How does Siteimprove calculate the Word count for a page?
By Sean Needham
For the purpose of the Word count calculation, Siteimprove excludes words found in the page template and boilerplate. Only the words in what the Siteimprove algorithm considers as content will be included in the Word count.
Note: Flagging pages with a low word count is mainly valuable as an indication of pages with low (shallow) content. Low content is a disadvantage when it comes to SEO.
Words found in menus, headers, footers, and columns will not be included in the word count. This process is based on machine learning so in some cases, banners may be included.
The Word count for a page can be seen within SEO Issues and Recommendations and under Total words in Readability.
What is a low content word count?
Pages with content below 250 words tend not to be linked to by other sites as often as pages with longer copy. This can causes search engines to perceive these pages as lacking in authority and rank them lower. If your page contains less than 250 words, this could mean it's not long enough to provide high-quality, informative content to visitors.
How to address this issue
Pages with short copy (less than 250 words in content) can be seen as "weak" by search engines, which prefer content-rich pages. Research also shows that long-form copy converts users better than short-form copy. Not all your pages will need nor should be text-heavy. But for pages which are heavily content-focused, e.g. blog posts, aim to write 2000 words or more. Well-written long-form copy can demonstrate subject or industry authority and knowledge. Most importantly, write content that will connect with and is useful to your reader, Relevant, high-quality content will always bring visitors back and improve search engine rankings.