The benefits of short-form content and long-form content
How are content marketers, copywriters or simply anyone publishing words online supposed to know how much to write? Is long-form content better than short-form content? Are the pros and cons actually important, or is the ‘short-form vs long-form content’ conversation just completely irrelevant?
Writing content isn’t easy. There’s a reason people work to fine-tune their skills for years, curating the art of researching, writing, editing and reviewing content until they are masters of writing optimised content.
But what about the number of words you need to be sure the content you’ve created is fully optimised and is actually going to rank?
Is it worth choosing between long-form vs short-content?
Of course, like most SEO tactics, there are facts that can guide you to make a decision, but search engines often like to make sure you’re chasing their tail.
So when deciding whether to create long-form or short-form content, it might be tempting to think there is no real answer.
But, there are pros and cons to both sides of content lengths when drafting up a new piece. Learning these differences between the two types of content provides a stronger insight and unlocks a whole new way to build a content marketing strategy.
Our SEO and content experts have collaborated to create a straightforward and easy to use guide on the benefits (and negatives) of producing long-form and short-form content.
The benefits of long-form content
Long-form content is usually defined as a piece of writing that is anywhere between 700 and 2,000 words, however some say it must be 1,000 words at a minimum to be counted as long-form content.
Build authority with long-form content
From a reader’s perspective, having long-form content length to read through isn’t always what they’re looking for. But for people who want to learn more about a topic, having a longer piece of writing, such as long form articles or a blog post of 3,000 words indicates a wealth of knowledge to dive into.
Becoming a tool for learning and developing skills can help to boost your business’ authority and credibility – a valuable asset for any company.
Search engines love a long-form piece too
Of course, search engines don’t need to learn a new trick from an e-guide or a stastic based piece of research.
However, by having long-form content, search engines are more likely to favour the page and push it higher up. Often, search queries require detailed results and having long-form content means you can cover the topic in greater detail.
Focusing further on how search engines like long-form content thanks to the keyword saturation of the content.
It’s no secret that short-form content brings its own challenges, and not having space to include keywords without blatant overstuffing is one of them. Building a piece of content that has expertly placed keywords throughout it, in a scannable and digestible way, is a great way to optimise your content further.
Long-form content can earn more backlinks than short-form content
Long-form content has been found to earn omre backlinks than shorter pieces of content, which is a pro that shouldn’t be sniffed at. Building quality backlinks to your site can boost your site’s DA, boost its SERP rankings and increase traffic and in turn, generate more leads.
So, if this is something your business is aiming for, long-form content should be your focus. It typically earns more backlinks. So much so that SEMRush’s report found that 3,000+ words in length earn 3.5x as many links than those of an average length of between 901 and 1200 words.
The benefits of short-form content
It’s easy to sing the praises of long-form content, but blogs and social media posts don’t always have to be thousands of words long. Short-form content is usually determined as a piece of writing that is less than 1,000 words, and has benefits that can’t be attained by it’s longer counterpart…
Not everyone wants to read thousands of words
Your audience doesn’t always have the time on their hands to read a huge piece of writing, no matter how packed full of information it is. In fact, for a lot of people, their busy day to day lives means their attention spans are more adapted to quick fire, quality content that immediately communicates information to them.
Social media is made for short-form content
Short-form content should always be planned into any content creation plan or content marketing strategy.
Almost all social media platforms are designed to be the perfect stage for quick pieces of media that instantly illuminates any message. But beyond providing the right content for the right stage, short-form content is much more sharable on social media.
Hard hitting, sharable content can create waves online, with key quotes and facts immediately going viral when published at just the right time. But be careful, as creating effective short-form content for social media can take even longer than writing any long-form article!
SEO and short-form content work together too
It’s not just about social shares and capturing short attention spans though. SEO campaigns can benefit greatly from expertly written short-form content.
Having strong communication skills as a business can make or break the success of an SEO campaign, as the behind-the-scene efforts can be jeopardised by weak messaging and convoluted communication efforts. Instead, having readers scroll through a site that is well optimised, with digestible updates, summaries, reminders and infographics helps users become familiar with your company without having to invest too much time reading long-form content.
Tecmark are experts in getting the most out of short and long-form content
It’s clear there is no specific winner in the short-form vs long-form content war.
Both types of content have their own benefits, boosting conversion rates, being social sharing ready and hosts to keywords and other beneficial factors for SEO campaigns. But, knowing when to use which is the real challenge and Tecmark has fine-tuned this process to get the best results.