How many words maximum do you optimize a page for? I was asked this today at a meeting and, as it’s something I have pondered for a long time, I had to come up with an answer that made sense to someone not seo-literate.
I optimise a page for as many key phrases as I think I can get in a title that makes sense. If Google displays @70 characters in a title in SERPS, I sort of think those 70 characters are the most important, wether or not Google reads more words in the title. I also weigh this up with my theory there is a limit on the actual amount of anchor text Google will count as a link (8 words). NOTE – In 2013 Google SERPS display is not limited by CHARACTERS, but by PIXELS LENGTH.
When making my titles, if I think the page won’t be linked to, I’ll use the 70 characters. If I think it’s an article likely to be linked to, I’ll also ensure my main keywords are within the first 8 words of a page title to ensure I am getting all the anchor text ranking benefits.
So with those thoughts in mind, how many words can you fit in 55-70 characters? That is the maximum amount of key phrases I would expect to optimise any one page for. Of course there could me many phrases made up with those words beyond that and you can use the content and organic links to capture for long tail searches, but on a page to page basis, seo for me revolves around those 55-70 characters.
If it’s not in the title, links and content, I don’t expect to rank high for it in competitive or saturated niches.
I always look to optimise for phrases too, not words, and always geared to satisfy the intent of a search engine user and visitor. The actual amount of text on a page for seo purposes is kind of irrelevant and totally dependant on the site and what I am aiming to achieve.
NOTE – I am more interested in getting as many unique KEYWORDS on the page related to my focus keyword phrases.
Update – Here is the sort of results you get with this strategy :)