The content length debate is one that never goes away, though it does seem to die down every now and then. Once upon a time, many content creators were afraid to write long content because they believed that people wouldn’t read it. Long content is still the winner and it is what will bring and keep people on your site, according to a recent Search Engine Journal article. While it is true that people skim your online content that does not mean they aren’t reading it. We will be referencing this article throughout this post to explain just why longer content is the winner over short pieces.
Is Longer Content Really The Best?
When someone talks about long content, many of us possibly think that long content is not a winner and people simply will not finish in-depth pieces. Going back to the Slate article, it is titled, “You Won’t Finish This Article.” Regardless of what Slate says, Search Engine Journal has compiled a list of research that shows just how important longer content is. Long content is going to help you rank significantly because Google takes several things into consideration when ranking your site, not just keywords and quality. (Although, quality is one of the most important things, so do not forget to write quality material!)
Why Is Longer Content The Winner?
It is always a good idea to have information that backs up something such as this, and the Search Engine Journal article referenced earlier gives this information. There are several examples showing that longer content is the best to aim for when writing your web content and blogs, but people are still avoiding it.
Let’s take a look at a few things that will be impacted if you write longer content and avoid posting shorter content:
1. People Are Going To Read An Article That Is Longer. In an article by SerpIQ, the researchers point out that longer content will bring more people to your site than a short article. The reason for this is pretty simple and something many people overlook. Think about when you search on Google for an answer to the question, sometimes you are just wondering how tall a celebrity is or what their next project will be, but other times you need information on how to install a sink or why you should write longer content. When you search for those things, you will want to read something that is actually a long piece instead of a short 500-word article. Why? Because, you know that you will get answers in a longer content piece than a shorter one. This is true of your visitors, clients, and readers as well. If someone searches for a question, he or she might only go to your site if you give a lengthy article in answer to the question.
2. Longer Posts Generate More Traffic. The Search Engine Journal article points out that because of people looking for longer content to answer their questions, your longer pieces are more likely to generate traffic. Generating traffic is something you want to do because that could mean more clients and revenue. You will be able to bring in more people with high-quality content and you will have content that establishes you as an authority in your field. This is important for every business, and you can capture this by writing lengthy content. You might be publishing short content that is high quality and should establish you as an authority, but you will find that many people might consider you more of an authority if you have long pieces on the different topics you write about.
3. People Will Stay On Your Site Longer. You will also find that people stay on your site much longer than they would if you only wrote short content. The reason for this is pretty obvious; it takes longer for someone to read a 2,000-word post than it does to read a 500-word post. When it comes to helping your site rank, having people who stay on your site longer is something that Google’s algorithms take into consideration and will combine it with other elements such as the ever-important quality content to determine your rank. Your lengthy content will take customers a bit of time to read through, but it will also make them more likely to look around your site after they have finished reading. This can help your ranks, but can also help bring in great revenue because those who are on your site longer might be more willing to make a purchase from you.
4. Longer Content Can Lead To More Social Media Shares. While people may only seem to share Grumpy Cat or some sort of—brace yourselves—Game of Thrones “Winter Is Coming” meme, many people also like to share content they find interesting. Sometimes they might share short content, but many times, an article that gets shared is one that provides the reader with useful information. All you have to do is click on the link of a certain article shared by a friend and you will most likely see that it is quite lengthy. If you want your content to get shared, you should try writing a few lengthier pieces that provide people with value and information, according to Meltwater.com. Always make sure you break up your long content, though, making it easier for people to skim. Bold sub-headers are a great way to break it up easily while still providing people with great longer content.
How Can You Write Long Content?
Now that you know longer content is still a winner and how it can factor into helping rank your site, you might be wondering just how to write it. This can be difficult for many people, especially if your market is a niche market.
