Dumb SEO Questions

(Entry was posted by Craig Anthony on this post in the Dumb SEO Questions community on Facebook, Thursday, November 29, 2018).

How many words do I need to beat my competitors?

hello to everyone :)

im trying to figure out how many words i need to beat my competitors - i found this competitor with very few words on their page - but when i did a word count it showed they have over 20k words :/

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Selected answers from the Dumb SEO Questions G+ community.

  • Larry Spencer: Are they hiding text?
  • Craig Anthony: thats what i thought , but ihave no idea
  • Perry Bernard: Look in DOM1 pageload with inspector.
  • James Slattery: post the page url and someone will check on/offpage
  • Craig Anthony: https://thebigclockstore.com/product-category/huge-clocks/
  • Charles Whitworth: if you`re looking at word count as a way to beat your competitors, you`re barking up the wrong tree unfortunately. i`d check your engagement and authority first
  • Craig Anthony: good point charles - thank you - i`ve taken it on board :)
  • Michael Martinez: First of all, using a third-party tool to count words on the page doesn`t tell you anything about what the search engine found.Secondly, you don`t know that your competitor is earning more traffic than your site. There is no SEO tool that can accurately, reliably give you that information. You need to focus on improving your own traffic without worrying about anyone else`s traffic.Third, search engines don`t use "engagement" and "authority" in their algorithms. Now, user engagement (what people do on the page) can lead to people recommending your site to others, but so can user experience (what they find on the page).Create a great user experience, make it easy and simple for users to engage, and focus on building your own traffic (both in search and through other channels).
  • Craig Anthony: some very valid points there - thank you for that info and advice :)
  • Charles Whitworth: disagree with Michael`s comments re: engagement and authority not being part of the algo, tests I`ve run have proven that they almost certainly are. how you determine to what extent and what metrics are being used though, is the tricky thing. lowering bounce rate, increasing time on site and authoritative backlinks definitely all work as SEO tactics. But he is spot on, create a great UX and the rest should come naturally anyway, provided your marketing is up to scratch. i think we`re all in agreement that focusing on word count isnt the best use of your time though, which was the original question
  • Michael Martinez: Charles Whitworth The search engines have absolutely no way to measure engagement on Websites, so it`s clearly not being used by their algorithms. As for "authority", well, they measure "authority" based on document-to-document linkage, not anything like "domain authority". SEO tests are notoriously difficult to design and many arguments could be waged back and forth about them, but this group is not intended for arguments. So hopefully Craig will accept the responses in the good spirit in which they are all intended and we can move on to the next question. People who still want to respond to this question should feel free.
  • Craig Anthony: Charles Whitworth i will work on lowering bounce rate , and increasing time on site, with some new videos i have recently taken. thank you for your expert advice :)
  • Roger Montti: Bounce rate can be a sign of satisfaction. They hit the site find what they need and bounce out fast.Bounce rate can be a sign of dissatisfaction WITH GOOGLE. That doesn`t mean there`s anything wrong with your site. It`s usually a sign of something wrong with Google for sending them to your site for a query that isn`t relevant. For example, if you sell t-shirts with dogs on them, is there anything to fix on your t-shirt page if google`s sending people looking for t-shirts FOR dogs?This thing about bounce rate being a ranking metric is a stubborn myth that refuses to die. There has NEVER been any justification for it.
  • Craig Anthony: Roger Montti this is all very interesting and eye opening. i have sent you a pm :)
  • Craig Anthony: my site is a site to display/sell my art and theres so few words on each page butlots of pictures .....that ive been told i might be suffering from thin content with so few words....so i have recently found a content writer and want to get them to increase word count and relevant content on ALL of my pages as i only have 100/200 words on some pages. what are your thoughts ?
  • Charles Whitworth: words may or may not make your pages more compelling, it all depends on your site. aesthetics, content quality, the quality of your product and the UX as we have mentioned. it will depend on your users (demographics/persona).. i dont think this will be the silver bullet you`re looking for. just add a suitable amount of content for the page in question, there is no magic word count
  • Craig Anthony: thats fantastic - cheers Charles Whitworth
  • Craig Anthony: i have sent you a pm
  • Ryan Jones: 42 more than them. If you only have 41 more or 43 more, you won`t rank. Google doesn`t care about how relevant or useful your content is, just how many words you have.
  • Craig Anthony: my theory is based on a videoi have watched (im a newbie at this) It said check your the average word count of competitios and make sure i am 5/10% more than them . This is of course not my `only` focus. I have also been told as my word count is so low, but mainly pictures that i could be suffering from this content. This is what i am trying to fix at present :)
  • Richard Hearne: I would ignore said advice. If it was valid then you could easily check ranking sites - each lower rank would have ~5% less words. That does not reflect reality.
  • Jim Munro: sarcasm doesn`t work well here, Ryan Jones. We`re here to help and enlighten people. There`s enough confusion without adding to it.
  • Larry Spencer: Jim Munro Thank you, Jim. Other groups are filled with unhelpful and oftentimes rude and condescending comments. I’m glad this group is maintaining helpful standards

View original question in the Dumb SEO Questions community on Facebook, Thursday, November 29, 2018).

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