What is long form content and how can it help SEO?
When it comes to content creation, there is no magic formula that instantly optimizes a page for SEO while attracting thousands of visitors. But there is a way to increase a page’s lasting effects and long-term SEO benefits. It’s called long form content.
Sure, the blog you just wrote on this year’s healthcare trends is interesting, but will it still be attracting tons of organic visitors six months from now? And how will your 200 word article stand up to your competitor’s 600 word exposé on the history of healthcare and the industry’s recent developments? For a copywriter, these are some scary questions.
As the world of online content creation continues to evolve, we should be determining what kind of information users are searching for and then pursue intentional methods to craft better content for our websites to better address those queries. One way to do that is with long form content. Not exactly sure what that is? Keep reading to find out.
Qualities of Long Form Content
Digital marketing expert Neil Patel defines long form content as blogs or articles that are longer in length and that demonstrate higher quality. While the word count of a long form article isn’t definitive, it’s one main aspect of this kind of content.
Long form content is overwhelmingly characterized by its extensive value. These kinds of blog posts or website pages are more beneficial for SEO because they provide higher quality, in-depth content that is authoritative, relevant and useful.
Long form content typically comes in the form of evergreen content: content that has long-term relevance and can be referenced over and over again. Some examples include:
- “How to” articles
- Frequently asked questions
Of course, evergreen long form content needs to be constantly updated to stay relevant, but these kinds of blogs can be a game-changer when it comes to your website. They should be prominently featured on your site’s blog, sent out in email marketing campaigns and re-purposed over and over again.
SEO Benefits of Long Form Content
Long form content has a ton of awesomely powerful benefits. These are just a few.
Gives your website authority. Long form content is essential for great SEO because it gives your site more authority. Not only does it give you a leg up on your competitors, but you’ll boost your status as an expert in your industry by providing a wealth of useful and educational information for your website visitors.
Relevancy. As we’ve said before, Google rewards authority and relevancy. Long form content that is relevant to your services or brand is extremely useful to your website visitors – thus improving your ranking with Google.
You’ll get more backlinks. Since long form evergreen content serves as a constant source of useful information for your website users, these kinds of articles will be linked to over and over again.
Increase conversions and organic traffic. According to the Kissmetrics Blog, long form content receives higher rankings in search results (hence better SEO). This means more users will be able to find you and your organic traffic will subsequently increase.
Material for marketing campaigns. Quality long form content is so good that it can even be used as a foundation for an entire marketing campaign.
Action value. Excellent long form content provides helpful tips that can be followed up with immediate actions. This is a huge value to your consumers and website visitors.
Although creating long form content requires a sincere dedication of time and effort, it’s more valuable for users and Google alike.
Creating Your Own Long Form Content
Now that you’ve learned all about what long form content is and the impact is has on your website’s SEO, the next logical step is learning how to create your own. We could write an entire blog on this (and probably will, so keep checking back) but for now, we’ll gloss over the basics of how to get started.
Choose a topic. Naturally, you’ll want to begin by picking a topic – but not just any old topic. Do some keyword research to determine exactly what it is your website users are looking for and craft your topics based on that. Consider a broad range of formats, such as a Q&A, FAQ or a step-by-step “How To”.
Define your audience and do your research. Equally as important as your article’s topic, is making sure you have correctly identified your audience. Glean as much information as you can about your potential readers and tailor your content to meet them right where they are.
Make an outline. As with any great piece of content, it all starts with an outline. Once you have determined your target audience and topic, do your research, cite your sources and create an outline for your article. Make sure you come up with compelling subheads – and lots of them! Long form content still needs to be scannable for readers who will inevitably skim over large sections and jump to the content they really want to read. Subheads can help make sure your readers don’t get lost, even if they jump into reading an article halfway down the page.
Get to work. Once you actually begin writing, try not to edit yourself as you go. That will only be a hindrance. Let the creativity flow and avoid padding your sentences full of unnecessary words in an effort to boost the word count. If your article ends up being shorter than anticipated, ask yourself what you could include to make it more useful for your readers.
Conclude with a call to action. The best way to conclude your article is with a call to action. Initiating some sort of response or action from the reader is a great way to get someone more interested in your product or service and encourage them to make a decision right then and there.
Creating long form content is certainly an investment, but by doing so, you’re likely to see improvements in your site’s SEO rankings, organic traffic, conversions and backlinks.
JumpSIX Marketing offers premier SEO services that include monthly content creation for your website. If you don’t have the time to create your own long form evergreen content, we are more than happy to do it for you. Contact us today to learn more about our SEO packages.