Here are a few handy suggestions that you can use to write longer content and give clients something that they will appreciate:
1. Create Lists And Flesh Them Out. Lists are something that everyone loves. First of all, lists make your content easier to read for clients. It helps with skimming because people can look throughout your content to see if you will be offering them anything of value. Once they see that you do offer valuable information, they might read the whole article or at least skim throughout it all. This can lead them to looking around at your other blogs or to your products and services.
Secondly, it gives people the ability to read your article in pieces throughout their day. Many people might not be able to spend much time on your article, but if you give them a list to glance over, they might decide to save it for a break or lunch. When you write a list, you can always have a large number of points with only a bit of information per point or you can write out a few points and flesh them out. Either way works, so consider playing around with different things. Don’t worry, it is actually quite easy to come up with lists. Once you get started, you might find it hard to stop!
2. Choose A Broad Topic Instead Of A Specific One. When you are writing content for your niche market, it is a good idea to choose a broad topic instead of focusing on something very specific. When you write about a specific item, service, or idea, it will be more difficult for you to write lengthy, quality material, but if you broaden it out, you might find it easier. For example, let’s say you are selling dog shampoo. Instead of just writing about your wonderful product or why it is perfect for someone’s dog, consider writing a how-to on washing dogs. Give people suggestions for different ways to wash a dog and focus on a few areas that you know people have problems with. You can further expand it by giving tips for those who wash their dogs inside and those who wash their dogs outside. Whatever your product or service, you can find some way to broaden your topic to give people useful information and create a lengthy post.
When you write on a broad topic, you are still able to give specifics. Your lengthy content will give you that ability and help you give people valuable information about your product, how they can use it in their lives or work, and other helpful information that they will find useful. It isn’t as daunting as it seems, and you might even realize that once you get started, it’ll be hard to not make it as long as The Lord of the Rings.
3. Offer Tips To Clients Or Those In Your Industry. As we mentioned above, giving tips is a great way to add length to your content. Tips are some of the best ways to answer common questions and give people help in areas where they need it. The great thing about writing tips in your content is you can always implement things about your particular product or service and can even tell your readers that if they are having a difficult time with a particular task that your product can help. It might not seem like it at first, but you will find that your lengthy content does give you more wiggle room to write bits about your company and bring in interest about what you are selling or what services you provide.
Your advice will help promote you as an authority in your field, but will also help your readers feel like you are willing to help them even if you don’t bring in revenue. This is something that is pretty cool about marketing; you might find that people who would not have normally purchased something from you will, in the end, make a purchase because you offered tips for free. It certainly is strange, but many people seem more willing to pay for something if they feel they are being helped without needing to pay a dime.
4. Tell Your Readers A Story. Storytelling is important to content marketing and really does help to provide those excellent lengthy pieces that bring people to your site. You can tell your clients the story of how your company came into being, things that your company faced such as successes and failures, or other interesting information regarding your business. You can also tell people stories about your products, other clients who have been helped by your items, and how it will help them. While it sounds sales-like, if you put it in story format, it will come across as a simple story and will pique quite the amount of interest. It isn’t too difficult to write a story, either. Again, once you get started, you might find yourself having a hard time reining it in.
5. Approach A Few Ideas Instead Of One. If you want to write lengthy content, but find that the above steps aren’t really helping much, consider writing about several ideas in one post. Make sure you outline it in a natural way, so that it doesn’t come across as stilted or forced. Talking about a few ideas might just be something your clients appreciate. Write up a few topics you want to discuss and see how many ideas you can mesh together. You might be surprised at how well several of your ideas tag-team well. In addition, always use examples when writing your content. Those examples sure will help you create lengthy content, while also helping people understand what it is you are trying to tell them.
Writing long content is not as daunting as it seems and, as the Search Engine Journal article says, you will find that your content wins significantly when you utilize longer content. Start creating a strategy for lengthy content and come up with some great topics to write about. Eventually, writing longer content will come naturally and you will find that those 500 to 1,000-word articles are actually harder to do than 2,000 words or more!