Why long-form content is great SEO (and will always rank better than short-form)
November 5, 2017 - SEO
Content has always been a large part of any successful SEO landing page, blog post or article, but despite it being around for as long as SEO has been, we only recently began understanding that the length of the content matters. I don’t know why it took so many years to figure out that long-form content was better than articles with fewer words. Thinking about it more, there are common sense reasons why long-form content is better. Here’s 4 reasons why pieces with higher word count are inherently better:
In-Depth: The more words there are, the more likely that a long-form piece will go more in-depth into a subject matter. If you wanted to read about the history of religion in the United States — would a 400-word piece or 1500-word piece do a better job? Without actually reading and comparing, search engines assume long-form stuff are more in-depth based on the amount of words. I’d say that’s a safe assumption.
Better On-Page SEO for Target Keywords Keywords still matter, so the more words included into a piece, the more you can include your target keywords, related-keywords and semantically-related phrases into the copy.
Higher Quality: The same assumption here applies to the “in-depth” benefit, that there’s a better quality associated with longer pieces. In short, there’s a reason why Google updated their algorithm to penalize “thin content”. If you have a blog post that’s 1350 words — that wouldn’t qualify as thin. If you wanted to buy online essay, one with 300 words and another with 450 words at the same price, you would choose the longer one.
Rank for More Keywords When you include more keywords and phrases for your target keyword, a long form piece has a better opportunity to rank for a variety of related keywords and topics due to the breadth of content. It’s not uncommon for a well-optimized piece to not just rank for the two to three keywords you target, but ultimately rank for 200 keywords and phrases.
That’s not to mention the expected improved user engagement and increased time on site. Now we’re not saying that all long-form content is better than all short-form but we can’t think of any reason why shorter content would be better than longer-form content. If you have a choice and the time to create a longer article or one with fewer words — always go for the former. Your users will thank you and the search engines will reward you.