Short-Form Content vs Long-Form Content

In this article, we look at Short-Form Content vs Long-Form Content

How are content marketers, copywriters, or 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 important, or is the ‘short-form vs long-form content’ conversation completely irrelevant?

Writing content isn’t easy. There’s a reason people work on fine-tuning 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 going to rank?

How do you choose between long-form and short-form content?

Of course, like most SEO tactics, some facts can guide you to make a decision, but search engines often like to ensure 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 length when drafting a new piece. Learning these differences between the two types of content provides 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 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.

How to 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 Longform Content

Of course, search engines don’t need to learn a new trick from an e-guide or a statistic-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 has its challenges, and one of them is not having space to include keywords without blatant overstuffing. 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.

Longform Content Tends to Generate More Backlinks Than Shortform Content 

Long-form content has been found to earn more 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, 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 its longer counterpart…

Not Everyone Wants To Read Thousands Of Words. 

Your audience doesn’t always have the time to read a huge piece of writing, no matter how packed full of information it is. In fact, many people’s busy daily lives mean their attention spans are more adapted to quick-fire, quality content that immediately communicates information to them.

Social Media Is Made For Shortform Content.

Short-form content should always be included in 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 illuminate 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 social media content can take longer than writing any long-form article!

SEO And Shortform Content Work Together. 

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 investing too much time reading long-form content.

Six Search: Have Decades Of Experience In Making Content Work Harder For Our Clients.  

There is no specific winner in the short-form vs long-form content war.

Both types of content have benefits, such as boosting conversion rates, being social sharing ready, and hosting keywords and other beneficial factors for SEO campaigns. But knowing when to use them is the real challenge, and Six Search has fine-tuned this process to get the best results.

Get in touch today to chat with us about how different types of content can benefit your website, or check out our other articles to learn more about SEO and the way it can boost your business.

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