As mentioned earlier in our post, deciding what content format you want to base your long form article on is important. Thus, mentioned below are a few of the popular content formats and their content frameworks that you can make use of when creating a long form blog post on your website.
Guides are an in-depth piece of content that provides a comprehensive overview of a particular topic. These include – beginners guide, ultimate guide, advanced guide, definitive guide and so on. This is an excellent format to write a long form content as guides go beyond regular articles and can be provided as a free downloadable PDF, which can help you grow your email list.
As a means through which you can present information and data in a visual way that is easy to comprehend, infographics receive more social shares compared to other content formats. Also, since they are visually more appealing, the chances of an infographic going viral is quite high.
Another great content format to make use of are Roundups. Here, all you need to do is research and find the best content related to a specific niche and compile these resources to create a blog post.
By doing this, you are providing all the best resources at one place thus saving your audience time, which, in turn, will help you garner more traffic.
The number of ways you can make use of a video to showcase your content is innumerable. When done well, a video can help improve visibility in the search result as well as boost traffic and sales. Moreover, here are some statistics on YouTube that throws light on how effective a video can be when it comes to content marketing.
An eBook is also a great content format when it comes to re-purposing your older content in order to garner new traffic. Plus, once you've created an eBook, you can follow these amazing eBook marketing tips to boost conversions.
A case study is a factual representation of a customer's experience after purchasing a product or a service. It is a step-by-step process that shows you how a particular goal was achieved and the results that followed. In short, the case study explains 'what was done, how it was done and the result of the experiment'.
More often than not, case studies are the best resources as it provides actual results. Thus, this is yet another content format that can be used to create a long blog post.
By doing this, you are providing a brief overview to your audience of all the best practices out there for a specific topic. Plus, you are able to rank on the top search result for targeted keywords.
Research and original data are one of the best content formats that will help you garner traffic, boost ranking as well as help you establish authority in your niche industry. An original data-driven post is also likely to generate more social shares. In addition, when your readers look at the effort that you have put into creating a researched based blog post, it helps build trust leading to a higher conversion.
These were the top content formats that you can use when creating long form articles. To know more about these in detail and for other such content types, check out this blog post by QuickSprout – 15 Types of Content That Will Drive You More Traffic.
V. How Content Length Affects SEO
1. Longer Content Earns More Backlinks
The more in-depth your article is, the higher its chances of earning quality backlinks. Since marketers are always on the lookout for a comprehensive piece of content that they can link to in order to provide a better resource to their audience, a longer piece of content (2,000+ word-count) is likely to garner more backlinks then a short form content (500-1,000 word-count).
For instance, which of the following content would you rather link to?
Article 1: Top 10 Reasons Why WordPress Is the Best CMS
Article 2: 101+ Logical Reasons Why WordPress Is The (BEST CMS) In 2022
Ofcource Article 2!
Long form content not only helps to effectively grab the attention of your target audience but it also helps to make your content more shareable as well as linkable.
This theory is supported by this research done by Hubspot, wherein they have found a direct correlation between content length and more backlinks.
Here's the graph;
Source : Blog.Hubspot.com
As you can see, articles with over 2,500 word-count have earned the most number of links compared to short-form content.
Long form articles, also give you the opportunity for more internal link building. This helps pass the link juice to other web pages. Additionally, since all information is gathered in one place, a visitor doesn't need to leave your site to conduct separate searches on the same topic, which, in turn, leads to them spending more time on your website resulting in a higher dwell time.
2. Longer Content Gets More Social Shares
Another SEO benefit one can obtain via long form content is more social shares. Longer content, as mentioned above, attracts more audience as it provides them greater value. Thus, if the content is engaging and informative then a visitor is likely to share your content with others (friends, colleagues and networks), thus getting you more social shares.
To put things into perspective, here is a study done by BuzzSumo which clearly shows that long form content gets more social shares than short form content.
Source : Okdork.com
When it comes to triumphing the social media platform, longer content can help you stand out from your competitors. Also, long form articles help increase user engagement which results in improved click-through-rate.
3. It Provides Long-term SEO Value (Evergreen Content)
For the uninitiated, Evergreen content is a piece of content that is not time-sensitive and remains relevant long after its first published. This type of content garners more traffic and attracts new readers over a long period of time.
