No two writers will ever agree on the same answer when it comes to long-form content. One argument we as an SEO company offering digital services in Ahmedabad constantly battle with, is that given that the attention span of netizens is getting shorter, we must write shorter, crisp content.
But, what about the readers who wish to attain complete information, in detail from us? And of course, it will hamper the SEO activity since short-form content will never be able to touch the minimum length requirements for it.
Let’s try and understand what exactly do we mean when we say long-form content, and why it still holds importance in content marketing.
What is long-form content?
There have been multiple definitions of long-form content. While some claim that any blog that crosses the threshold of 700 words is long-form, content marketing experts suggest that informative articles that are more than 1200 words are considered long-form content.
Flora Fountain’s SEO experts have always believed that any blog or article that wishes to rank higher on the search pages, must be of minimum 800 words, and should have all the relevant keywords.
And writing long-form content comes with a plethora of benefits for brands that wish to grab as much attention it wants on the internet. Here’s how…
Gain more backlinks
Google prefers high-quality content and link-building to rant any website on the search engine results page (SERP). And long-form content has a greater probability of earning quality backlinks.
HubSpot, in its research The Anatomy of a Shareable, Linkable & Popular Post found that articles with a word count of over 2500 words earn the most links. Short content on the other hand has 75% fewer backlinks than articles of average length (900–1200 words).
Drives traffic to the site
SEMrush further studied over 700,000 articles to come to a conclusion that articles with more than 3000 words generate 3 times more traffic than articles with 90-1200 words. In another study, HubSpot found that articles with 2,250 to 2,500 words earn the most organic traffic.
Here’s another fun fact that we came across. Founder of NP Digital and prominent digital marketer Neil Patel had clocked over 100,000 visitors every month in the first year itself of launching his website Neil Patel. Wondering how? Well, obviously his content is rich with data, facts and detailed knowledge about digital marketing, but apart from that, his blogs are anywhere close to 4000 words.
The point we’re making here is that when you write quality content in long-form, using the keywords strategically, search engines will definitely rank you higher and drive traffic towards your website.
Raises Click-Through Rate
Click-through-rate (CTR) is the ratio used to gauge how the keywords, advertisements and SEO listings are performing. A simpler way to explain this, is that the number of clicks an ad receives is divided by the number of times it is shown to people online. For instance, if an ad is shown to 100 people, and 5 of these people clicked on the ad, its CTR is 5%.
Search engines use this data to see if a page on a website is informative enough to the users or not. Less clicks means the page is not able to fulfill users’ query. So, they move the page down in the search rankings.
And when writing long-form content, it gives enough room to write compelling headers, description tags, and place multiple keywords on strategic locations of the write-up. These smartly written titles, headers and descriptions, peppered with keywords entice the user to click on it when shown of the SERP. And once pulled in, it can also reroute them into exploring the multiple offerings and pages on the site.
Increases dwell time
Dwell time is the amount of time any visitor spends on a particular site. This metric shows Google if a website or any page on the website is worth spending time on or if that page is fulfilling the needs of the user. If a website has a short dwell time, Google finds it irrelevant to the search query.
Long-form, good quality content gets more eyes on the page. It increases the dwell time as people stay on the page for a longer period of time.
Tips to write long-form content
- Avoid writing in long-drawn sentences. Break down the information into shorter sentences and then place them into a paragraph.
- Try listicles (Thank you BuzzFeed). People LOVE lists! Instead of big blocks of paragraphed content, list out the points and write shorter descriptions for them.
- Set a flow for the content. For instance, decide a specific number of words for the opening, the introduction to the topic. Number the bullet points that cover the soul of the story and again fix a specific number of words for description of each.
- Add source links to every study and research quoted in the article, helps with the back-linking.