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The long and the short of it

By November 6, 2019 No Comments

Why you should be creating long-form content on your website

long form content

I often bang on about less is more when it comes to content writing.

What I’m about to write doesn’t dispel the keep-it-simple approach. I’m a firm believer in getting to the point and ruthless editing.  However, there is a place for longer-form content on your website. Well researched and written long-form content can help you cut through the noise and catch the attention of your potential customers.  It has been proven to help website rankings, leading to new customers. The recent success of long-form content has led it to become an essential part of the marketing mix for many companies.

If you aren’t already investing in long-form content, let me share with you why it works and how to go about creating it.

 

What is long-form content?

Long-form content usually contains 2,000 words or more. However, those numbers are slowly increasing with 3,000 to 10,000 words becoming the new standard. It includes blog posts, whitepapers, eBooks and tutorials or how-to guides.

Does long-form content work better than short content?

Short-form content is still a good way to provide information to people without taking up a lot of their time. People are busy and you’ve got to be concise to keep their interest.

However, when it comes to performing better in the search rankings and getting organic traffic, in the last few years long-form has been outperforming short-form. When you carry out a Google search, it returns what it believes is the highest quality post that answers your question, and in most cases, it’s long-form content, over 2,000 words.

Why long-form content works

Good for SEO

People engage more deeply with long-form content.  A longer time on site and lower bounce rate are two key Google algorithm ranking factors.  Google shows a clear preference for content that keeps the reader’s attention longer.

A longer article gives you more opportunities to rank for long-tail keywords and get discovered in search engines.  It also presents more opportunities to interlink among different blog posts on your website – not only can this keep your readers hooked to your website for a longer time, internal hyperlinks are another tick box in Google’s algorithm.

More shares

Long-form content allows you to provide more value and attract more people to your content.  Done properly, it inspires readers to share it with others.  The BuzzSumo team analysed the social share counts of 100 million articles and found long-form content secured more social shares. In fact, blog posts with a length between 3,000 and 10,000-words received the maximum number of social shares.

“They want to share intellectually challenging, long-form content. Since the web is inundated with short-form content and gifs, you’re better off spending your time writing that one epic piece of content that has less competition instead of writing lots of short, fluffy pieces”.OKDork

More links

If your content is well-researched and contains useful data, statistics or infographics, it stands more chance of attracting good-quality backlinks from other websites. Again, another SEO ranking factor.

Positions your brand as an authority

Long-form content gives you ample scope to include meaningful insights and analyses, along with the latest statistics and data, positioning you as an authority figure in your industry.  It helps earn the trust of your audience and reinforces brand credibility.

Increased conversions

The ultimate objective of your digital marketing strategy is to convert website visitors into paying customers.  Long-form content allows you to provide your audience with all the necessary information about your product or service, helping persuade them to make a purchase.

Efficient repurposing

When you create a piece of long-form content, it becomes easier for you to repurpose it into different forms. For instance, you can create an attractive infographic to accompany it. Or transform an eBook into a series of podcasts.  It also provides you with material for social media posting for quite a while.

Where long-form content works well

Long-form content works particularly well in the following situations:

  • Your audience is in the early stages of their buying journey and have little knowledge of your products or services.
  • You are selling high-end expensive products or services and your potential customers need extensive information in order to make their decisions.
  • Your products or services require more commitment in terms of time and resources from the buyer.
  • Your brand is relatively new or you are launching a new product or service.
  • You are selling a technical product and would like to expand on the specification.
  • Your goal is to close business-to-business sales that involve a long and complex purchasing cycle.

Quality is still better than quantity

A short, useful post is always going to be more valuable than a long post that’s boring and provides no value.  In fact, there are many times when it might be better for your business to stick to short-form content. So before you embark on writing a 5,000 word article you need to ask yourself the following …

Is your content writing up to the task?

This is a harsh point to bring up, but some business owners just don’t have the writing skills to create long-form content and make it interesting.

Creating and publishing long-form content can be an arduous process. It takes a significant investment in terms of time, resources and capital to write a long in-depth and well-researched blog post. You need to ensure that the content is meaningful and engaging. This effort and investment will be evident to your audience as well.

This often acts as a deterrent and discourages many business owners and marketers from considering long-form content. You can outperform your competitors by using this to your advantage.

But don’t be put off if you don’t have the time or skills to create the content yourself.   That’s where skilled content creators like Editing Edge come in. We are adept at producing well researched, in-depth material that engages its audience. We’ve produced many forms of long-form content, from white papers and eBooks, to reports and published books.

With long-form content proven to perform better in search engines, it should be a vital piece of your content mix. Now is the time to invest more in long-form content experimentation while it still offers a significant competitive advantage.  And Editing Edge is the perfect choice for copywriters to help you do this.

Get in touch now to discuss your ideas for long-form content.

Lesley

Lesley

I’m Lesley Hussell and my job is to bring some copywriting magic to your business, so you sell more, inspire your staff or spread your message far and wide. You’ll want to know how I measure up against other copywriters you’re considering, and whether I’m good enough to be trusted with your brand. If you’re looking for quick wit, creative thinking and a flair for compelling content writing.