To give you an example, here is an evergreen blog post – Killer WordPress Checklist: 101+ Easy Steps to Launch A Website in 2022 created by Capsicum Mediaworks that still drives traffic, leads and social shares.
This type of long form content provides long-term SEO value and its advantages far outweigh that of a shorter content. Also, various analytic reports indicate that Evergreen blog posts, when kept up-to-date and fresh, helps drive organic traffic and ranking over time.
Source : Cognitiveseo.com
You can find good examples of Evergreen Content with the help of the BuzzSumo tool that recently added a new Evergreen Score Filter. You can also read this blog post by CognitiveSEO that has listed the evergreen content ideas that help boosts organic traffic.
4. Long Form Content Create Stronger Brand Signals
One of the reasons why top websites like The Moz Blog, HubSpot, and Content Marketing Institute are considered strong authority figures in the digital marketing space is because they provide their audience comprehensive content that is in-depth, research-based and more often than not, comprises of original data.
Producing long form content is one of the key elements that are common to all these high-authority sites and as such, this has helped them develop stronger brand signals over time in the industry. Most of these websites usually cover a whole topic in its entirety which has helped established them as knowledgeable experts, increasing their brand credibility.
5. Google’s RankBrain Rewards Long Form Content
What is Google RankBrain?
Considered the 3rd most important ranking factor by Google, RankBrain is a machine learning (AI) algorithm that helps Google sort search results. It makes it easier for Google to understand long and complex search queries, thus enabling it to provide relevant results to users.
RankBrain uses co-occurrence, as stated by Steve Baldwin of Didit.com, to deliver the most relevant results to users. Co-occurrence, to put it simply, is the frequency with which related search terms appear in a given piece of content.
For example, if a user searches for blog posts on 'increasing click-through rate using SEO' then Google, with the help from RankBrain, will deliver results that contain similar terms (organic click-through rate, search click-through rate) and provide it as part of the user's query.
As such, when you write long form content, you are invariably using a lot of LSI keywords and phrases. This helps RankBrain to easily interpret what your content topic is about, which, in turn, ensures that your content ranks better on the search result for targeted keywords.
6. Long Form Content Helps Increase Dwell Time
Measured as the amount of time a user spends on a site before returning to the SERPs, Dwell time is another metric that affects your search ranking. This metric is measured by RankBrain when ranking your web pages. Thus, creating authoritative long form content is one of the key elements that can help you increase your site’s Dwell time.
As mentioned above, long form articles make available all information related to a specific topic in one place. This ensures that a user doesn’t have to seek out other similar resources, leading them to spend more time on your site. And this, in turn, ultimately increases your site's dwell time, providing SEO benefits like lower bounce rate and a higher ranking on SERPs.
7. Longer Content Helps Boost Click-Through Rate
A higher click-through rate is an indirect SEO benefit of long form content. Click-through rate is mainly influenced by optimized meta title and meta descriptions. Thus, when you write longer articles, you are able to create descriptive meta tags with long tail keywords, which leads to better positioning on SERPs and attracts more eyeballs.
Also, since Meta tags appear directly in the search result, if it is engaging enough, it will help captivate your audience attention leading to more visitors clicking-through and landing on your page. In addition, when more visitors read your awesome content, it leads to more social shares, backlinks and increase in dwell time.
8. Long Form Content Helps Boost Audience Engagement
Long form content can also help to engage your audience. When you create a well-structured long form article that includes research-based data, graphs, relevant images etc, it helps engender trust in readers leading to increased engagement and more social shares and conversions.
For example, in order to increase their on-page time and user engagement, WordStream incorporated long form content on their blog and this is what they discovered.
Source : Wordstream
As you can see in the above graph, by making use of long form content, they were able to increase their average on-page time from 1:35 to 4:33 with their most popular article for 2013 – Find Your Old Tweets: How to See Your First (Worst?) Tweet, having a word count of over 2,300 words.
This clearly shows that as a type of content that provides a detailed answer to any specific topic, long form articles help engage your audience interest for a longer period. And this, in turn, helps increase your site's dwell time and ultimately your search rankings.
9. Longer Content Helps Increase Email Subscribers
Long form content also helps grow your email list. How?
Well, most marketers when they write long form articles provide content upgrades in the form of PDF, infographic, cheat sheet etc that the visitors can download and use it for future reference.
