Our free word calculator and word counter will automatically count how many words, characters, and paragraphs are in your text. We’ll even calculate how long it would take to read or speak your word count. Just type or paste your text below to get started!
How to Use the Word Counter Tool
- Paste or type your text into the text box above.
- The word count, character count (with and without spaces), and paragraph count will be shown above and in the sidebar.
- It’s that easy!
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Why Word Count is Important
Often writers are tasked with creating content that has a certain word count restriction. Some may write more than the expected length of the material, while others fall short of the words. Whether writers have trouble writing too few works or too many, a word counter can help. So why do you need to worry about word count?
In fact, there are a lot of reasons why word count is important for writers. Keeping a strict word count not only benefits writers but the publishers and agents as well. Even the readers can benefit from the proper word count. Whether you are a part of a publishing company, a freelance writer hoping to make ends meet, or a personal blogger, you should take the word count into account.
In this article, we will explain why word count is important. We will also word count’s significance in academic writing and SEO.
To quickly and easily count your words, use our word counter tool above.
What is Word Count?
Before describing what word count is, we first have to define what a word is. A word includes characters which are separated by spaces and punctuation marks. At present, even emojis are considered characters which constitute a word. When we count the number of words in a document or content, we call it as word count.
Word count may be applied when a piece of text is needed to stay within a certain number of words. Such may be the case in legal proceedings, academic texts, advertising, marketing, and journalism. In addition to this, word count could also be applied when gauging the level of readability.
For example, university professors require essays with a word limit. This is why you have to count the words in your piece so that you could reach the limit. In digital marketing, clients would need a minimum number of words to meet the needs for the search engine rankings. There are various instances where the length of your article is essential. Hence the need for the word count.
At present, there are already a lot of word count tools which could determine the number of words in your articles. Most word processors such MS Word also count words. However, you should note that these word counting programs might give different results because of the text segmentation rule details.
Social Media Word Counts
Various social media channels have word and character limits for the the content you post to their sites. Below are the word count limits for various social media platforms.
Twitter Character Count
Twitter allows up to 280 characters in regular Tweets and 10,000 characters in DMs (Direct Messages). The ideal length of a Tweet is 71-100 Characters.
Facebook Post Character Limits
Facebook has very generous character limits of up to 63,206 characters per post. However, the ideal length of a Facebook post is 40-80 characters.
Instagram Character Limits
The limit for an Instagram caption is 2,200 characters, but the ideal length is 138-150 characters. The maximum length of an Instagram bio is 150 characters.
Importance of Word Count for Readers
Before you begin writing a piece of content or project, the first thing that you have to consider is your reader. Whether you aim to inform, to persuade, or to entertain, you have to make sure that your article will be engaging to the readers. Especially in marketing, the length of the material could have a huge factor in determining whether your readers would buy your product or not. This is where word count enters.
Word count is essential to readers since this would dictate their level of retention towards the article itself. If it would be too long, the reader might get bored and not read it. If the material is too short, then the reader might not get the right idea. Hence, the reader needs an article with just the correct word count in order to hold the attention of the reader. Sure, the readers could finish an article that is 150 words long, but they might not be able to grasp the idea that you want to convey. Similarly, your reader will be bored if your review article will be 4,000 words long.
The attention span of an average reader is eight seconds. So you should avoid going around the bush and go straight to your point. Some readers would only skim at an article and leave for another article, especially when uninterested with the topic at hand.
If you’re writing a novel, then the rules as stated beforehand might not apply. The word count for novels which readers would definitely be interested in would be over 40,000 words. The average length would depend on the genre of the novel. For instance, a romance novel would range from 50,000 to 90,000 words. A science fiction novel, on the other hand, would range from 90,000 to 125,000 words.
Why is there a word limit for novels? This is because readers have a certain expectation as to the what they are going to read. For readers of fantasy novels, for instance, they will expect a longer word count because they are more than willing to immerse themselves in a new and unknown world. Readers of romance novels, on the other hand, would like to delve themselves in the lives of two people, hence the length of the story.
Overall, since the readers are the clients of the article or novel, their interests should be taken into consideration.
Why Academic Papers Have a Word Limit
Word count is also essential in academic papers. Most professors require that the written outputs that you are going to pass should contain a certain number of words, say between 2,500 to 3,000 words. This sometimes causes stress to students, especially those who find writing a challenge. In many cases, others would worry more about the length of the academic paper than the content itself.
But why set word limits? There are varied reasons why academic papers come with a limit in terms of the number of words. One of which is to gauge how well your communication skills are given the set of amount of words to do. By continuously practicing writing while employing word count, you unconsciously develop your writing and communication skills without a doubt.
Another apparent reason why a word count is necessary for academic papers is for fairness. Limiting an academic paper into a set of words would put the different documents passed on the same scale. Also, the professor will not find it difficult to check your papers.
In addition to this, you should note that academic papers are straightforward. They do not go around the bush. By counting the number of your words, you ensure that you go straight to the point. This would make your paper concise yet substantial, as any academic paper would.
For academic papers with abstracts, a 125-word paragraph would already suffice. Going overboard would only bore the research readers in reading such abstract.
Why Word Count is Important for SEO
As mentioned earlier, word count is essential in academic writing and novel writing, each with their own reasons. But for digital marketing, say using Search Engine Optimization (SEO), would word count still be vital? Of course. Word count for SEO is vital and longer-form content with a higher word count tend to perform better.
In fact, a study by SERPIQ shows why word count is so important for SEO.
What word count should you use for SEO?
The answer really depends on the nature of your article. For FAQ articles, a word count of at least 500 words work best. For reviews and editorial content, we recommend at least 1,500 words.
There is no direct effect of word count in ranking above your competition. However, it is a common knowledge that longer pieces often outshine articles with shorter lengths. This is because people assume that articles with higher word count have a higher authority and engagement, and in turn, success. Hence, they will click these articles rather than the shorter ones. Furthermore, longer content (which consists of at least a thousand words) tends to allow websites to show up in search results.
At present, more and more content writers are advocating for substance rather than the number of words. Relevance to a user’s query matter more. This is because such articles which contain relevant information are more beneficial to them. But that reason does not imply that we lessen the number of words in our articles. For SEO articles, considering the word count still matters as the content. Hence, make sure that there is a balance between these two factors.
In a specific number of words, you should have discussed all the essential things that you want your reader to know. You should have also included the tips and tricks to make your article more SEO-friendly. These include placing links, ensuring the keyword density, and increasing the readability levels. Once you are done, make sure that the word count is not thin. Thin content could end up being flagged and would not rank as highly in search engines.
Whatever your purpose be when writing – to entertain, to persuade, or to inform – you should consider the length of your article. Also, you will have a better chance at ranking in various search engines. So go ahead, count your words with our free word counter above.