It’s no secret that longer content has value. Lengthier-than-average blog posts (and, for the sake of clarity, when we say “long” we’re talking in the region of 1000–1500 words) are known to achieve more social shares, to gain more backlinks and to lead to a significantly higher number of conversions. But why is this? What is it about longer content that gets the job done, and how can you take advantage of its magic?
One of the best things about longer content is the impression of authority it gives.
Readers often want comprehensive, detailed information – and they want to know that they can trust the author. Short blog posts with minimal content often don’t provide this, and so when readers stumble upon a lengthy, information-packed, richly-detailed piece of content they’re much more likely to trust it, share it and ultimately come back to its author when they have some money to spend. Use long content to position yourself as an authority on a subject, and you’ll situate yourself well ahead of the field.
Longer content also takes longer to read.
If it’s engaging enough, your audience won’t mind – and quite possibly won’t even notice the extra time they’ve spent on your site. This greater investment in time leads to greater trust, particularly when dealing with complex or nuanced subjects. Imagine you’re attempting a repair on an expensive piece of hardware that you’ve never performed before: do you want a 300-word guide that breezes through the subject, or a 2000-word piece complete with pictures, diagrams, detailed descriptions and answers to all your questions?
Those benefits aside, longer-form content also tends to rank better possibly due to the increased number of keywords it contains, and possibly due to Google’s admitted emphasis on in-depth articles. All things considered there’s little reason to not focus on long-form content… but be aware that producing excellent long posts is not as simple as just inflating your word count or adding in a few images. Meaningless filler will do you no favors at all.
Instead it’s important to create real value in your long content. Whether you’re planning a long blog post, an eBook, a white paper or something else altogether, pick a topic that deserves to be explored in depth, and ensure that – whatever word count you’re aiming for – every single word is made to count. Nobody out there is searching desperately for long tracts of filler, but well-crafted and information-rich long-form articles are something that readers will treasure, trust, and return to again and again.