So many things play a factor in your SEO, it can be hard to find the right place to start. Well, the best place to start is content of course, and by that, I mean long-form content. If content is king (it is), then long-form content is the emperor who rules over all the kingdoms. Why does Google love long-form content though? Let’s take a look, and go over some tips on increasing your content’s length if it’s needed.
SEO Keyword Principles
Google has these bots called crawlers, and what they do is comb through your content looking for bits and pieces that it deems relevant to a search term. These tidbits are called keywords. Let’s say I have a bacon website, and it has a ton of articles about making bacon, cooking with bacon, the whole nine yards. Google will likely see that my site is about bacon. Great!
Now people don’t typically google “bacon”. Users typically search for more than one word. For example, these see
m fairly ordinary:
- Bacon Wrapped Chicken Recipe
- How to Make Bacon
- Bacon Recipes
- Best Recipes with Bacon
That sounds more like it. When Google crawls your site, it’s looking for this kind of stuff to populate search results, and long-form content is more likely to fill in more searches than short articles.
Long form content can be released in the form of a shot E-Book, an actual published release, a long gated article, or even as a free release. Typically, marketing experts will release theirs as a gated E-book which requires an email signup to access. Affiliate review sites like outdoor gear lab release long for content for free.
Long-Form Content Misconceptions
While vast amounts of copy can do good things for your SEO and domain authority, you still need to make it great. Instead of quality over quantity, you want quality and quantity. That’s the tricky part. Here some misconceptions and pitfalls to look out for:
Don’t assume the article will do it all for you: Long form content is proven to get more shares, more links to it, and overall rank much better than shorter content. However, you still need to promote the article to get it in front of eyes. Other things that affect your blog’s ranking will still play a big role.
People need to WANT to read it: Attention spans have never been shorter when it comes to content, so why is long form content the king? Because it shows authority, it shows commitment and dedication to the reader. It’s up to you to provide an article that holds the reader’s attention for an extended period of time. You can’t get benefits like a higher conversion percentage without having both quantity and quality.
You released a successful piece of long form content. Now do it again: It’s not always enough to have just one nice piece of long form content. Instead, you may need to do it again and again. That puts a lot of pressure on you to reproduce success that you put hours upon hours into. You may not even see huge results after one or two releases, which can really wear you down further. Make sure you have enough gas in the tank to follow through, and you’ll reap the rewards.
Building Great Long-Form Content
Now that you know some of the challenges involved, let’s look at some tips that will help you on your next long form content journey. Long form copy is like chess. It’s a game with long term goals outweighing short term losses.
Create an outline: This is like a situation between the tortoise and the hair. You have a great idea that will work great for long form content. You’re off to the races, you’ve got a handful of jumping off points and you finish your article. Then it comes out to 1200 words, Not the 2000-3000 you had originally aimed for. Instead, create an outline for yourself with manageable word-count goals spelled out for each chunk. Suddenly reaching massive word counts is just a matter of planning.
Do more research: Being an expert on a subject is a great start to creating long form content, but you should thinking about taking it a step further. We live in a world where millions of people who also study and share information in your niche. Accepting that fact will help you make your content the best it can be.
Include infographics and videos: Don’t forget to include visual relief in the form of videos and infographics or charts. These not only add extra value and shareability, but also give the reader’s eyes a break. Including videos on any form of content also help you rank better.
Hire an expert if you can’t write it yourself: Sometimes you can’t get it done yourself and that’s okay. Determine if the ROI you’re reaching for is worth the cost. If the math adds up, hire away!
Expanding Your Content When You’re Out of Things to Write
Let’s face it. Sometimes you do everything you can, and still aren’t hitting that goal you had planned. It’s time to get creative.
Talk about the history of your topic: If it’s available, talk about the events and timeline that led your topic. It will give insight to readers who are unaware of it, so there is value and it isn’t just filler. It can also help you expand on other aspects in other parts of your content. You can go through and discuss what has changed, and what the effects of those changes were.
Go back and pump up the data: The first pass of your content likely covers a vast array of information. However, you’re still only scratching the surface. Try to go through each block of content and add just 100 words to each. It can be expanding on a point or tip that you’ve made, researching some more hard data if need be. If you had ten content chunks, you’re talking about 1000 extra words.
Go get some quotes: Go get some more opinions on the matter. Discuss other’s opinions on it. Or think about asking the community and analyzing those results. Bringing people into the discussion will increase your credibility, and give you some extra stats to put into the article.