What Is The Best Page Size For SEO?
Search engine optimization (SEO) is crucial for driving organic traffic to your website.
But with so many factors to consider, it can be tricky to know where to focus your optimization efforts.
One key element that can significantly impact your SEO is page size.
What exactly is the ideal page size for SEO? Should you aim for short, bite-sized content or in-depth epic content?
In this guide, we’ll cover everything you need to know about optimizing your page size for maximum search engine rankings.
Why Page Size Matters for SEO
Page size refers to the total file size of a web page, including all of its textual content, images, videos, scripts, stylesheets, and other page elements.
A page’s size is measured in kilobytes (KB) or megabytes (MB).
Search engines have repeatedly stressed the importance of page experience and site speed as ranking factors.
Smaller page sizes directly contribute to better user experience by allowing faster load times. Some key reasons why page size impacts SEO:
- Faster load times: Smaller pages load much quicker for users. Quick load times reduce bounce rates and improve dwell time metrics.
- Better crawlability: Search engine crawlers can index smaller pages easier. Large, bloated pages may not get fully crawled.
- Improves Core Web Vitals: Google uses metrics like LCP and FID to measure site speed. Large pages negatively impact these.
- Mobile optimization: Smaller pages offer better experience on mobile devices with limited bandwidth.
Clearly, optimizing your page size should be a priority for higher SEO rankings.
But what should you aim for?
Google Recommends Pages Under 1MB
In various webmaster conference videos and documentation, Google has indicated that pages should ideally be kept under 1MB in size.
Excessively large pages that take too long to load can lead to poor user experience.
Some advantages of keeping pages under 1MB:
- Faster load times: Pages under 1MB load nearly instantaneously for most internet connections.
- Lower bounce rates: Lightning fast load times keep visitors engaged on pages longer.
- Better mobile experience: Pages under 1MB work well on both desktop and mobile.
- Improved crawl budget: Large pages may use up excessive crawl budget for limited gain.
However, 1MB is not necessarily a hard limit you must strictly adhere to.
For example, a page with high resolution images or video content may legitimately need to be over 1MB.
The key is keeping page bloat to a minimum wherever possible.
Factors That Contribute to Page Size
To optimize page size, you need to understand what elements on a page contribute to its total file size.
Some common factors include:
- Images: High resolution images substantially increase file size. Image optimization is key.
- Videos: Video files are much larger than images or text. Optimize video bitrates.
- Stylesheets: CSS files also must be downloaded. Minify and consolidate CSS.
- Page elements: The number and size of page sections impacts size. Remove unnecessary elements.
- Text content: Lengthy textual content can make pages bulky. But it’s less impactful than media files.
- Page caching: Uncached elements increase page size. Effective caching reduces size.
- Trackers and ads: Any embedded third party codes contribute to bloat. Limit their usage.
Take a critical look at each of these elements on your pages to identify optimization opportunities.
Tackling page bloat will directly reduce size.
Techniques for Reducing Page Size
Here are some effective techniques you can use to shrink page size for better SEO and user experience:
Images often make up the bulk of page file size. To reduce their impact:
- Compress images: Use compression tools to reduce file size without affecting quality.
- Use appropriate image formats: Choose JPEG for photos, PNG for logos and illustrations.
- Resize images: Don’t use extremely oversized images. Resize to appropriate dimensions.
- Lazy load: Only load images visible on the initial viewport. Defer others.
- Provide alt text: Add descriptive alt text so images are understood when not loaded.
- Deliver scaled image assets: Serve lower resolution images to mobile users.
Minification removes unnecessary whitespace, comments and optimizations to condense file size while preserving functionality.
- HTML minification significantly reduces text-heavy HTML size.
- CSS minification condenses cascading style sheets.
Prioritize Content Delivery
Prioritizing how page content is delivered can help improve initial load experience:
- Defer non-critical JS: Only load JS powering page functionality immediately. Delay other JS.
- Async CSS delivery: Load CSS asynchronously so it doesn’t block initial page render.
- Prioritized content: Display key content first, delay loading ancillary content.
Streamline External Resources
Relying too much on external files can bloat pages:
- Combine multiple CSS/JS files into consolidated files to reduce HTTP requests.
- Eliminate unnecessary scripts/trackers: Audit and remove unneeded external resources.
- Load fonts/icons on-demand: Only request fonts and icon SVG when they’re needed on a page.
- Host resources locally: Storing resources on your own server avoids external calls.
