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This article was published on June 5, 2017

5 proven SEO benefits of long-form content for marketers

5 proven SEO benefits of long-form content for marketers
M Zoman
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M Zoman


I cover business, startups, tech, entrepreneurship, cryptocurrency, economics and environment, gained experience as a copy editor and writer I cover business, startups, tech, entrepreneurship, cryptocurrency, economics and environment, gained experience as a copy editor and writer for B2B and various online publications. When not writing or editing, I'm practicing muay thai, riding a motorbike somewhere, or sleeping. :) :)

From budding startups to towering corporations, everyone is betting high on long-form content to ace lead generation. But, putting together few long paras of blogs and hitting the ‘Publish’ button is not content marketing. There is so much more depth to it.

But, why? What significance does long-form content have in marketing?

End of the day, the purpose of any online content is to attract readers and turn them into buyers of a product or service. It does not happen easily unless some extra effort is put into it.

There are several factors that contribute to the success of a content. Typically, its size plays a vital role. Long-form content or content that sizes up more than 2,000 words typically is capable of better performance than short-form content.

Moreover, long-form content delivers high on several marketing benefits, including:

  • Higher online visibility
  • More social sharing
  • Better link building
  • Reliable website authority

Without an iota of doubt, all these are the objectives that content marketing is trying hard to achieve. Long-form content and content marketing go hand-in-hand. If long-form content does not figure in your 2017 SEO Strategy, you could possibly be missing out on a lot.

Here is a dissection of the benefits that long-form content can deliver to marketing efforts.

Higher online visibility through better search engine ranking

SerpIQ did a study on the correlation of post length and search engine ranking. The study threw up interesting facts like the search ranking position changed with the length of the content. Posts with content length above 2,000 words easily the top ranks. The graph below from serpIQ establishes that:

Secondly, Quartz, a noted publishing brand emphasizes on publishing long-term content. They believe that long-form content establishes the brand as a thought leader or a subject matter expert. Such brand reputation adds to the credibility of the content which brings in more organic traffic; an inherent objective of content marketing.

Improves social media sharing

A great thing about long-form content is that, it contains several links to external articles published on the internet. The linking aids the link building efforts of the publishers who have published the interlinked articles. To boost their linking efforts, they further share the parent article on social media.

Also, long-form content enriched with detailed analysis or information persuades people to share it. There is a higher likelihood that people will share something on social media that they find to be useful or trustworthy. Moreover, almost every blog post has social buttons that again facilitate linking and sharing of the post. This further extends the viral spread of the article thus facilitating content marketing.

Moz, the search engine giant did research on more than one million articles and found that “long form content consistently gets higher average shares and significantly higher average links.”

Here are the details of the study:

Search engines rank high-quality long-term content

Long-form content gives you the facility to pop in as much as keywords as you want across the content. However, Google and its bots look at every content with microscopic eye for quality. Your long-form content is as good as nothing if the quality is not anything but commendable.

Take for instance, BuzzFeed. The content based website has tons of detailed stories called BigStories from all over the Internet and the real-world that makes it a brand that customers trust and spend much time on.

Almost identical is the case with The Guardian, the global news reporting agency with the credibility of a rock. Guardian experiences, also enjoys a high rate of social sharing for its long-form content on social media, just like BuzzFeed.

The graph below from BuzzSumo confirms the same:

Generates better reader value

Another great advantage, perhaps the most important among all is that, long-form content creates awesome value for readers. They tend to get more than what they come for from long-form content.

Take for instance the case of Wait but Why a popular blog that publishes long-form content on several interesting topics, most of which goes viral. Wait but Why readers swear that they get more information and insights than what is available anywhere else on the Internet.

The long content articles are so engaging that some posts even win up to 2 Million+ social sharing.

Long-form content boosts conversion

In the end, it all boils down to one question: Can it pump up my conversion rates? Content marketing using long-form content can be punctuated with call-to-actions that can generate leads and ultimately conversions.

Long-form content creates a vast stretch of space for setting up strategically placed CTAs that readers can click on if they are interested in a product or service.

CrazyEgg, the web analytics service was able to improve its conversion rates by 30% through use of long-form content. The long-form content was able to answer most of customer queries directly without having to redirect them to multiple pages where information was strewn about.

In a Nutshell

Long-form content has what it takes to maximize the website traffic, social sharing and website authority. It is undeniably a tool for marketers to maximize their conversions through sharing of knowledge, information and anything that can be considered worthy.

As a tool for marketing, it delivers high on several benefits including establishing brand identity, boosting conversion rates and most importantly securing top search engine ranking.

Another untold benefit of long-form content is that it is evergreen. Due to social sharing the content keeps rotating every now and then thus staying popular at all times. Short form content which has restricted information cannot last long.

Above all, long-form content is high on the quality. Google and the host of other search engines love quality, thus putting it on top of search engine rankings at all times. The above depicted graphs and study results also agree with the same.

If long-form was not part of your content marketing strategy until now, it is never too late to include it in your SEO strategy.

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