Your Guide to Long-Form Content & How to Get Started Creating It

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If you want a more substantive SEO boost from your content, then long-form content is a must. Unfortunately, too many businesses focus on quantity over quality, creating bursts of short posts just to ensure they are putting something up on their blogs. To maximize the value of your blog and meet potential customers’ needs, you need a content strategy that considers what your audience is searching for and provides them with in-depth answers. One way to do this while increasing your Google ranking and making it easier for people to find you is to incorporate long-form content into your content plan.

What Is Long-Form Content?

There are plenty of types of content, and each has a valuable place in your content strategy. Long-form content is comprehensive content that covers different aspects of a topic. It can be a guide, a how-to, or just an excellent overview. It can be written or recorded. 

What truly sets long-form content apart is its in-depth nature. It answers many questions about a specific topic and serves as a resource that your audience will want to turn to time and time again.

How Long Should Long-Form Content Be?

Ok, so long-form content should have more words than a quick blog post. 

But just how many words?

Honestly, there’s no hard and fast rule for the length. According to Hubspot, articles with over 2.5k words get the most backlinks, and those between 2.25k and 2.5k score the most organic traffic. 

We find a 1,000-word post can provide a good overview for many topics. For more complex issues, though, you can go upwards of 2k to 3k words. 

For example, if you wanted to create a post on choosing the best XYZ, you will probably end up with a post that’s a couple of thousand words long to capture each possible point your readers may be interested in.

That said, the main goal shouldn’t necessarily be a particular word count. You want to aim for a comprehensive overview of a particular topic. Think of it as a definitive guide. You want your long-form content to answer all of the crucial questions on a specific topic that someone may have.

What Are the Benefits of Long-Form Content?

Content is a crucial part of a winning SEO strategy. By creating pages, posts, videos, and infographics around your industry keywords, you can get more people to your website, build trust, score backlinks, and boost your brand visibility.

Drives organic traffic to your site

Long-form content generally has plenty of keywords for Google to find. Because you are covering one topic from various angles, you are naturally incorporating associated keywords and long-tail keywords into your content. These are the same keywords and phrases that people enter into Google. Using them naturally in your content will increase the chances that your page will rank highly for those keywords and phrases, thus increasing the number of people who will see your content. Because most people click on the top links on the search results page, creating high-ranking content will naturally increase your organic traffic.

Builds trust and authority

You may have heard of EAT. That’s expertise, authority, and trustworthiness—and some of Google’s rankings can be attributed to it. 

If you want to boost your EAT, then long-form content is one way to go. By focusing on a particular topic that is relevant to your industry or business with an in-depth post, you can showcase your expertise, boost your site authority, and highlight your trustworthiness all at once.

According to Backlinko, long-form pieces get 77.2% more backlinks than shorter pieces.

When people share a post or link to another site on their post, they generally do so because they’ve found the original content to be of value. They want to share those insights with their audience. When you create comprehensive content that showcases your expertise, you make it more likely that people will want to share it. And those backlinks help show Google that your post is relevant and useful, increasing the chances of ranking well. 

Creates brand awareness

Because long-form pieces are shared more frequently across social channels, they help create more brand awareness. While it may not cause someone to purchase from you immediately or schedule an appointment, it will make it more likely that they will return to your site when they are ready to buy or make an appointment. Brand awareness is all about staying top of mind so that when a potential customer or client is ready to take that next step, they think of you.

Long-form content should be relevant to your visitors. In most cases, it should be evergreen content that you can regularly update with new information. This will help ensure you continue to reap the benefits from the content for as long as possible.

Short-Form vs. Long-Form Content

Now that you know how valuable long-form content is, should you scrap your current content marketing plan and invest only in longer pieces?

Ultimately, not every topic needs a long comprehensive post. Maybe you just want to create a short blog post about a news item or answer just one question in particular. Short content is excellent for this. Plus, not everyone wants to read a long post. As long as your post tackles your content matter well and speaks to your target audience and where they are in their decision-making process, then it can still be a valuable resource on your blog.

Types of Long-Form Content You Can Start Working on Today

Are you ready to start cranking out content? Remember, you want your posts to be comprehensive. Here are some content types that you can integrate into your content marketing plan to help capture additional keywords and generate more traffic.

How-to Posts

Tutorials are an interesting way to introduce how to use your product or do something tangential to your product or service that your audience is interested in. 

