Is long-form content a part of your organic SEO strategy? If not, you’re not taking advantage of one of the most powerful forms of content available. Discover now the benefits of long-form content and how to integrate it into your organic SEO strategy.
Long-form content around 2,000 words long dominates Google’s front page results across categories. What’s more, content 3,000 to 10,000 words long generates the most shares. Worried that your 7,000+ word guide may be too long for your audience? Think again.
But you should not think of long-form content only in terms of its word count. Content platforms like Medium feature a “Reading Time” next to posts. On Medium, posts that take 7 minutes to read provide the best engagement. It’s not just the word count that determines the reading time for an article, but also the “grade” of the language and the formatting. Grammarly can estimate the reading time for any piece of content.
Long-form content comes in different formats, including blog posts, website articles, social media posts, reports, and e-books. Each type of long-form content has its value, but in this post, we’re focusing on long-form content as informative, in-depth guides or resources. You can use these across the web for different types of marketing campaigns.
Benefits of Long-form Content
Whether it’s a guide or a report, long-form content usually stands out. It makes people pause to check it, even if they know they don’t have time to read it from beginning to end. A Moz and BuzzSumo study found that 85% of online content is less than 1,000 words long. By surpassing that mark, you can attract attention.
Long-form content also:
- Brings you more traffic.
- Increases your social shares and likes.
- Boosts your SEO ranking.
- Keeps visitors on your website longer.
- Allows you to integrate more links into existing content.
- Consolidates your authority as an expert in your field.
- Lends itself well to paid promotion.
While attention spans seem to be dwindling, it’s safe to stay that long-form content is here to stay. Mobile browsing, voice technology, and social media may be changing web design and user interfaces. But ultimately, every Google search leads users to information. And long-form content does a great job at bringing together information related to a topic and presenting it in a way that’s easy to grasp.
How to Create Long-form Content
The best long-form content arises out of a real need that your audience is having. It informs rather than sells, though that doesn’t mean you can’t feature your products or services in it. But the information-to-promotion ratio in your content needs to reflect the value of what you are providing. By understanding your audience and addressing their pain points, you add value to your long-form content.
Whether you are working with a content writing company or doing the writing yourself, here are some ways to create long-form content:
- Provide a detailed, step-by-step solution to a problem your audience is facing.
- Put together a long list of useful resources and update it constantly.
- Tackle a subject that interests your audience, exploring it in depth.
- Choose topics that will remain appealing months and years later – the best long-form content is often evergreen.
- Bundle facts or research into a comprehensive visual report.
- Use article writing services to brainstorm long-form content and write it faster.
- Invite experts in your niche to discuss at length a problem relevant to your industry.
Once your long-form guide or post is ready, you need to consider the design elements surrounding it. Your content needs:
- Images, graphs, and other visual elements that can enhance it
- Social media sharing buttons (for long-form posts)
- Email signup reminders and a simple subscribe button
- A compelling call to action that invites readers to discover more of your content (or make a purchase)
If you intend to publish your long-form content as a separate e-book or report, you may have to invest additional time in its design. More than carrying information, your e-book or report should create a visual experience. Having a visual content creator on your team could help with this.
Challenges of Long-form Content
While the benefits of long-form content are undeniable, this type of content comes with a number of important challenges. The two obvious ones are time and cost. Long-form content takes longer to produce and may cost more than shorter content. This happens not only because of its length but also because of the deeper level of research it requires.
Other challenges of long-form content include:
- Engaging a distracted audience with short attention spans.
- Adding long-form content to your organic SEO strategy while staying within budget.
- Presenting long-form content on mobile devices in a way that engages your audience.
- Optimizing long-form content for SEO, including voice search, without overusing keywords.
- Blending text and visuals in a way that keeps your content engaging from the first page to the last.
- Publishing it in the right format to maximize engagement and actions – e-book vs. blog vs. social media.
As you can see, producing long-form content consistently can be challenging. But with the right organic SEO strategy in place, you can overcome these challenges and create genuinely valuable content.
Why You Want to Work with a Content Writing Company
Outsourcing long-form content is the best way to overcome the challenges of creating long-form content. “But won’t that increase my marketing costs?” you may ask.
Long-form content is generally more expensive. But its benefits are real, and they last. When you use article writing services to write guides, e-books, and other long-form content, you increase your marketing ROI. And because it’s timeless and valuable, long-form content can become the pillar of your digital marketing strategy.