People often think shorter is best for creating content, but actually, longer content works really well. Studies show that the top Google pages usually have about 1,890 words on average. If you want to understand how longer content can boost your rankings, you’re in the right spot.
As per my Industrial SEO Experience , Long-form content has SEO benefits in better search visibility and keyword ranking due to its detailed cleared topics .
It helps keep the audience interacting & engaged with a good amount of time spent on a page.
However, challenges include the need for quality content maintenance, Content freshness with strategic content planning .
In the following sections, we’ll explain why long-form content is important, how it can improve your SEO, and give you some tips on doing it right.
Ready to begin? Keep reading!
What Is Long-Form Content and Why Does it Work?
While the exact word count can be debated, long-form content generally refers to blog posts and articles exceeding 1,000 words. Some online businesses push the boundaries even further, crafting in-depth pieces reaching 2,000, 4,000, or even 8,000 words.
If someone wants to know the weather for tomorrow, there is no point in writing about the history of weather research in the last 100 years. If someone wants to buy a car, specs are important, but an essay titled ‘From steam engines to modern cars‘ is not necessary.
This doesn’t mean there aren’t queries that require really extensive answers, but more isn’t always better. Neither obsolete nor a win button, but the times you could fool Google into thinking ‘more content = more relevance’ are over, yes.
This extended format prioritizes depth, comprehensiveness, and informative value over brevity.
Long-Form Content vs Short-Form Content
Content comes in all shapes and sizes, but when it comes to length, two main types reign supreme: short-form and long-form. Each has its strengths and weaknesses, so choosing the right one depends on your audience and goals.
The average word count for results on the first page of Google is 1,447. Meanwhile, another study found that the SERP position of results on the first page of Google only included content with more than 2,000 words.
Research from BuzzSumo even shows longer content receives more shares, proving its worth in the eyes of engaged readers. Businesses often leverage gated long-form content, like white papers or webinars, to build strong, lasting relationships with customers. For B2B sales, it’s a powerful tool for nurturing leads and converting them into qualified customers.
How to Know If You Should Use Long-Form Content
With social media platforms such as Twitter and TikTok on the rise, short, sharp pieces of content are becoming more popular every day. And ‘experts’ everywhere are lamenting ‘the age of short attention spans’. So who’d want to sit down and read a long-form piece of content?
The surprising answer is ‘a whole lot of people’!
So, is long-form content dead? No, it is not.
Do people read long-form content? Yes, they do.
When people buy a product or engage a service, they generally want to learn about you and your brand first. And often, the best way to do that is through long-form content. Especially if you create valuable, thought leadership content, it allows them to get to know, like and trust you.
PLUS, long-form content is great for SEO (search engine optimisation), so it can really increase your search ranking.
How long is too long?
A simple rule of thumb is that if you can cover a topic in under 500 words then you should either use it as a sub-topic of a longer form blog post or use it as a social post. There is not a limit to how long your content is, as long as it is adding value and staying on topic.
It is important to not “fluff” your content just for the sake of making it long. Readers can tell when you are doing a filibuster for the sake of word count.
Does Blog Length Really Matter?
For years, the blogging world preached brevity. Snackable snippets, bite-sized content, short and sweet – that was the recipe for online success. But what if the tide is turning? Data suggests longer-form content might hold more weight than we think.
According to The State of Content Marketing 2020 report published by SEMRush, long-form content has proven to be more engaging, more shareable, and better for SEO. The statistics speak for themselves!
- Long content (3000–7000 words) get 2X page views and 24% more shares than articles of average length (900–1200 words)
- 7000+ word content drives almost 4X more traffic than articles of average length (900–1200 words).
- Short content (300–900 words) gains 21% less traffic and 75% fewer backlinks than articles of average length (900–1200 words).
A Pew Research study throws another fascinating fact into the mix: users spend twice as long engrossed in articles exceeding 1,000 words. Interestingly, while both short and long pieces attract similar visitor numbers, the longer ones keep readers glued to the screen, minimizing those dreaded bounces. This translates to deeper engagement, improved user experience, and potentially, better conversions.
So, while short, snappy snippets still have their place, don’t underestimate the power of long-form content.
Does Long-Form Content Affect Social Media Shares?
The battle for attention in the world of social media is fierce, but one powerful weapon stands out: content length. Studies consistently show that long-form content, typically exceeding 1,000 words, reigns supreme when it comes to social shares.