For example, if you sell hardware, you can create tutorials for different DIY projects featuring your products. For us, a good How-To post might be something like “How to Create Your GMB Profile” or “How to Get More Reviews From Your Happy Customers.” Consider what is important to your target audience and which topics may fit in with your goals, then start researching them to identify an exciting way to tackle the topic.

Deep Dive Explainer Posts

Whether you’re selling appliances or offering legal services, there’s plenty about your industry that potential customers and clients want to know. A deep dive into one aspect of your product or services can help introduce top-of-funnel web visitors to your site, capture more keywords, and showcase your expertise. Legal experts can expound on different defenses, legal statutes, and more. Realtors can discuss the intricacies of selling or buying a home. Doing so helps establish trust while boosting your SEO, so don’t discount a topic just because it may seem easy or obvious to you. Share your knowledge!

Pros and Cons

Have you ever poured over a pros and cons list for a new camera, laptop, or other product? They are extremely helpful for people considering a purchase but who are on the fence and just want to know more. By sharing information about your products and making it easy to determine which features they have and their benefits, you simplify the buying process for your potential customers and make it more likely that they will be from you. You can also compare different products or even different models of the same product. 

Do’s and Don’ts

Do’s and Don’ts posts are almost like short tutorials or guides. They help emphasize the best practices of a particular aspect of your industry. For example, if we wanted to do a “Do’s and Don’ts” post, we could do:

  • The Do’s and Don’ts for Posting Saveable Content on Instagram
  • The Do’s and Don’ts for Creating a Backlink Strategy that Google Loves
  • The Do’s and Don’ts for Writing Content People Want to Share

Think about where your expertise lies and what types of content your client base may be interested in. For example, a Realtor could tackle “The Do’s and Don’ts for Stylishly Staging Your Home So It Sells Fast,” while a Personal Injury Lawyer could pen, “The Do’s and Don’ts for Dealing with a Traffic Accident.”

FAQs

Want to capture featured snippets and tackle some of the questions you or your staff get asked the most? FAQ posts are a great way to capture a variety of keywords related to your industry. By answering the questions your team gets asked all the time, you make it easy for potential customers and clients to learn what they want to know. Plus, because featured snippets on the Google search results page are generally in question form, you can increase your chances of being linked from one of those coveted spots. 

Industry Glossaries

Not everyone is well-versed in your industry. In some industries, the terminology can be confusing and may leave people frustrated. A glossary that defines your industry terminology can make it easier for visitors to navigate your site and understand your services.

For example, if you are a lawyer, a glossary defining commonly used legal terms can make it easier for potential clients to understand their situation and have a more productive conversation with you as their potential legal counsel. The same goes for any specialized industry—financial services, fintech, health companies, cybersecurity firms, and more.

Create a Video (and Get the Transcript)

Videos can be an exciting way to introduce content variety while still ticking the “long-form content” box. A 20-minute video will produce a transcript of about 2,000 words depending on how quickly you speak. You can either create a script and post the script with the video so people can choose whether to read or watch. Or you can speak about a topic and then send the video to be transcribed. Post the transcript with the video so Google can easily crawl it and index it.

Adding Long-Form Blog Posts to Your Content Strategy

Your content strategy should detail what you’re publishing, who it’s for, and when it should go live. For example, if you want to do a blog post about eco-friendly dry cleaning, you will want to determine your audience (people who are curious about green cleaning but haven’t tried it out yet) and then create your timeline. Your posting date should provide you with plenty of time to create, edit, upload, and optimize your content. 

To add long-form content to your pre-existing strategy, you will want to create a column specifying the content type or length to your spreadsheet or doc. 

Next, take a look at what’s already on your content strategy. Could some of your blog post ideas be used as a basis for more comprehensive posts? If so, note that in your length/content type column. If not, spread out your content to create room for longer posts and begin the content and keyword research process to find exciting angles to tackle.

You should try to do a long-form content piece every month. As with all blog posts, consistency is important, so stick to your schedule and continue to create new content that appeals to your target audience.

If you don’t already have a content strategy, what are you waiting for? Content is one of the best ways to get more people to your website and highlight what’s unique about your business. 

Need help brainstorming ideas, generating posts, or just running your blog in general? Want the results without the learning curve? With Digital Neighbor’s content service, you get a whole content team on your side. Contact us today to learn more.

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