Bloggers, journalists and content producers have argued for years over the optimal length of online content. Some like to keep an article short, direct, to the point and easier to read; while others favour in-depth material that keeps eyes on the page for longer.
In today’s world of bite-sized social posts, it may be tempting to believe that long-form content is dead. Nothing could be further from the truth, and if you aren’t creating longer content, you are missing a lot of great benefits from your content marketing.
Yes, producing 3000-4000 words for a post involves a lot of work – research, writing, editing – that may seem like overkill in an era of decreasing attention spans.
But the reality is that long-form content has a lot of benefits that make the investment worth the effort.
Here are five reasons why you should still be creating long-form content for your business.
1. Increased viewing time
The amount of time a visitor spends on your site is an important metric for a variety of reasons, from increased engagement of your visitors to better quality and relevance scores in search engines and advertising platforms.
Longer content can increase the average time on site – It takes about eight minutes for a person to read through an 1800-word long post. It can also increase the likelihood that readers will engage with other content of yours as well.
2. Greater position of authority
The ability to produce long content generally means that you have more information that can be useful for your readers, positioning you as an authority. Of course, it can’t simply be long for the sake of being long – it needs to be high-quality and demonstrate that you put in the effort to create content worthy of your reader’s time.
3. Higher quality conversions
Making your readers devour a well-detailed, informative and comprehensive piece of content before they can opt-in or purchase practically guarantees that you’ll get a higher-quality conversion than short-form content will produce.
Yes, there will be fewer of them since not everyone will make it through longer content, but they’ll be more educated and show a higher degree of commitment. This makes long-form content particularly useful for selling high-ticket products and services.
4. Higher rank in search engines
It’s a well-known fact that Google likes long authority posts and gives them preference in search results. In fact, the top ten results of searches in google average to about 2000 words in length according to research by SerpIQ. Google loves longer content, so it’s a useful format to adopt to support work on SEO.
An investment in creating a single long-form authority post can result in ranking higher in the search engines for years to come. Depending on your industry, the value of visibility, leads and sales that come from that can reach well into the six-figures.
5. More shares
Results show that long-form content gets more social shares than short content on platforms like LinkedIn and Facebook.
The theory behind why this works so well is simply that by sharing, the person doing the sharing gets a ‘halo effect’ from the value of the post with their followers that end up reading it – everyone wins!
Should I always publish long-form content?
Long-form content has undeniable benefits, but that doesn’t mean that every post needs to be a novel. Continue making that great, bite-sized content that people love to quickly consume, but make sure that 10-20% of your content goes long!
And remember, when it comes to long-form content, quality is critical. Carefully plan your content, do your research and share your best insights to ensure that your investment in long-form content gets the ROI you’re looking for.
If you need help with your online content – long or short – please get in touch. We help travel and tourism companies generate attention-grabbing content for their blogs and social media. We’re Cornwall-based content marketers but work with businesses across the UK and beyond.