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As a first step, you probably should not reduce your word count. Reducing word count is an advanced SEO strategy and should be done with caution. Reducing word count usually works best for older pages that are “stuck.” Reducing word count, which often reduces the number of times you have used a keyword or variations, is a higher risk strategy. Reducing word count at the right time can result in a significant rise in rank, but when done at the wrong time it can cause a significant drop.
POP will rarely recommend that you start off reducing your word count. Even if you are using POP Custom, make sure that you are using the recommended strategy from POP or are comfortable making those types of judgment calls.
You can see in the example below that using the regular approach in POP Custom may not be appropriate and the Adjusted Recommendations approach should be used. In the screenshot, you can see that the regular strategy for All Competitors says to decrease word count significantly. As a result, POP recommends using the adjusted for word count approach in this situation.
When in doubt, use the POP Pro Content Brief and do not worry about POP Custom. If you would like to ask Kyle about a situation directly, we recommend signing up for the POP workshop. Kyle, or our head of support, does a weekly POP workshop where they show how POP can help you do effective SEO. Any questions that you might have will be answered. If Kyle is not on the workshop, questions you have will be sent to Kyle and you will receive an email response with the answers. The workshop is recorded and you will get a copy of the recording. Here's a link to sign up for the workshop: https://pageoptimizer.pro/on-page-workshops-with-kyle-roof-2/