It’s no secret that Google loves fresh, relevant content. They’ve stated time and again that content is one of their top three ranking factors. But what kind of content? Does Google prefer shorter articles or longer ones?
The answer may surprise you: Google actually prefers longer articles. In a study of one million search results, the average word count of a first-page result was 1,890 words. Additionally, long-form content gets an average of 77.2% more links than short articles.
Why is this? There are a few reasons that we’ll explore in this article.
What Exactly Is Long-Form Content?
Long-form content is defined as articles that are well over 1,000 words. It can be anywhere between 1,000 words to 5,000 or even higher.
Of course, length is one factor that defines an article as long-form. The content must also be well-researched, thoroughly thought out, and well-written. In other words, it must provide real value to the reader.
Long-Form Content vs. Short-Form Content
As a business owner, you’re always looking for ways to reach your target audience better and promote your product or service. A critical aspect of this is the type of content you create. Do you go with long-form content or short-form content?
There are pros and cons to both types of content. It’s essential to understand the differences between them so that you can make the best decision for your business.
As discussed, long-form content is typically defined as any content that is usually over 1,000.
The advantage of long-form content is that it allows you to really dive deep into a topic and cover it in-depth. This can help you establish yourself as an expert in your field and build trust with your audience.
Short-form content, on the other hand, is any piece of content that is under 1,000 words. This includes social media posts, infographics, and even some blog posts.
The advantage of short-form content is that it’s easier to consume and can be more engaging. Since people are often bombarded with content, short-form content can be a breath of fresh air. However, if your blogs are too short, they might be seen as thin content by Google: unhelpful and not satisfying search intent.
What Makes Long-Form Content Work?
As we’ve seen, long-form content has many advantages over shorter pieces. But what, exactly, makes it so effective?
There are a few key factors:
This is perhaps the most significant benefit of long-form content. You can cover a topic in greater detail when you have more space. This is especially useful for complex topics that require a lot of explanation.
Long-form content also allows you to establish your authority on a given topic. Writing a detailed, well-researched piece shows that you know what you’re talking about.
In addition to establishing your authority, long-form content also helps to build trust with your audience. When people see that you’re willing to take the time to write a comprehensive piece, they’ll be more likely to trust you and your opinions.
Due to its greater depth and shareability, long-form content is also more likely to generate leads. If you include a call-to-action at the end of your piece, you’ll be able to turn readers into leads more effectively.
Opportunity to Rank for More Keywords
Providing value to your readers is one of the key ranking factors for Google, and longer pieces tend to offer just that. In addition, long-form content is more likely to be shared, which can help to increase your rankings.
Step-By-Step: How to Write Great Long-Form Content
You know the feeling. You’ve been staring at a blank screen for hours, trying to come up with something —anything—to say. The pressure’s on to produce something good, and all you can think of are tiny little things that wouldn’t even fill up a paragraph, let alone an entire article.
Don’t despair! Writing great long-form content is easier than you think. And once you get the hang of it, it can be surprisingly easy – and even enjoyable. Here’s a step-by-step guide to writing great long-form content, regardless of your topic.
Step 1: Define Your Content’s Purpose
The first step to writing great long-form content is finding its purpose. What are you trying to achieve with this piece? Are you looking to educate your readers, entertain them, or convince them of something?
Your answer to this question will determine your article’s tone, style, and structure. If you’re writing for entertainment, for example, you’ll likely want to keep things light and breezy. On the other hand, if you’re looking to educate or persuade your readers, a more serious tone is probably called for.
Step 2: Work on a Story that Engages Users
Once you know what your article is supposed to achieve, it’s time to start working on the actual content. And the best way to keep your readers engaged is by telling a story.
People love stories. They’re easy to follow and make complex topics more relatable. So even if your goal is simply to educate or inform your readers, working a story into your long-form content will go a long way towards holding their attention.
Step 3: Write Enough Content to Make Your Point
One of the biggest mistakes people make when writing long-form content is not writing enough. They get to the end of their article and realize they need more material to make their point – or, worse, that they’ve run out of things to say entirely.
If you find yourself in this situation, you must resist the temptation to pad your article with filler content. This will only make your readers lose interest and leave them feeling cheated.
Instead, take the time to write enough content to make your point convincingly. This may mean going back and adding more sections or expanding on the points you’ve already made. But in the end, it’s worth it to have a well-crafted article that satisfies your readers.
Step 4: Use Images to Break Your Content
One of the best ways to make your long-form content more readable is to break it up with images. People are visual creatures, and adding pictures, graphs, or infographics can help them process information more effectively.
Not to mention, images are a great way to add some personality to your article and make it more engaging. So if you’re struggling to keep your reader’s attention, try adding a few pictures to your content.
Step 5: Promote Your Content
The final step to writing great long-form content is promoting it. Just because you’ve written a killer article doesn’t mean people will automatically find it. You need to make some effort to get your content seen by the right people.
There are a number of ways to promote your content, but some of the most effective include social media, email marketing, and guest blogging. By promoting your article on different channels, you’ll reach a wider audience and increase the chances that someone will actually read it.
Long-form content is well over 1,000 words and can even range up to 10,000 words. Here’s a quick recap of the most important things to remember about long-form content:
- The benefits of writing long-form content include improved SEO, more social shares, and increased topical authority.
- The difference between long-form and short-form content is that long-form content goes into more depth, providing readers with greater value.
- To write great long-form content, start by finding a topic that interests you and that you’re passionate about. Then, work on a story that engages your readers and write enough content to make your point. Finally, promote your content on different channels to reach a wider audience.