Research by Moz reveals a clear correlation: articles exceeding 1,000 words attract significantly more shares than their shorter counterparts. And the love for length doesn’t stop there; Neil Patel’s study found that longer posts receive an average of 68% more engagement on Twitter and 22% more on Facebook, suggesting a direct link between word count and audience enthusiasm.
Here is the thing:
- A small percentage of articles and blog posts, roughly 1.3%, receive 75% of all social shares.
- 94% of content on the internet has zero social shares or backlinks. (source)
The fact is, longer content gets 72% more links than short-form content making it ideal to get new backlinks. (source)
Should You Use Long-Form Content for Landing Pages?
Forget blog posts – long-form landing pages aren’t just for long stories.
Their superpower? Building trust and understanding, leading to happier customers and, yes, boosted sales. Research from Hubspot shows businesses with over 40 landing pages generate 12x more leads than those with a handful. Targeting the right audience with the right content is key, no matter the length.
Most sites publish 1,447 words on average. Add that they only publish 1-3 content pieces per week. For SaaS start-ups looking to scale with SEO, this strategy won’t cut it.
While short, punchy pages can work, especially with emotional visuals, science suggests deeper dives convert better.
Because hesitation and uncertainty often lurk beneath the surface, waiting to derail a purchase. Long-form content tackles these head-on, replacing confusion with confidence. Moz conversion experts even saw a 52% sales increase with long-form pages!
Of course, concerns exist. Critics cite user-friendliness and potential “scammy” vibes. But here’s the thing: depending on your audience and offer, a well-crafted long-form landing page can be the conversion goldmine your business needs.
How Does Long-Format Help SEO?
Good quality long-form content is easily one of the most overlooked “SEO” tactics.
While many focus on linked building, technical, and on-page content – they forget about the massive role long-form content plays in supporting your SEO strategy.
For over a decade now – I’ve always supported the SEO strategy with quality long-form content (ie step by step how to guide on pain points your customers experience).
Every single time, the SEO impact (and leads + revenue generated) was 10x more than just doing “SEO alone”
It’s a fantastic way to raise brand “trust” – which happens to also help SEO, which in turn accelerates your end outcome; revenue.
Focus on consistently publishing quality long-form content – your SEO will go bonkers.
Studies even show a 37% conversation rate jump for homepages featuring in-depth content!
But beyond keywords, long-form content inherently builds trust and authority, key pillars of Google’s E-E-A-T algorithm.
And let’s face it: your content can be SEO-ed to the max. But if readers don’t stay on your page, return to it and/or share your content, they’ll never convert into leads in the long run.
Tips and Tricks on Writing Quality Long-Form Content
The value of long-form content for your website is undeniable. If you’re ready to dive into content marketing with captivating, in-depth pieces, here are some key steps to consider:
Deep Dive Research: Long-form content demands thorough research. Delve into reliable sources and explore long-tail keywords that capture specific searcher intent.
Ever dream of your blog soaring high in search engine rankings, attracting hordes of engaged readers, and effortlessly promoting your offerings? It’s not magic, it’s strategy!
Building a captivating content empire starts with a solid foundation. Outlining your masterpiece before diving in ensures a clear structure and flow, while setting a word count goal keeps you focused.
Research trends, gather valuable information, and identify the keywords that resonate with your target audience.
Ever stumble through a wall of text online? Yeah, Google doesn’t love that either. Here’s how bite-sized paragraphs and strategic subheadings can boost your content’s readability and search ranking:
Micro-Munching for Maximum Clarity:
- Three-sentence snippets: Break down your thoughts into easily digestible chunks. Scrollers and skimmers rejoice!
- Headings that headline: H1s for main themes, H2s for subtopics, H3s for deeper dives. Think of them as signposts in your content jungle.
Do you know that hooks play a vital role in deciding whether or not viewers are going to interact with your content?
A Hook is known for its ability to capture the reader’s attention and make the reader stick to your writing.
According to studies, the average attention span of humans is about 8 seconds. This means you have to grab your reader’s attention as quickly as you can.
And what could be the best way than hooks to grab attention?
Around 25% of dreams blind people have are nightmares than only 6% of nightmares others have.
This statement gives statistics about dreams. This hook can be included in a topic that writes about dreams or something that explains how dreams influence our day-to-day life.
The audience is going to read your hook first And if it is not attention-grabbing, then your post, article or blog will get lost in the crowd. That’s why it’s essential to keep your hook catchy enough to grab your reader’s attention right away.
Think about it: the hook on a fishing rod is not only there to entice the fish to bite. It’s also there to help reel them in.
