One of the first questions clients have when building their websites is how many pages should be included for good SEO. While there is no one-size-fits-all solution, there are general guidelines that apply to everyone. By understanding the factors that affect page quantity – competition, products and services, industry, budget – you can determine the best fit for your website.
Let’s explore the changing landscape of SEO, the effect it has had on websites and how to choose the best number of pages for your site.
SEO’s Influence on Website Quality
Back in the day, the internet looked a lot different. Websites were bare-boned and only included a few pages of thin content. Content was keyword-heavy, so sites were able to rank well as a result.
The problem was that these websites had poor usability. Visitors would come to the sites, only to discover that the content wasn’t helpful or relevant to their needs. To combat this, Google rolled out multiple Panda updates that penalized sites for thin content, duplicate content and keyword stuffing.
After Panda hit, the websites that survived were the ones that had high quality, relevant content that was refreshed on a regular basis. Penalized sites had to start from scratch, producing new material. With these changes came the need for more content and more pages.
However, balance remains important. There is such a thing as too much content. So how do you determine how many pages your site needs to deliver your message in an effective manner? Here are some points to consider.
- Competition. How many pages do competitors have on their sites? If your competitors have 50 web pages and you only have five, it’s hard to compete. The more pages these other businesses have, the more likely they are to be found in the search results.
- Products and services. How many products and services does your company offer? The more you have to sell, the more pages you can benefit from. This space allows you to describe your services in detail and add rich media such as photos and product videos.
- Industry. You can learn a lot about your industry through your competitors. Do related websites contain many pages? If so, the bar will be raised for your own site. Again, it’s hard to compete against sites that are indexed more frequently and appear in the search results more often.
- Budget. A larger website means more money. If you’re on a tight budget, don’t sacrifice quality. Your website is your first impression. You can always add more content at a later date and keep customers updated through your blog and social media pages.
- SEO goals. Finally, consider your overall SEO goals. Are you looking for increased traffic? Improved brand awareness? More conversions and sales? Pages that help you reach these goals are never a waste.
In the end, there is no exact number of pages a website needs to have good SEO. Each page should have a purpose and provide value to readers. As long as you aren’t duplicating content, creating thin content or adding pages for the sake of it, the number of pages you include is up to you.