Content may be king, yet long-form content is omnipotent.
We’re all familiar with the phrase “content is king,” but did you know that you could boost your search engine ranking by increasing the length of said content?
With the onslaught of mobile devices and more people using mobile search to access information they deem important, webmasters believed that the age of lengthy articles had passed. Yet according to a study by serpIQ this was not the case. They realized that the top ten results for a particular keyword on search engines consisted of pages that had over 2,000 words. SerpIQ then took things a step further and found that newer domains (less than two years old) had, on average, significantly less content per page than domains that were over a decade old.
Give Them What They Want
According to Search Engine Land, write long-form content with a goal of at least 2,000 words. Writing longer blogs or informational pages can help both search engines and users determine that your site has authority in your industry. Users are looking for accurate information, but not necessarily a quick read-through. Of course, there are times when a short amount of information is necessary — such as a quick “How To” list. Yet when it comes to writing a blog about a new invention or discovery in your industry, users will want as much information on the topic as you can give them.
For search engines such as Google, long-form content is also a great way to boost your site’s authority on the web. Since you are now including nearly 2,000+ words into each page or post, there is more opportunity to include various keywords. These keywords will be more spread out, making both users and search engines believe that the insertion of a keyword is natural (as it should be!).
Boost From Backlinks
Another benefit of writing long-form content is for the increased number of backlinks. We all know search engines rank sites partially on the number of backlinks pointing to a site, so it may come to no surprise that other sites will reference your lengthy post or page. The more words, the more likely your content is relevant and trusted — which can also lead to increased conversion rates.
It is always a great idea to keep to a minimalist theme on any website, but that doesn’t mean you should skimp out on the amount of content on your home page, for example. During a study by Highrise Marketing, they wanted to increase their conversion rates. So they hired contractors: half designed the home page to have less written content, while the other half chose to include more text. The results? The long-form design increased conversion rates by 37.5%.
Long-Form Content Succeeds on Social Media
Have you ever clicked an article that was shared by a friend on Facebook? More often than not that article is lengthy and full of information. I specifically remember clicking into a story about the protests in Kiev after a friend had posted the article stating “This is a pretty long article, but well worth the read!”
Researchers from the University of Pennsylvania would agree that longer articles are more sought after and engaging than shorter ones, according to their study from 2010 where they kept track of the number of articles being shared via email and how many words they contained.
The Big Picture
What makes long-form content well worth the read is that it is still high quality and relevant to users and search engines. Don’t just expect to churn out 1,000-2,500 word articles and rank higher with garbage content. Put some heart and soul into it. Do your research. Fully immerse yourself in whatever aspect of your industry you’ve decided to focus on at this given point in time.
Of course if you are intimidated or just don’t have the time to be writing 2,000+ word posts, revert back to the age-old phrase of “quality over quantity.” You can build up your writing stamina over time.