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Google wants you to focus on the needs of the user, over SEO standards. Because of this, you want to aim to publish long-form content.
So long story short (pun intended), there is a strong connection between content length and search performance. For that reason, you should aim to publish, 1 to 2 thoroughly researched long-form articles that include helpful information for Google users. Ultimately, Google wants you to focus on the needs of the user over SEO standards. This means you need to be publishing information to your audience, in order for you to actually rank.
Many people have the misconception that there is a lot of technical stuff that needs to happen when going about that. The real question is though, are you providing the right kind of information to the right kind of people? Is it optimized in such a way that you’re giving your users a very good user experience every time they come to your website?
The best way to do that is to write content that is easy to understand, keeps readers on your website, and that actually converts them.
You wouldn’t sit down and write a 2000- or 3000-word article on a topic that you are unfamiliar with. So when you’re creating long-form content, whether it’s a blog or a video, you’re going to want to make sure that you are using target keywords that strike a good balance between search volume and keyword difficulty. You also want to focus on readability, especially if it’s a blog for your audience.
There’s no point in writing a really long article that nobody’s going to refer to or read. But with long-form content, you have the opportunity to place your longtail keywords throughout your text. Because ultimately, that is the way people search for information these days. It is usually in the form of a question, but can also sometimes be found as a part of a sentence. Because of that, you want to make sure that any of those variables are incorporated into the content you are creating.
Long-form content takes time and energy.
As much as we would like to find a quick and easy way to boost our business’s website SEO, the fact is that some of the most valuable SEO moves that you make involve a lot of time and energy to produce. Long-form content is one of those moves that will involve patience. You remember the saying “Rome wasn’t built in a day”? That applies here too and the same is true when you are developing a solid SEO strategy. You need to work at it and work at it with a clear goal in mind.
The jury is still out on defining exactly what long-form content is, but in our business, as digital marketers, the majority of us would agree that any blog post or article that contains over 1000 words would fall into this category. Really though, there is no hard and fast rule of where to end. Many businesses post long-form content with word counts as high as 2K, 4K or even as high as 5K words.
But if you sit down and take the time and do it right, you will start to see that when you begin to strategically include a few pieces of long-form content, you will gradually see your search rankings increase. Even more importantly, this content will invariably rank faster, especially when it’s compared to short-form content.
We’ve been talking about long-form content, but what are the benefits of short-form content? Simply put, short-form blogs are good at grabbing the attention of your target audience with information that’s interesting and that contains an appealing offering. But those long-form blogs; those are the ones written to educate your visitors about your product or your service. And they put you in the position of being the authority to answer their questions.
Another interesting point about long-form content is that online readers have a tendency to be more likely to share this type of information on social media. And that is exactly what you want.
Myth versus reality
For the longest time, people believed that readers preferred shorter copy and little snippets of information. We all have busy lives and who has time for anything longer? It turns out, that assumption is incorrect though. People do also enjoy long-form content. The key to the success of that content is if it has been done right. If it has been well written, well researched, and helps those who are reading it find the value in it, then your reader will be drawn in and read through to the end.
According to Pew Research, readers have the tendency to spend twice as much time on articles that were over 1000 words. They also discovered with their research that these same number of visitors, whether it was a short-form or long-form post, attracted the same number of visitors, but the people would actually keep reading the long-form content rather than navigating somewhere else on the site or off of the site. Keeping readers on your page is good for you, plus Google notices too.
The SEO benefits of long-form content
When you create high-quality long-form content, it is going to do better in rankings than a traditional 500-word blog. The reason is the use of more keywords.
When content writers start to develop a blog, they need to do extra research and dive into more depth for their articles. This ultimately results in their final web copy being of higher quality. The benefit of doing that is that it’s going to improve the site’s domain authority, and as a result, more backlinks will occur over the long term.
Google is hungry for long-form content
When we think of Google, remember that it is not only an excellent source for information, but it is also a very hungry monster for ever more data. And because of this, Google’s algorithm is constantly on the lookout for this type of content. It caters perfectly to the E-A-T (expertise, authority, and trustworthiness) mode of presentation. As a result, when Google sees this type of content, it rewards it with higher rankings. So you can probably see why it is important to feed the Google monster.
A case study featured in Backlinko found that the average first-page results on Google had 1447 words. Interestingly enough, homepages that featured long-form content also experienced an increase in conversion rates by more than 37%. So this is evidence that visitors are influenced by in-depth, well-written content.
So now that you have a bit of a better understanding of how long-form content can benefit your SEO, let’s take some time and go over just a few tips on how to create blogs that will appease the Google monster.
6 tips on writing high-quality long-form content
- It goes without saying, but you need to carefully research your topic, as well as perform the necessary keyword research on it. And because long-form content is much more in-depth, you’re going to need a lot of reliable research. Focus on finding longtail keywords that you can include as well.
- Structuring and organizing your blog articles is important, especially when it is a long article. We recommend creating an outline before you write so that you know where everything is going to be placed.
- Because your audience is going to be on various different devices, you’re going to want to write short paragraphs and divide your content into different sections using H1, H2, H3, H4, H5, or H6 headings. You’re going to want to keep in mind the use of alt text and Meta descriptions; this is key SEO information for Google.
- Your introduction needs to be engaging in order for the reader to want to continue reading the entire article. You could use an interesting statistic or information that your reader has possibly never heard or thought of before.
- Remember to keep your writing style conversational and do your best to not come across robotic.
- When it comes to a long article, there is a lot of words on the page. This is where you want to include images or graphics throughout the text. It helps break up the text, making it easier to read. Plus, adding images can also help your reader to comprehend and digest this information more fully, especially if it’s something complex.
Quality versus quantity
As we’ve mentioned throughout this article, you need to focus not just on the number of words, but also on the quality of the words that you are using. You want to be able to provide not just rich information to your audience, but also ensure that the punctuation and grammar are error-free.
Many business owners don’t have the time to run a business, manage employees, and sit down at the end of a busy day to write a blog. Especially a blog that is going to be long-form content. So if you want to start including long-form content on your website, it might be worthwhile to consider having it written by a content professional.
Here at Iron Rhino, we have excellent content writers that are published authors and that have Master’s Degrees in English. This helps us produce the best quality content for our customers.
Do you need assistance in crafting long-form content for your blogs?
Reach out to us to get a proposal on creating a long-form content blog post by one of our highly skilled writers. Each blog is optimized for SEO with the right keywords placed in the article to generate traffic. We have flexible options for every business and every budget.
So are you ready to start adding long-form content to your blogs and see your rankings grow? Simply give us a call at 1-888-982-9166. We’re here to help.