Long-form content is often overlooked these days when most marketers prefer to focus on concise and visually engaging content. However, especially SEO-wise, long-form content has undeniable value. Short, straightforward texts that catch readers’ attention are also an essential part of a good content strategy. Therefore, to make the best of both worlds, marketers should combine long and short content.
Today, we are only going to focus on the first. Take your time to read this long-form post. It will offer you insights into the value of long-form content. In the end, you will learn why it’s worth writing or paying for this type of content.
TLDR: 5 Essential Advantages of Having Long-Form Content on Your Website
- Long content drives traffic
- It shows you are an expert in your field
- It offers more opportunities for SEO
- It makes your website look more trustworthy and professional
- It improves your link-building strategy
Now that you get the picture (and hopefully, you’re still with us), let’s delve deeper into the benefits of long-form content.
Google Loves and Understands Long-form Content
The golden rule of effective content is to write for people, but with Google in mind. This means that your content should be readable and easy to understand for the average person. At the same time, it needs to be optimized for Google otherwise users won’t find it.
Search engines understand long, written content easier compared to infographics or other visually rich materials. Infographics and similar content rely on images and data files. Google and other search engines can index this content too. However, it is harder for them to interpret / understand it. Written content, on the other hand, is the field where Google excels. The search engine can easily index it and interpret it.
By enriching your long content with keywords, you make Google’s and your job easier. These words will help your website rank well. Moreover, due to its length, long content allows for plenty of keyword optimization possibilities.
Focusing solely on visual-led content might not prove helpful. If Google can’t easily understand your content, your website’s ranking will suffer. The overall value of your site will also be impacted, as well as your traffic. Therefore, combining visual content with copy-led content is the best approach.
Long Content Works Well for Link-Building Purposes
If your aim is to attract links from third-party websites, long-form content will help you. Content writers and bloggers often need to add references to their work. If your well-written content draws their attention and is used as a source, it will appear among the references. This way, you attract links from third-party websites and improve your ranking and reputation.
There are different strategies you can use to create engaging content that attracts writers:
- Provide in-depth industry analysis
- Write about topics that have not yet been covered
- Include numbers and statistics in your content
- Use various keywords that help writers find your content
Links are still an essential part of a good SEO strategy. The more websites use your links as a reference, the better. This will improve your ranking. Moreover, it will help you get more exposure and reach out to a wider audience.
This Type of Content Never Becomes Outdated
If you write well-researched long copy, you might be able to easily ‘recycle’ it. For example, a 2,500 words article that describes the benefits of your service is evergreen. Even if in time you change certain aspects of your service, the core remains the same.
Instead of writing the copy all over again, you can simply update it. This is the charm and benefit of long-form content. It rarely ‘expires’. You simply have to adjust it and use it all over again. The bottom line is that it helps you save time and money on your content strategy.
Video or visual content, on the other hand, is harder to adapt. Changing products on your website, for example, automatically involves using new photos. All this work also implies higher costs. Content, instead, is easier to change. If you already have quality copy written by a professional, you can even make the small updates yourself.
Simply changing a part of your copy without altering the link entails additional benefits. Your website can continue leveraging the traffic and organic search rank that page generated.
Long Content Is Flexible and Versatile
There is a major advantage professional content writers appreciate in long-form content. This type of content offers more flexibility. When you are free to write a post of 3,000 words, you can unleash your creativity and knowledge. You can also share more value compared to a 500 words post.
Long-form pieces also allow you to be more persuasive. They enable you to write stories that engage readers, rather than stick to facts and figures. At the same time, long content allows you to present a problem from different angles.
All these options are appealing to writers. However, the end purpose is not the author’s personal satisfaction. So, let’s look into long-form content’s effectiveness.
- Writing long copy can expand your readers’ view and make them more likely to press the share button.
- This content will also enable marketers to deploy different content writing strategies. In their turn, these strategies can generate more leads and boost customer conversion.
- Having more angles to a story means targeting different audiences. Even if you fail with one angle or strategy, you can succeed with the rest.
Summing up, long-form content is less risky than short one.
How to Efficiently Write Long-Form Content?
Did all the benefits above make you change your mind about long-form content? Then, you might be eager to start filling those pages. But wait! There’s something else you should consider. Long-form content doesn’t work just because of its length. You can’t simply write 3,000 words about any industry-related topic and expect your post to drive huge traffic.
To make sure you gain all the benefits of long-form content, you need to follow some rules. First, your content needs to be relevant. Think about the following rule. If you don’t have something important to say, it’s sometimes better not to say anything at all.
Long and boring or irrelevant content might trigger undesired reader reactions. Instead of keeping them on your site, it might make them leave for good. For this reason, it’s important to strive to write interesting things. Think about your clients’ main pain points. Why do they need your service or products? What problems are they trying to solve?
Try to tackle their issues by offering valuable information in your long-form content. Be it a blog post or a page on your website, long content needs to be relevant. After you’ve put together a content strategy and you’ve chosen your topics, a few more touches are necessary.
Having a list of good topics to write about is an excellent starting point. But you need more. If you’re not a writer yourself, you need someone who can do the work for you. Hiring a professional writing services firm or a freelance is the best approach.
Furthermore, you also have to think about your purpose. Surely, your aim is to drive more visitors to your website. But content goes beyond this. It is tightly connected to your company’s image. It has to blend in with that image. For example, you wouldn’t use the same language when addressing teenagers, corporate CEOs, and seniors.
Your content has to be tailored to your audience. If you work with an external content writer, make sure they know who your target is. Additionally, you also need to consider what you want to be known for. If you want to be the go-to place for educational resources, you’ll need lengthy, exhaustive copy.
If you want to focus on tips and tricks, you need insightful information. Practical examples, study cases, testimonials, and guides can prove useful in this case. All in all, the idea is that you need to focus on two aspects when writing long-form content:
- The topic
- The form
Is There Anything Else You Should Think Of?
You’ve already chosen your topics. You also know which writer you will use for the job and what form your content needs. Is there anything else you should think of? There is no definite answer to this question. There are many things that will come to mind before and after reading the content.
Long-form copy requires time, research, and sometimes, multiple revisions. Therefore, arm yourself with patience. Moreover, check what’s already been written about the topics you’ve chosen.
For example, if you want to write a 5,000 piece on the benefits of a gluten-free diet, study your competitors. There are numerous articles on this theme. But is there one that’s so exhaustive as the one you plan on writing? If the answer is no, you are heading in a good direction.
If your competitors have already produced quality long-form content on your topic, you might change your mind. You could present that content from a different perspective or add new insights. If you don’t feel up to this task, copying what your competitors have already said might not prove useful.
Remember that there are two main requirements good long-form content needs to meet:
- Relevant topics for your audience
- A variety of keywords that improve your website’s rank
Make sure your content is both relevant to your audience and well-crafted for SEO purposes.