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Word Count: Importance and How To Check In Google Docs, Word, ans More

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When it comes to your website making a good impression on the Google ranking algorithm, Content is King.

Google has long stated that its SERP rankings prioritize websites of high repute that consistently deliver expert-level insights or entertaining responses to their user’s queries.

It stands to reason, then, that the bulk of any site’s SEO results relies on natural keyword usage, a strong network of backlinks, and your ability to communicate effectively through writing.

But where does word count come into play?

What is Word Count?

Word count refers to the total number of words within a document.

Why Does Word Count Matter?

For content creators interested in SEO best practices, the question of long vs. short blog posts comes up often.

While the answer largely depends on the type of content you’re writing, word count naturally impacts several factors of your site’s ranking potential.

Affects Your Content’s Authority

Typically, a lengthier word count means that you know more about the topic under discussion.

That said, padding your word count isn’t the solution.

It negatively impacts your reader’s perception of your page.

Keeps Readers Engaged

A good rule of thumb is to focus on providing value to your reader rather than trying to hit an arbitrary word count.

So long as what you’ve written has merit, there’s a good chance it will positively impact your site’s performance.

Fits in the Allotted Space

Being unaware of the word count in each section can affect the page’s overall look.

Be mindful that your content is balanced across the page and aesthetically pleasing for the reader.

Helps Get Your Point Across

Limiting yourself to short-form content isn’t conducive to fully expressing your viewpoint.

Best practices for writing a blog post dictate that you should strive to provide a comprehensive answer to a query.

What is the Best Word Count for SEO?

It’s easy to assume that shorter content would attract the reader’s attention by offering snappy answers for on-the-go lifestyles.

Low word count content is also easier to manage for new writers or when your priority is quickly writing blog posts to expand the keywords your site ranks for.

That said, a recent study found that content ranging from 0-2,000 words shows higher engagement as the word count increases, while that over 4,000 words demonstrates fluctuating (and often depreciating) returns.

According to Google, there is no proper length for a blog post because word count doesn’t count as a factor for determining a page’s SERP position.

Instead, their Quality Rater Guidelines prioritize context, expertise, and site reputation, with shorter pages demonstrating higher-quality content ranking higher than disorganized or disingenuous long-form content.

Conducting a content audit is one strategy for ensuring your site balances word count with value.

Start with your shortest pieces and reflect on what other information your audience might wonder about as they read.

How Many Pages is 1000 Words?

The number of pages in a particular word count depends on the spacing, font, font size, margins, and word length.

General guidelines note that one page of content is approximately 500 words, which means that 1,000 words is the equivalent of two pages.

How Do I Check My Word Count?

Suppose you’ve ever written an essay for school before computers became a staple in the classroom.

In that case, there’s a high likelihood you’ve gone through the trouble of manually counting the words in a handwritten essay.

Fortunately, word count tools come standard in document processors, including widely used programs like Microsoft Word and Google Docs.

Even our iPhones, which are increasingly replacing computers, can numerate writing in the Pages app.

How Do I Get a Word Count in Word?

The word count function in Microsoft Word is always enabled and displayed at the bottom of the document in the Status Bar.

However, you may not be aware that you can click on the word count to display more information about your document, including:

  • Pages
  • Words (either the document total or the number within a selection)
  • Characters without spaces
  • Characters with spaces
  • Paragraphs
  • Lines

You also have the option to include the footnotes and endnotes by ticking the box at the bottom of the Word Count pop-up.

Partial Word Count

It’s easy to check the length of a paragraph or section of text once you’ve located the Status Bar:

  1. Highlight the text you want to be included in the word count.
  2. The Status Bar will display the information as “xx of xxx words.”

How Do I Check My Word Count on Google Docs?

Unfortunately, Google Docs does not show the word count by default, but accessing the feature only requires a few clicks.

  1. Open your document.
  2. Click “Tools” in the top menu bar.
  3. Select “Word Count.”
  4. Google Docs will open a pop-up with the information.
  5. Tick the “Display word count while typing” option to view the information in the bottom left of the browser window as you work.

How Do You Get Word Count on iPhone?

Once you’ve opened a Pages document on your iPhone, follow these steps to view the word count:

  1. Tap the three-dot menu button at the top.
  2. Toggle the “Word Count” button.

What is the Keyboard Shortcut for Word Count?

Depending on your platform, you can access the word count feature on Google Docs by using the following keyboard shortcuts:

  • Windows: Ctrl+Shift+C
  • Mac: Command+Shift+C

Because Microsoft Word automatically displays the word count, the previous Ctrl+Shift+G keyboard shortcut is no longer supported.

How to Write for a Specific Word Count

There may come a time when you have to meet a specific word count for cross-posting to other sites or submitting pieces to larger publications.

Here are a few tips for naturally increasing or decreasing word count without compromising quality.

How Do I Increase My Word Count?

One of the most engaging ways to increase your word count is to provide real-world or simulated examples that help your readers understand your talking point.

Examples will look different depending on your niche but might include:

  • Reviewing the pros and cons of certain products
  • Providing screenshots with commentary denoting what point they represent
  • Discussing data from trusted statistic providers

Another strategy is providing additional context around the topic you’re writing about, though you have to be cautious about how far outside of the main subject you travel.

Rather than combining multiple subjects with tenuous connections into a single piece of content, dive deeper into your talking point by researching competitor pieces, where you’ll likely find inspiration for things to write about.

How Do I Decrease My Word Count?

Editing to avoid common grammar mistakes is the best way to decrease your word count.

It naturally eliminates extra text in dangling modifiers, run-on sentences, and overuse of non-content words.

You should also hone in on unnecessary content, such as multiple examples demonstrating the same idea or anecdotes thrown in for entertainment.

Frequently Asked Questions

Are you still curious about word count?

Let’s go over two frequently asked questions:

What is the keyboard shortcut for word count?

In Google Docs, the keyboard shortcut for word count is Ctrl+Shift+C on Windows computers and Command+Shift+C on Macs.

Microsoft Word no longer supports the word count shortcut.

The information is always available at the bottom of the document.

How many pages is a 3,000-word essay?

Generally, a 3,000-word essay is either six pages single-spaced or 12 pages double-spaced.

However, this number can vary based on numerous factors, such as page margins and font settings.

Wrapping Up

While word count does not directly correlate with SERP rankings, the length of your piece naturally lends itself to other SEO practices like fully answering a query or keeping keyword usage organic.

Creating high-value content can be complicated, so leave us a comment below if you have any lingering questions about word count.

Finally, some parting words of wisdom: Prioritize quality over quantity if you want to see your content succeed with your audience and with Google’s algorithm.

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