Is long-form content really better?

Long-form DNA says that people do enjoy reading long-form content. What is long-form content? By and large, any content piece longer than 4,000 words in length can be long-form content. But is long-form content really better?

The benefits of long-form content

1ne. The biggest benefit of long-form content is that it helps you get better rankings in search (more on this later).

2wo: Longer content is generally seen as more authoritative. In fact, in one study of Wikipedia articles, increasing the length of an article increased its trustworthiness.

3hree. Yet another benefit of long-form content is that it will continue to get you traffic, shares and rankings months and even years after its creation.

Does Long-Form Content Work in Today’s Small Attention Span World?

In the United States, 71 percent of all time spent online is now spent on mobile devices. And 30 percent of the time people spend onlinenow happens on social media sites.

Econsultancy says that on average a user will only read 20% of the content on your page. There is one very simple reason for this canning and time. Today time is the new currency and people don’t have time to read all the content that’s out there.

But there is another simple reason for people scanning instead of reading. They are asking themselves “what’s in it for me?”. They either want to become more knowledgeable or they want help solving a problem.

How to write for short attention spans:

  • Create bulleted lists like this.
  • Use plenty of descriptive subheadings.
  • Write in short paragraphs.
  • Give each point or idea its own paragraph.
  • Create plenty of white space.
  • Highlight key points in bold.
  • Put important information near the beginning of sentences and paragraphs.

Now about long-form content and SEO…

Most people feel that ranking higher in search is the holy grail in long form content but that could be a mistake.

Here is a great example. A client, who markers high-end chocolate bars, wanted to understand why their long-form content wasn’t performing well.

While they were doing very well on Google their website metrics were poor. The bounce rate was high, time on site was low and page views were also low. An exit survey indicated that website visitors were not getting the key brand messages.

Originally published at on January 6, 2019.

Written by

Marketing contrarian with over 15 years of developing leading edge and award winning digital marketing initiatives.

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