Is it better to write long form or short form content?When it comes to writing for the web, you might jump to the quick assumption that your content should be short, sweet and to the point. Online readers are just skimming content anyway, right? They aren’t going to take the time to read through a 2,000+ word blog post, are they?

Well, the answer is it depends.

  • It depends how interesting the information you’re sharing is.
  • It depends on the complexity of the topic you’re writing about.
  • It depends on the type of research the searcher is looking for.
  • It depends on the quality of the content you post.

The length of your content also depends on your business goals. Take a second to think about and answer this question: Why are you even creating content?

If SEO (search engine optimization) is something you’re looking to improve through content development, lend your ears this way….

Google Favors In-Depth Articles

Think about the last time you went to Google for help…

  • How often do you find yourself looking for a quick, short, simple answer to a question?
  • How often are you hoping to find detailed explanations, directions, instructions or research about a question or topic?

Now put yourself in the shoes of your potential customers…

  • What do you think they want to know about your company and industry?
  • Are you predicting they are searching for surface-style, easy to answer questions?
  • Or, do you think they want a detailed response that truly helps them further their own knowledge base?

In August 2013, Google introduced a new feature of their search algorithm that would ultimately help searchers more easily find in-depth and high-quality content. As they announced on the Google Webmaster Central Blog: “Users often turn to Google to answer a quick question, but research suggests that up to 10% of users’ daily information needs involve learning about a broad topic.”

So, what should this all mean to you as a content creator?

Publishing Long Form Content Can Improve Your SEO

With this new in-depth articles feature in Google’s search algorithm, good content creators have a little more power and pull. Most of the articles showing up at the top of Google’s search results pages have between 2,000 and 5,000 words of content.

If the purpose behind your content creation is to help your business rank higher on a search results page and drive traffic to your website by positioning yourself as a valuable and educational resource, consider investing time and manpower (or womanpower) into producing longer, in-depth content about industry related topics.

Should every blog article I write be longer than 2,000 words?

No.

When Google stated the research findings about 10% of searchers’ needs involving in-depth content, what this should suggest to you is this: about 10% of the blog posts you write should be longer form content.

Short form content, meaning blog posts and articles in the 200 to 600 word range, are still important for your business. Each article you publish adds another searchable page to your website to help potential customers or clients find your brand.

Don’t Sacrifice Quality for Quantity

Quality over QuantityDon’t take the in-depth articles feature of Google’s algorithm to mean you have to produce novels or publish nothing at all. Ain’t nobody got time for that! Instead, focus on delivering quality information to the world, highlighting your expertise on certain topics. If that quality shows in 400 words, awesome! If quality comes in around the 4,000 word mark, also awesome!

Strive To Be Unique

If you’re looking for some insight on how to create quality blog articles, remember to get creative! Add to the literature by providing a new perspective on a topic. Share your personal thoughts and experiences to help others learn and grow. Provide examples and unique takes on how to overcome a problem and find a solution.

Stay Relevant To Your Idea

Each blog post your write should focus on a single topic, a predetermined keyword. Once you’ve written everything you have to say about that keyword, stop writing. If in the process of adding length to your blog posts you find yourself straying from that keyword, you’re losing sight of what’s important: quality. By making a conscious effort to stay relevant to your keyword, quantity (the length of your article) will settle itself.

 

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