Long form content performs a number of key bonuses for those companies with blogs. Experts differ in their opinions of the usefulness of this content but many are clear that they are excellent for SEO and other practices. So, why does long form content work? Let’s take a closer look at it now.
What is Long Form Content?
The exact length of long form content is disputed. Obviously, this form of content is going to be longer than others on the blog. Some think that it can be over 700 words, whereas others believe it should be over twice as long as this. However, most would agree that it needs to be over 1000 words.
Some people think that content needs to be chatty and short. Readers do not have a long attention span and they need content which will appeal to this. However, readers actually often want something a little more substantial. While short articles are very much in demand, long ones are too. There is even thought to be a sweet spot; articles between 500 and 800 words are thought to be of the least interest. Anything shorter is perfect for a speed reed while longer ones can be packed with interesting content to keep visitors engaged.
How It Helps
So much focus is placed on the structure of content. Through keywords and other strategies, companies are able to generate search traffic and other useful metrics. However, the problem here is that it will generate only this. Key engagement metrics like time spent on site can be low. The attention of visitors is grabbed but not kept. By introducing intriguing longer articles, user engagement can be steadily increased.
While it is important that you spend a lot of time ensuring that the content reaches proper SEO standards, you might also benefit from playing around with your article lengths. Your longest articles might even end up as some of your most-visited onsite content.
It isn’t just your readers who you can write long form content for. This style of writing also highly appeals to SERPs. The more you can do to ensure that your articles are ranked well on SERPs, the more visibility your site will gain overall.
How can you then use long form content to capture and keep the attention of your readers? There are several techniques you can use. Some types of content might not be suited to your business, but there are other ways you could adapt these basic structures to fit your blog.
The Case Study
One favourite technique often used is the case study. Many people would not be interested in a detailed analysis of a company’s performance. Vast quantities of data are rarely easy to digest. What the case study allows for is an exploration of the data through the framework of a specific scenario.
This sort of content is frequently presented through the medium of one company helping another. There is a clear goal in mind and the creator of the long form content can guide the reader through each stage of the task. It works because it shows the real effect which has been made instead of simply providing the data.
Another technique is for a brand to use a timeline of events. For example, if a brand has an old and well-celebrated product, they might produce a timeline featuring each iteration of that product. It is both entertaining and informative at the same time. It also has the added bonus of boosting engagement time as readers stick around to look at the entire list.
This is different from the case study. Laying out a story which your readers can follow is a great way for you to create long form content. It is entertaining and immersive and it does not openly have to mention your brand openly. For example, a brand which sells children’s shoes might have a blog post about a particularly memorable school run. It won’t explicitly mention the brand of the shoes but it helps to convey that the parent who wrote the blog trusts the quality of the business.
An easy way to introduce long form content on your website is through the use of a guide. Many people use the internet as a way of finding out key pieces of information. If you have an area of expertise, you should make sure that your website has a guide to it. It could be available as a downloadable PDF, but this often won’t help to increase dwell time; one of the key aspects of long form content. Instead, by hosting it all on your site, you will be able to be a destination for those searching for answers while improving your engagement metrics.
Many companies take the time to publish their annual reports and this could be the perfect opportunity for your readers to engage with your long form content. It does not have to be just a block of text explaining the intricacies of your report. It can be a fun and interactive piece of content which visitors to your site are happy to explore. This type of content, like the case study, allows for important but sometimes dreary figures to be reported in a more engaging way.
Investigate Long Form Content Today
Long form content is one of the most interesting things for you to introduce to your company’s website. While many sites have a blog, it can be an underused place which is only updated for SEO purposes. It is high time that you changed it and long form content is a brilliant place to start. If you are able to transform the way your blog is handled, you will be able to attract more people to your site for longer. You should always be assessing new ways to improve your engagement and dwell metrics. Long form content might be the perfect opportunity you need to do make positive changes happen.