Recently, there has been a rising debate between the effectiveness of long-form content versus short-form content.
The popular argument is that long-form content works better at attracting readers and turning traffic into conversions.
But first of all, what exactly is long-form content?
As of now, there is no canon yet as to how many words it takes for an article or blog post to be strictly considered long-form content. Some sources say 700. A recent study from medium says the content needs to have over 2000 words. Famous pro-blogger and influencer Neil Patel recommend for the content to have over 3000 words to achieve the desired effect.
Most traditional blog posts, including those on product review blogs, tend to go for between 500 to 800 words, usually even less.
This is probably based on the fact that most people develop short attention spans when reading online materials.
With that in mind, why then should we choose to post long-form content?
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Benefits of Long-Form Content
Recent studies by Medium and ViperChill show that long-form content is rising in favor not just with readers but with search engines as well.
Here are 5 known benefits of using long-form content:
1. Higher search engine rankings
When posting tips on blogging for beginners, I as much as possible try to stress the importance of SEO and ranking well on SERPs.
A study by SERPIQ shows that post length does correlate with search engine rankings. According to the study, search ranking positions change depending on the length of the content.
In addition, longer posts tend to be meatier and are instrumental in establishing your brand as a subject matter expert. This, in turn, adds to the credibility of your content, drawing in more organic traffic.
2. Better reader value
Google is now more focused on positive user experience instead of mere technical SEO. As such, it is important for you as a blogger to make sure you keep your readers satisfied.
Long-form content gives you better chances to give posts of great value to your readers. Short-form posts are usually favored for their entertainment value. Longer ones, however, allow you more freedom to play with your content. With consistent practice, you can provide both useful information and entertainment to your audience.
Practically all blogs and websites now have social sharing buttons. Not having them is one of the worst mistakes a blogger can make.
Long but well-written and engaging content is more likely to get shared on social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and others.
This is one good reason why you need to build up your site’s credibility. Long-form posts can help you there. All you have to do is enrich your content to make the slightly longer reading time % worth it.
Link-building used to involve copying the same content and submitting them to as many different sites as possible. Not anymore.
So much has changed about link-building. Recently, even some well-known websites including Forbes went no-follow with their links.
Link-building these days follows Google’s focus on providing value and generating positive user experiences. Writing long-form content allows you to repurpose your content into something that will be more attractive to authoritative sites. That’s one good way to build links, boost traffic and improve your own domain authority.
Satisfied readers have a higher possibility of sharing articles that are engaging and in-depth.
Repurposing your old posts by adding important supporting details to facts you have previously stated shows readers that you have more than sufficiently done your homework before putting them into words. This increases the trust your audience has in you and drives more organic traffic to your site.
More traffic means more visibility. The more visible you are, the higher your relevance becomes. And the more relevant you are, the higher your domain authority rises. Soon enough, as your site grows in popularity, you too can become an influencer in your chosen niche.
Short-form and long-form content both have their purposes. Both are tools that can serve you well when used correctly.
What you need to do is to never stop practicing writing your content on both forms. Not only will it increase and improve your writing skills, it will also enable you to determine and decide the best times and opportunities to either of the two forms.