Download: Click Here to Download the PDF on How Content Length Affects SEO and Conversions and to know the Benefits that one can obtain by writing Long Form articles.
This helps them garner more leads, as users are willing to download a free resource if it is valuable in exchange for their emails. As such, by writing long form articles, you would be able to increase your list of email subscribers 10X faster.
To help corroborate this theory, here is how by offering content upgrade Brian Dean was able to instantly increase the conversion rate of one of its blog posts – Google's 200 Ranking Factors: The Complete List – from .54%. to 4.82% which is a 785% increase in conversion.
Source : Backlinko
Thus, if you want to increase email subscribers then creating long form content is the way forward.
10. Long Form Content Reduces Bounce Rate
When you combine all the SEO benefits that one can obtain from long form content – increase audience engagement, more backlinks, boosts in dwell time, increase in click-through rate, – it ultimately converts into lower bounce rate, which helps boost your SEO campaign.
One of the reasons for a higher bounce rate is poor quality content. When you create a longer piece of content, you are able to keep your visitors engaged for a longer time, as it provides them insightful information about a given topic without having to toggle back-and-forth on SERPs looking for similar resources and this helps reduce bounce rate. Thus, this is yet another valuable SEO benefits that you can obtain by writing long form articles.
Also, one of the other ways to reduce bounce rate is to make use of the best web hosting in India, which can help enhance customer experience.
VI. How Content Length Affects Conversions
1. Longer Content Helps Generate Valuable Leads
A study conducted by Neil Patel shows that 94% of B2B marketers make use of content marketing in order to drive more leads and increase click-through rates.
Source : Neilpatel.com
Thus, with the competition being so fierce, to stand out from your competitors you need to create EPIC content that resonates with your audience and this is where long form content can be a great help.
As seen from the above studies and observations, any type of content that contains less than 2,000 words is least likely to be ranked at the top of the search result. As such, by creating in-depth, data-driven content you will be able to position yourself better in the search result, leading to increased click-through rate, which will garner more valuable leads.
2. Long Form Content Drive More Referral Traffic
Most long form articles are evergreen content that provides great value to readers over time. Such type of content attracts more backlinks as well as garner more social shares and this helps drive more referral traffic from different sources.
High-quality long form content is one of the key elements that drive more referral traffic to your site. Also, since it opens up other avenues of networking such as via Guest blogging, it can further improve the visibility of your content, driving more search traffic and helping you build more natural links for your website.
3. Long Form Content Has the Ability to Go Viral
As we have clearly established above, longer content with 2,000+ words gets more social shares than short form content. This is because people prefer sharing long form articles that are thought-provoking and informative as opposed to those that don't provide much value. Thus, the more comprehensive your content is – filled with videos, statistics, graphs, infographic and original data – the higher its chances of going viral.
Making your content go viral includes many elements and content length is just one such element that you need to focus on. Also, it is important to select the right content format for writing a long blog post in order for it to make an impact.
4. Long Form Content Helps Increase Trust
According to a study of Wikipedia articles, increasing the length of an article helps boost trust and the reason for this is simple.
Since long form content includes a lot of research and analysis, people are more likely to trust it, as aside from original data, it contains a lot of relevant information from varied high-authority sources. This helps increase trust amongst your audience. Plus, it helps you establish yourself as an expert in your niche industry.
Also, individuals are more likely to share a piece of content if they trust the source. As such, by consistently writing quality long form articles you are able to create a niche for yourself. Plus, it helps you build a database of loyal readers, who are likely to seek you out in the future when they need a detailed answer for any particular query.
Download: Click Here to Download the PDF on How Content Length Affects SEO and Conversions and to know the Benefits that one can obtain by writing Long Form articles.
The difference between marketers who are doing extremely well in the digital marketing space and those who are struggling is the amount of energy, time and money they are spending on creating a blog post for their website.
Content length affects not only your SEO campaigns but it also affects your conversion as established via various statistics above. Also, the benefits one can obtain by writing long form articles are innumerable.
As such, moving forward, one needs to focus on creating quality long form content as oppose to short form content whose value diminishes over time. Furthermore, when writing long form content ensure that you follow the tips mentioned here and pick the right content format in order to make an impact.
Was this content length guide useful? Did we miss out anything? Do let us know in the comment below!
Also, if you need help creating high-quality content, then we as a content marketing agency can help!
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