My point is that the first sentence of your caption has other functions too and forgetting these means you risk creating superficial clickbait.
For starters, I suggest you take a look at Hemingway’s “A Farewell to Arms” to see just how far an extremely simple style can take you. Then, sure, literally copying works you admire apparently programs your brain to make the moves your own.
After you draft your chapter, don’t read it for a whole month. Go ahead and write the next chapter, even if you are not satisfied with the first, because AS WE WRITE we think, so our brains are naturally subconsciously thinking through issues we might have had previously in order to help us overcome them later.
Here are some tips to improve your content writing style:
- Break up paragraphs: one paragraph, one idea.
- Don’t use words you wouldn’t say out loud (unless they’re essential to your idea). Simplicity is clarity.
- Try talking through your argument out loud, even recording yourself. If you transcribe that word for word your writing will sound much more natural.
- Focus on concision. If a phrase/sentence/paragraph isn’t adding any flow or meaning, delete it.
- Outline dynamically. Planning out your structure once before you start writing isn’t enough. Constantly reevaluate your goals and intentions.
Images and Graphics
Humans perceive 80 percent of their surroundings through their eyes. Visual content attracts attention, evokes an emotional response, adds context and makes content more memorable.
According to this 2022 Statista data, the average engagement rate for any post on an Instagram business page is 1.94%. But carousel posts have an engagement rate of 3.15% (what can we say, the people love to swipe left).
71% of B2B marketers say content marketing has become more important to their organization in the last year. (Content Marketing Institute)
What makes the best kinds of visuals largely depends on the type of content you’re creating. Make your posts stand out by incorporating images.
People love visuals!
Adding one or a few images to your blog posts can make a lasting impression and keep your audience engaged.
Discussing Pinterest, social media is a strong tool that can aid you in promoting sharing and expanding the reach of your audience and content.
Use a clear call-to-action for every new content piece you post on your social media sites. Since the strength of social media lies in sharing, each blog article should feature buttons for easy sharing.
If you wish to have more control over how your links look when shared, you can use Twitter cards for Twitter or Open Graph for Facebook (this involves a more technical side of SEO).
Social media algorithms are designed to prioritize content that keeps people on the platform for as long as possible and content that drives engagement.
Are you creating content that people want to see? Is your SEO on point? Is your profile optimized?
By using this method, you might boost your traffic and potentially increase your click-through rate.
Monitor Your Activity
Why should I monitor and analyze content performance results? Is the time and money spent on this really worth it? How will the process and results benefit my content strategy?
Creating lengthy articles can be a bit tricky, and fixing any issues might take a while. Make sure to keep an eye on your SEO content. The best way to see how you’re doing is by using tools like Google Analytics or other free options.
Google Analytics is handy for checking out how many people visit your page, how long they stay, and if they quickly leave. These numbers can let you know if your longer content is working well.
If you’re not familiar with Google Analytics, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed. Instead, I recommend focusing on certain sections, so you’re only looking at the most important data.
If you see a drop in visitors and less time spent on your page, it’s a warning sign. You can adjust things like your content creation and keywords until your numbers improve. Graphs are also great for keeping an eye on how well your SEO is doing.
The key is to focus on quality.
Provide the reader with helpful information, and make sure your writing is free of errors. While some business owners may ask non-writers to create short blogs, hiring a professional is crucial for longer content on your site.
The quality needed to get good ranks depends entirely on what the actual competition is doing on the same keyword. If you have a keyword that’s filled with top articles that have great text content with 5000+ words each with great illustrations/graphics and videos you’ll not even rank on the first page if you put a low effort 400 word topic summary out.
I went through a phase where quantity was considered better than quality for a year, and it didn’t end up going well for me. Yes, I grew, but it was really slow. Then, I switched over to prioritizing quality over quantity six months ago, and my blog growth has gone up dramatically.
This brings us to the main idea of this blog. GREAT Guest Posts offers an affordable and effective blog service to help web businesses get quality long-form content.
If you can make content that people want, are searching for, and when it is needed, you are more likely to gain traction which feeds future growth and demand. Making a lot of content that people don’t want will not get you on the radar.
It’s not sufficient to just write more than 1000 words. Your writing needs to be interesting to the reader and show a good understanding of the topic.
Use solid research and real examples supported by data to make your point.
Fancy words that just make your article longer might make readers lose interest and could lower your success in content marketing.
Follow the tips above to increase the size of your content footprint and become a person of trust in your domain.