is obvious. It doesn’t take a genius to look at an article and surmise that it was not intended to be valuable for the user. Because of this I know that there is not enough content – I just can’t prove it directly. However there are factors which I think are hard to argue.

Optimise for your users

It is easy when aspiring towards a successful website to get caught up in the number of visitors you have coming to your website. This naturally points you towards the art of Search Engine Optimisation. Although this is good, you have to be careful not to be distracted from your real goal: to turn visitors into users/subscribers. To achieve this, you need to get the visitors to your site, but you also need to engage with them at their level. If you are trying to simply trick Google, then assume that your users will spot this – don’t be a hypocrite – always put yourself in your user’s shoes.

What goes online, stays online

In fact, writing mediocre content can cause more harm than good. Maybe you have the attitude that you will go back to it and improve it. Well what about the people who will have seen it in the meantime? What impression will they have gained of your company? They might even share their views on you with their peers.

You might update your website a month later, but the damage is already done.

What about SEO?

We do of course have to consider how we can optimise our page to rank well in Google. As business owners it is important that we are staying competitive, and it is not sensible to turn a blind eye to your competitor’s honest tactics which are working for them.

The blog writer Katherine Andes says:

“Google strongly recommends a minimum of 250 – 300 words per page”

~ Katherine Andes

After doing some research into this, I cannot find a source to verify this claim. This isn’t surprising though really, after all, Google aims to index all your valuable content in order to produce the best search results. It does not look for content which has been specifically optimised for them – this would be highly counterproductive, and is the reason why Google is constantly evolving its algorithm. What Google wants you to do is present your great content to them as clearly as possible, and this is what Search Engine Optimisation really is.

There are many factors that Google takes into account when ranking a page, and many of these are based around the content. Therefore, if your content is non-existent, you are not giving Google much to work with, especially if there are more detailed answers to the user’s query elsewhere.

It is called Page Rank for a reason

Page Rank is a very rough guide that Google provides to the rank-ability of a specific page. Whilst the overall authority of your site will be taken into account when generating Page Rank, it does only concern your one page. Trying to optimise a site by creating a number of low-quality keyword-specific pages merely creates a number of low Page Rank pages which in turn can ultimately pull down the overall authority of your website.

Quality not quantity, valuable not disposable

Ironically, this article could be a lot shorter. I do not believe I have presented anything you don’t already know, I am just making a point. Don’t waste your user’s time.

I have spent at least two hours researching (see links on the right) and refining this article. I have tried to ensure that I have not wasted your time by providing quality insights, and I hope that you have found this valuable and that it has answered your questions, because that is what article-writing is all about.

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Anthony Luxton
Anthony Luxton

2nd December, 2013


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