Why Short Blogs Are Wasting Your Content Marketing Dollars

by | Oct 22, 2019 | Uncategorized

You probably understand that SEO is important for landing business and staying on your customers’ radars, but the nuts and bolts of it are still a bit of a mystery. The truth is this: The algorithms that do all the ranking are still top secret, but we’ve figured out a few riddles along the way.

First, you must have a product or service that meets a consumer need. Second, you must have a website that is optimized for mobile as well as desktop, so users can see what you offer. Finally, you need content on your website so Google’s crawlers can find you when people start searching. 

But a significant question remains: How long should my content be?

Many content marketers try to save their marketing dollars by publishing short 400-word blogs, but we’ve found that long-form content is what’s winning today. 

Why Long-Form Content Is Winning the Internet 

Since 2013, the internet’s become saturated with general content. That type of content typically doesn’t provide readers with anything valuable, and the search engines have taken notice. 

It’s no secret that Google claims that useful content is the way to better rankings. Longer articles present the opportunity to delve deeper into a subject, simultaneously offering something useful to readers while pleasing Google. Its Panda algorithm update was specifically created to downgrade web pages with low-quality content.

Other reasons why long-form content is winning the internet: 

  • It gives you the chance to insert more long-tail keywords. You can’t add many long-tail keywords to a 300-word post without it sounding unnatural. 

 

 

  • It provides the readers with more value—and value isn’t something you’re likely to provide in a short post. 

 

  • Neil Patel says that “longer posts usually perform better on every level.” And we trust what Neil has to say. 

 

  • Long-form content has the power to organically boost your online presence. It gives your clients something to spend time on when they land on your website, which decreases your bounce rate and improves your ranking by increasing “dwell time” – the length of time a user spends on your site. 

 

  • When you regularly post long-form pieces that offer value, readers begin to see you as a source of authority because you’re offering more than surface-level blogs. You are creating something that has worth. When you have something valuable, people will talk about it. That means more social media shares, more links from other posts back to your site, and much more visibility overall. 

 

While most organizations can explain enough data or information to fill 14 long-form posts, piecing that information together into a high-quality post is much more challenging. 

How to Craft Long-Form Content

It can be tougher to write, but long-form content earns you more of what you want from your marketing campaign. Beyond providing something of value to your audience, high-quality long-form content gives you something to offer in exchange for your clients’ data – and that has the power to grow your digital presence exponentially. 

Here’s a quick checklist if you’re ready to tackle writing long-form content for your business: 

  • Write down your goals. Know who you’re writing for and what you want to accomplish. Consider how you’ll measure the long-form content’s success, for example, number of shares, number of likes, or number of email addresses captured. If your goal is to build brand awareness, maybe you’ll look at something more informal, such as an increase in website visitors after posting long-form content on your blog. 

 

  • Decide where you’re publishing it. Determine if you’re going to publish the long-form on your blog, a landing page, or elsewhere. Will you gate it? Gated content means the reader will need to exchange something for it, such as an email address. Landing pages are pages on your site where visitors exchange their contact information for a resource that you offer. It’s the perfect spot for valuable long-form content writing.The primary purpose of a landing page is to generate leads for your business. For instance, a landing page can be where you offer an eBook or whitepaper in exchange for potential clients’ emails. Users give you their data, and you give them the knowledge that you’ve culled and simplified it into a free – but valuable – resource.

 

  • Choose the right topic. Write about a topic you know well. If you’re exploring something new, be prepared to spend a significant amount of time researching. Ensure your tone matches your brand’s voice. Dig deep and explore all angles in your long-form content; it’s an opportunity to keep readers on your site and establish yourself as a thought leader in your industry. 

 

  • Create a promotion strategy. After crafting an engaging, high-quality long-form post, don’t stop there. Think about how you will put it in front of your readers. Consider paid ads, links from your homepage, or implementing a contest or giveaway. 

 

 

  • Hire a content writing service like Better Content Matters. Many businesses don’t have the in-house team to handle the intricacies involved in creating high-quality content with consistency. Make room for content writing in your marketing budget, and learn how to find a reputable content writing service

 

 

Types of Long-Form Content Writing for Your Business

Your web pages are ground zero for starting your digital marketing campaign, but it’s your content writing strategy that has to grab both Google’s attention and your customers. Once you’re committed to publishing long-form content, you’re ready to decide on which types of long-form content you want to create. At Better Content Matters, our clients see the most success with the following types of long-form content: 

  • Long-Form Blogs. Depending on your business, you can call this area of your website any number of things, including: “News,” “Updates,” “What’s Happening,” or simply “Blogs.” Blog posts tend to be about 500-800 words, and they offer some value to your reader while giving Google’s crawlers something to find. Long-form blogs, however, can be much more beneficial, and these are around 1,500 to 5,000 words. You want to make sure all blog posts are keyword rich without being keyword stuffed. The longer the writing, however, the more chances you have for Google (and your target audience) to see you as an authority. Did you know the average blog post for 2019 is over 1700 words, and it continues to rise every year? 

 

  • eBooks. These are long pieces that prove you are an authority in your given industry. Some organizations create eBooks to sell as an investment, but others exchange them for customer data. Most eBooks are longer than 5,000 words. 

 

  • White papers vary depending on the industry, but their job is to be an authoritative, yet persuasive, piece. In layman’s terms, it’s a long product pitch. They’re usually data-rich, with charts, illustrations, and lots of research. Most white papers are about five to six pages, which translates to about 3,000 words or more of copy. 

Keep in mind that word counts are always flexible. What truly matters is that you’re offering value to your audience, and that’s best done in the format of long-form content. 

Contact Our Team

If you’re ready to jumpstart your long-form content strategy and need some help getting started, reach out to the team at Better Content Matters. We understand that no single type of content will work across all website pages and that every industry is different. Knowing where and how much you need for your marketing strategy can be tricky, but you shouldn’t overlook the potential benefits of long-form content. Contact us today to learn more. 

Alisa Hummell

Alisa Hummell

Alisa Hummell began her career teaching at Northern Michigan University but found she missed putting pen to paper. She began Better Content Matters with Christie Moll and Kimberlee Henry. Together, they were dedicated to covering a gap in marketing to include boutique writing services that helped clients with their SEO while crafting language that spoke to people – and not just bots. In the wake of AI, that need has grown ever more important.