Content is one of the most important elements for any SEO strategy to rank well on search engines. Having relevant content on your website is one of the key pillars of keyword research. In fact, having quality content is the number one factor in ranking well on Google. Nothing is more powerful than content and as they say, “content is king.”
Having good, useful content does a lot for both your website and your brand. The better your content is, the more your customers will stay on the page and engage with it. Your content helps you increase traffic and engagement which can ultimately lead to sales for your business. The more your users engage with your website, the more authority you build on search engines like Google which help move you up in search rankings. Not only are you improving your SEO, but you are building brand awareness for your business and establishing yourself as a thought leader in your industry.
So what kind of content do you need to include on your website? There are several different types you should consider and you want to choose what’s most relevant to your business. This can include blog articles, case studies, tutorials and how-tos, just to name a few.
One question we specifically get asked a lot about blog content is how long or short do my blogs or copy need to be and does word count matter when ranking? Let’s go over the differences between long-form and short-form content and how to implement them into your blog content strategy.
What is Long-form Content?
Long-form content for your blog are longer articles with a higher word count, typically 1,200 or more words. Outside of blog content, long-form can also include whitepapers, e-books, guides, resources, videos, and webinars.
Long form content should absolutely be part of your blog and content strategy. These types of articles give you an opportunity to go in depth about topics and information relevant to your business. This is how you show your expertise in your industry on specific topics and processes relevant to you. Use your long-form content to build trust and brand loyalty with current and new customers as well as lead them down the funnel to purchase your products or services.
If you don’t know where to start, look at what your competitors are doing on their websites and see what they are offering their clients. Additionally, research what they aren’t offering so you can fill that space in your industry. This can help bring in new customers and traffic as well as position yourself as a thought leader within your niche or industry.
You also want to remain competitive on search engines like Google. When it comes to ranking, Google will often rank long-form content over short-form. They are more likely to choose and rank articles with a longer average time on page than a shorter one. Long-form also allows you to incorporate more keywords into your content as well as backlinks. This will help your overall ranking as well as increase traffic to your site. The better your content, the more likely it will attract backlinks from other higher authority websites, as well. And if you are syndicating relevant, quality content on social media, it can help increase your shares from other users which can increase visibility and potential sales.
What is Short-form Content?
Short-form content can take a lot of different forms. Blog articles or listicles are usually short copy that can range around 1,000 words or less. Other examples of short-form content are copy for a page on your website, titles and headings, meta descriptions, or social copy which all can range from a few words to a few hundred.
When writing short-form content, you want to play to its strength. This type of content should be quicker to read through by the user. Short-form content don’t usually expect the users to spend too much time reading over them to find what they need. If you want them to get the most out of the content, it needs to be specific and to the point. Let your readers know quickly what they are reading.
Because of its length, it’s often simple and faster to create. It can also make it easier to post articles more frequently. This can help your search engine rankings because you create and post continuous new content for search engines like Google to crawl. Since your word count is shorter, make sure to use specific high-quality keywords and be smart about your placement. Short-form content can rank if you are optimizing it properly for the search engines. If it grabs and holds the interest of your users or answers specific key questions, it builds the authority it needs to rank better.
Which One Do I Use for My Blog?
The first step when creating any content is understanding its purpose and the user intent. Why are you creating the post? Who is it for? What do you want them to get out of it? Does it provide an action for them to take? Will that action lead to higher conversions?
Both forms of content are going to be good for your SEO strategy. Make the most of your website and provide both long and short form content. Quality content, long or short, will keep your users returning to your website and reading through your blog articles which will increase your time on page. This builds authority on search engines which helps you rank.
When creating content and choosing keywords, you need to do competitive research for your SEO campaign. For example, if I’m a plumber and I want to rank for ‘pipes’ and the top ranking blog on the SERP has 1,500 words, my competitive content also needs to have at least 1,500 words. It’s not enough to just choose good keywords, you need to do the research which guides you to know what kind of content you want to create and rank for.
When creating your content clusters for your website, create strong pillar posts for your blog that are long-form and have a high word count, are robust, and are full of relevant information to your business. Pillar posts are your strongest content. The supporting content on your blog, both long and short-form posts, should be linking towards that content.
Remember, regardless of the word count, the content on your blog needs to be meeting the intent of your target audience and leading them to an ultimate action or providing the best information they need. Focus on the needs of the user. Choose high intent keywords to bring qualified traffic to your site that will help bring leads. Keep your content updated, relevant, and useful.
When choosing to create long or short-form content, position yourself as an expert in your industry. Whether that’s through articles, tips, or tutorials, show your users you are a thought leader and expert in what you do. Show your expertise, be an authority in your space, and create trustworthiness with your audience. This will help build domain authority for your website on search engines and help you rank higher on the SERP.
At Boostability, we believe that content marketing for small businesses relies heavily on the skills of great writers and strategists. Because of this, we invest a lot of our time in creating and curating content for our clients. In fact, content writing is part of all of our Boost SEO campaigns. Learn more about how our services can help your business.