By Charlie Brown

2017-05-16_1850

Content marketing is relatively new in the SEO domain, but within a very short span, it has made enormous strides and evolved a lot. The evolution is particularly visible in the type of content that search engines like. Looking back, you will discover that when we talk about content, we refer to content between 350 words and 600 words. This used to be the norm until not very long ago. Known as short form content, this was the only type of content that we were familiar with even a year ago. The assumption was that to convey information effectively to the audience that has a very short attention span, small content was appropriate, as it does not take much time to consume.

However, looking at the way search engines accept content you will find that the assumption does not work well. Search engines do not have much liking for short content. The rapid rise in the demand for long-form content bears testimony to it. Google results show that long form content ranks better than short form content and marketers are keen to go after it. The demand for short-form content from marketers is on the decline and whatever little remains; it is from the audience only.

Addressing the contradiction

Professional SEO services will take a two-pronged approach to content creation and management because they have to satisfy the expectations of the public and also be search engines’ favorite. As explained above, there is a built-in contradiction between the public and search engines in their liking for content. Marketers have to strike a balance between the two types of content short form and long form so that the SEO performance gets a boost. Since search rankings are more important, long form content is fast gaining popularity.

What is long form content?

Content that contains more than 1000 to 1200 words is usually termed as long form content. On an average, the upper limit is 2,000 words, but as per current trend, the number is increasing. The scenario of long form content is changing so fast that already it has touched 3,000 words, and some people are even contemplating to raise the bar to 10,000 words.

The background of the change

What made short form content fall out of favor of search engines? Short form content is easy to create, and it flooded the SEO arena as blogs vied for the upper ranks in search results. The abundance of blogs led to free quality as most of the content was of inferior quality. Taking a note of it, Google tightened its belt and took measures to weed out poor quality content. Changes made in the search algorithms ensured that only high-quality content ranked well in search results. This started the shift in content length, as long form content began to occupy the top spots in search rankings. The highest quality content that you find in Google results is all long form content of minimum 2000 words.

The challenge for marketers

Marketers have to ensure that they outrank the competition by using high-quality content that can deliver the highest value to the audience as compared to any other content that ranks on the top for the same keyword. The value of the content has a direct link to the competitiveness of the keyword – more competitive is the keyword higher is the quality of content that uses it. Besides quality, the length of content also influences rankings and no matter how best optimized any short form content is, it can never match with the prowess of long form content. The change has affected the frequency of content publication. Marketers operate with fixed budgets that accommodate fewer long-form articles than the shorter ones. Thus, every month, marketers publish fewer high-quality articles instead of several small posts every week as done earlier.

More value, more sharing

Ranking by SEO is a company that can guide you in sourcing long form content. Creating long form content's hard to create than shorter content because it needs proper research and a well thought out structure to make it attractive for reading. You just cannot fill the space with mindless words that have been the practice with most short form content. Apparently, long form content carries good value as the audience finds the information quite authentic and relevant. Long form article allows you cover topics from the basic to the advanced stage. People realize the worth of the content that they find interesting and do not hesitate to share it. More is the sharing, better are the SEO prospects.

Builds brand authority

When you look at some the most authoritative websites in your industry niche, you will discover that these websites have one thing in common – all of them use long form content. Those seeking advice turn to some entity that has enough authority to answer the questions. Long form content provides comprehensive information that has answers to all possible queries. Readers find enough reason to rely on these materials that in turn raises the authority level of the websites that passes on to the brands they represent. The content helps to position the brand as an authority in the respective niche.

SEO enhancement

Long form content is what search engines like, and this translates into better SEO performance as ranks improve. The posts are spacious enough to accommodate long tail keywords, and this increases the chances of search engines finding it quickly. A study of the top search engine rankings shows that the top ten ranks are rules by long-form content having minimum 2000 words. Viewers spend more time on long-form content, and this increases the engagement time that Google factors for ranking. Overall, long form content improves SEO performance.

A study has revealed that conversion rates obtained from home pages with long-form content are 37 percent higher than that of other pages. Similar results are available from other studies. After reading this article, you must have cleared your doubts about why you need long form content for your SEO.

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