How Many Pages Should Your Website Be?
Those beginning a website may be uncertain as to how many pages their website should be. Some people believe that the more pages you have, the better off your Google rankings will be. Still others don’t want their website to be too long or fill up with content, as they feel this can make it difficult for visitors and search engines to sift through and understand all the data.
So how many pages should your website have? The number officially varies depending on who you ask, but there’s no magical answer. It will depend on your business model, your audience, and your message. You need to answer for yourself what the purpose is for creating each page and how best to communicate with content that will connect to your audience. If you want to increase traffic and draw engagement to your site, it comes down to providing the information your audience is looking for to resolve a pain point. It starts with the first page.
Okay, so what kinds of pages do you need to create? That will depend on the type and niche your business falls into. For example, if it’s focused around one specific topic like cooking recipes then there might not be need for many different subtopics because each individual recipe would suffice as its own page. However, this may change depending upon how expansive and detailed certain areas are within that particular industry—so consider carefully before deciding which way works best!
For starters, it is important to have a basic page that describes your business, its purpose and what you offer. This will allow potential customers or clients get acquainted with who you are as quickly as possible before diving into more in-depth information about certain topics. Subtopic pages can delve deep enough so those interested know all their options available from this company’s product line up including colors, schemes, kinds of services, etc. Like a good news article that goes from general to specific, your website’s message should begin with a clear, concise message that attracts the reader, then provides more detailed information to keep the viewer engaged.
Keep in mind, though, that longer content does not always equal quality. It is all about your goal or intention, your wording, and how you display your content. If your content is simply a rambling of words or meaningless fluff, whether 100 or 1,000 words long, it won't garner any attention. In addition, if it is not pleasing to the eye, lacks organization, or important keywords, it will easily fall flat. Consequently, users will lose interest and leave your site. Once that occurs, they are less likely to return. Here are some guidelines that can improve engagement of your content:
• Choose legible and consistent font—Make sure your font size is big enough to read and keep the same style throughout the page
• Use shorter paragraphs—Make every word count by being concise and to-the-point, especially for your introductory or landing page.
• Make it scroll-worthy—White space and text go hand in hand. Use subtitles and bullet points to keep the reader’s eye moving along with ease.
• Accessorize your content—Like a good pair of shoes and handbag that accent an outfit, provide images, video, and relevant links to support and enhance the copy.
• Utilize keywords wisely—Select the most relevant keywords or phrases to insert throughout an article. The most common places to insert them are in the introductory paragraph, in the middle, and toward the end or closing. Do not overuse keywords, or your message could be construed as forced and inauthentic. Users and search engines will pick up on this fast, negatively impacting your ranking.
• Provide a Call to Action—Provide clear instructions to the viewer on how to act to receive a specific offer or benefit. Examples are discount redemptions, subscriptions, product information, course enrollment or other actions you want the user to take to get them closer to purchasing from you.
• Create Long-form Content on Sub-pages--Provide detail by creating long-form content. According to HubSpot, long-form content describes writing between 1000 and 7500 words. They can be detailed descriptions of your products, services, or a blog page that indicates your expertise. These pages should contain longer content than the initial page to inform your viewers that what you are offering is what they need or are looking for.
• Use images, video, podcasts—The adage, a picture tells a thousand words will forever ring true. Using various imagery and media in addition to written text will greatly improve the message because it is engaging all the senses, as well as signaling search engines.
If you are still concerned about the length of your website, you should be more focused on whether it has enough content instead of whether it has too much. If you must have a number, an article by First On The List suggests a minimum of 400 to 500 words per page, although a page with 1000 or more words can rank much better if its subject matter is informative and useful.
The most important takeaway is to create engaging content that will answer your readers’ questions, demonstrate expertise, and be understood by the search engine’s algorithms. If you can do all that with more or less, preferably more words, your website stands a better chance of achieving higher engagement and ranking.