The search engine optimization world changes rapidly, but one strategy is emerging as a constant. In July 2015, a study by Moz and Buzzsumo found that long-form content, defined as articles with more than 1,000 words, consistently received more links and social shares than shorter content. And as of 2017, Google has confirmed that longer content often ranks better than thinner content on the same topic. The longer a post is, the more useful information it can provide. Of course, there are hundreds, maybe thousands of other factors, but for now let’s look at the true value of long-form SEO content.
What Is Search Engine Marketing?
Before we get into the nitty-gritty, it’s important to know what an SEO company wishes to accomplish. The basic goal is to get client websites to the first page of Google searches. The old saying, ‘if you’re not first, you’re last,’ is sort of how it works in this wild digital marketing world. Think about the last time you were desperate enough to resort to the second page of Google. Though page two is better than page three, as any SEO company will tell you, companies compete viciously for page one rankings.
Think of the number of companies that sell ribbon and yarn. If a potential customer goes online and searches ‘ribbon and yarn’, they’ll be spoiled for page one choices. This is where search engine marketing (SEM) comes into the fray. SEM is essentially an umbrella term for all marketing done on a search engine. This can include Pay Per Click Advertising, SEO, and many other marketing techniques that happen on a search engine. The goal with these strategies is to get as many consumers to see a website as possible.
Why Does Long Form SEO Content Matter?
Google consistently ranks long-form content higher. This is evident in Hubspot’s 2017 analysis of word counts for their posts. They found the word count that consistently generated the highest average organic traffic was around 2,500 words. The data peaks here and falls with either lower or higher word counts. In general, though, significantly more traffic was generated by long-form, SEO optimized articles and blogs.
Now, this doesn’t give you the green light to type out a trillion words that will read like a lumpy jumbled mess, or that it’s a good idea to write a long-form piece about something very simple. The key to these pieces is that they provide value to the reader, something they can learn.
For an SEO company, long-form content can be a marker of their talent. For a digital marketing company offering long-form content, it can be an asset. For your website, it could mean a ticket to page one.