An effective caching strategy delivers repeat content from the browser cache without requiring fresh downloads each time:
- CDN caching stores static assets on geographically distributed servers.
- Browser caching instructs browsers to store local copies of unchanged assets.
- Server caching allows web servers to quickly serve cached data.
- Content Delivery Networks (CDNs) deliver cached resources from edge locations closer to users. This provides tremendous load time improvements.
Ideal Page Length for SEO
Beyond just minimizing page size, what is the best practice for optimizing page length specifically for search rankings?
The ideal page length correlates strongly with the subject matter. Here are some guidelines:
Short Pages (500-1,000 Words)
Short page lengths are best suited for:
- Targeting short tail, high traffic keywords and questions
- Quickly answering focused user intent
- Highly scannable microcontent like lists and how-tos
- Location pages, contact pages, and other utility content
- Product category and overview pages
The concise information is easy for search engines to parse and scan.
The faster load times also reduce bounce rates.
QUOTE: “Websites with shorter pages tend to provide a better user experience, resulting in lower bounce rates, fewer abandonments, and higher time on page.” – Moz
Medium Pages (1,000-2,000 Words)
Medium page lengths work well for:
- Detailed guides, tutorials, and how-to articles
- Primary category and subcategory content
- Thought leadership content like roundups and industry analysis
- Landing pages targeted at commercial keywords and conversions
These pages have enough heft to cover topics comprehensively while still remaining focused and consumable.
Long Pages (2,000-3,000 Words)
Longform, epic content over 2,000 words may be suitable for:
- In-depth, extensive guides on complex topics
- Listicles and content covering many sub-topics
- Highly authoritative industry, product, and subject matter content
- Location pages for large metros and popular tourist destinations
However, ultra long pages come with caveats:
- Carefully break up text with formatting to improve readability
- Add ample visual elements – images, embeds, charts – to augment text
- Evaluate engagement metrics to ensure users are actually consuming the full content
In general, you can think about optimizing page length to match user intent – short pages for quick questions, longer pages for extensive research.
QUOTE: “For most websites, articles in the 1,500-2,000 word range seem to strike the best balance between SEO value and engagement.” – Ahrefs
Monitor Page Size and Site Speed KPIs
Once you optimize your page size and length, you’ll want to monitor key metrics to identify new issues immediately:
- Page size: Check your page size reports to ensure you stay under ideal limits.
- Page speed: Use PageSpeed Insights and SpeedCurve to assess real world load times.
- Core Web Vitals: Review LCP, FID and other Core Vital metrics regularly.
- Site analytics: Monitor bounce rate, time on page, and other indicators of engagement.
- Site crawl: Watch your site’s indexation rate and crawl stats for problems.
- User feedback: Customer comments and surveys often highlight page speed concerns.
Optimize any pages that exceed size limits or have poor speed KPIs.
Page optimization is an ongoing process as websites continually evolve.
FAQs About Page Size and SEO
What is the ideal number of words for a webpage?
For most websites, pages between 500 to 2,000 words perform best.
Very short pages under 500 words may not provide enough value, while ultra-long pages over 2,000 words can impact engagement.
Let your topic guide the ideal length.
Is there a maximum word count I should stay under?
Most SEO experts recommend keeping pages under 2,000 words for maximum optimization.
Excessively long pages can frustrate users and be difficult for search engines to properly crawl and index.
For epic guides over 2,000 words, consider breaking content into multiple pages.
How do I know if my pages are too long?
Review your analytics to see if long pages have high bounce rates and low average time on page – indicators they are too long for visitors.
Solicit user feedback through surveys and interviews to learn if page length is affecting engagement.
What’s more important for SEO – word count or value?
Quality content that provides real value for users is more important than hitting a specific word count target.
A 600 word page that comprehensively answers a user question can outperform a bloated 2,000 word page with little substance. Focus on value.
How often should I check page speed KPIs?
Monthly checks of key page speed metrics like Core Web Vitals and PageSpeed Insights scores allow you to catch any technical issues impacting site speed before they dramatically degrade rankings and engagement.
Weekly spot checks of important landing pages are also wise.
Page size has a measurable impact on user experience, page speed, SEO rankings and overall website performance.
By keeping pages under 2MB in size, optimizing images, minifying code, and streamlining page delivery, you can reap the benefits of faster load times, improved engagement and higher search rankings.
Remember to size your pages appropriately for the topic, align page length to user intent, constantly monitor speed KPIs, and always prioritize delivering value for your audience above raw word count quotas.
With these principles, you can build pages that connect with users while also appealing to search engines.