Which Is Best? Long vs Short-form SEO Content
As an online marketer or business owner, probably nothing makes you fidget with worry more than figuring out the best article length. But ask any reliable SEO agency, and it will tell you that length actually depends on many factors.
This is what this article is about. We will cover the salient points that can help you decide:
- Pros and cons for each
- Best tips to maximize your content length
- When to write (and avoid) short- and long-form content
Are you ready to save yourself the hassle and worry? Read on!
Want to learn more about the Digital Authority Partners approach to SEO? Watch this video!
Long-Form vs. Short-Form Content: A Comparison Chart
Here is an overview of the differences between short- and long-form content according to various factors:
|Criteria||Long-Form Content||Short-Form Content|
|Length||- Between 1,000 and 7,500 words||- Between 400 and 600 words|
|Purpose||- In-depth topic exploration||- Brief, punchy, and concise presentation of bite-sized or digestible information|
|Tone||- Formal, academic, and deeply informative||- Light, engaging, and creative|
|Audience or user intent||- More ideal for audiences in the consideration or purchase stages
- Great for organizational decision makers in a B2B market
|- Suitable for those looking for broad, general information
- Ideal for engagement on social media
- Better for audiences who like to use or access data through mobile devices
|Format||- Heavy in headings, subheadings, and bullet forms or numbered lists
- Requires extensive citations from trusted sources
|- Often short, such as tweets, captions, product descriptions, or press releases|
|Conversion||- May be more effective at driving conversions due to in-depth information and trust-building||- May be more ideal at driving immediate clicks or purchases|
|Best For||- E-books
- Case studies
- Product comparisons
- Product reviews
- Webinar and podcast transcripts
- Resource pages and FAQ sections
- Blog posts divided into a series
- Pillar pages in a topic cluster
|- Social media posts
- Photo captions
- Product descriptions
- Press releases
- Company pages, such as About Us
- E-mails and newsletters
- Micro videos, such as TikTok and Instagram reels
Based on these data, we can determine the advantages and disadvantages of each form. Most of all, we learn how to utilize their length to support search engine optimization (SEO) efforts.
Use Long-Form Content to Build Expertise and Push for a Purchase
Long-form content is hard work. It demands much time, patience, and diligence. Among your to-dos are:
- Research, verify, and cite facts
- Create compelling stories, analogies, and examples
- Develop meaningful arguments and support them with data
- Present information in a concise and organized manner
But investing in long-form content is often rewarding for one good reason: it helps you show off your expertise and authority in your niche.
This ability matters for the following reasons:
- Search engines want to provide the most factual, accurate, and relevant pieces of information to users. Take, for example, Google’s helpful content update and the addition of E, which stands for “experience,” in the E-E-A-T guidelines.
- With the massive disinformation or fake news online, more Internet users are picky and judgmental of the content they access. One of the most effective ways to gain their trust is to display your in-depth knowledge of the niche or subject.
- You can provide a new or different perspective, angle, information, or approach to a common subject. It then boosts your content’s opportunity to generate lots of backlinks, traffic, and engagement.
Another significant benefit of long-form content is its ability to match the user intent of prospects or leads in the last few stages of the buyer’s journey. These individuals are close to making a purchase, and long-form content can give them the extra nudge they need in the right direction by:
- Explaining different aspects of the product or service
- Addressing customer objections with data and facts
- Providing additional and valuable information that customers may not be aware of
Make Long-Form Content More Effective with These Tips
- Optimize for readability and accessibility. Use featured images, headings, bullet points, tables, and diagrams to make your content scannable and easy to understand.
- Do not forget about SEO. Implement best practices in keyword research, backlinks, meta descriptions, etc., to boost your content.
- Include user-generated content. Social proof can be a great motivator, so feature customers’ opinions and experiences on your blog or website to enhance trust.
- Consider building a topic cluster. A topic cluster is a group of related pages that share one pillar page. This approach can help you build an authoritative site and create strong, interlinked content.
- Develop exclusive long-form content. Invest in content that your users cannot find anywhere else. Think white papers, case studies, and highly detailed product reviews. Use them as incentives when leads sign up for the mailing list.
Use Short-Form Content to Keep It Light and Generate Leads
Short-form content comes with many benefits, especially if your primary goal is lead generation through traffic, page clicks, and engagement. It is:
- Easier to write and consume
- Great for those who want a quick update on the most important news or announcements in their industry
- More shareable on social media
- Helpful in increasing brand and product recognition
Despite these, they can also be limited in several ways:
- They cannot provide in-depth information or comparisons.
- You do not have enough opportunities to create quality backlinks that can increase domain authority and search engine rankings.
- Because they are the easiest to make, short-form content now floods the Internet. Competing against them is challenging.
- While they are quick to mass-produce, you may need to post regularly to maintain your preferred engagement level.
These Tips Can Make Short-Form Content More Effective
- Diversify your short-form content. Post videos, infographics, polls, surveys, and other interactive content forms to engage your audience.
- Be as concise as possible. Learn to convey the right message to the right audience using the fewest words. Master copywriting to learn how to tell a persuasive story.
- Be opinionated. Your niche may have several marketing trends and strategies, but your expertise can make a difference in giving users valuable advice.
- Collaborate with influencers. Connecting with influential people in your industry can help you amplify your reach and get more leads.
- Automate some of the tasks. You can use AI-powered tools, such as scheduling and analytics, to streamline processes. This way, you can spend enough time on long-form copies.
In the long-form vs. short-form content battle, which is better? The answer is: it depends on the goals of your business.
Long-form content can provide in-depth information about your product or service. It can also help build brand trust. Short-form content, meanwhile, can increase visibility and engagement across different channels.
Effectively combining these two forms of content is the best way to use them. For example, you can write a long-form post about a particular topic and then create short-form videos and visuals to promote the post on social media.
Try out these tips and see which ones work best for you. If you need more comprehensive content support and ideas, Digital Authority Partners (DAP) is here to help. Contact us today to learn how we can elevate your content marketing strategy.
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