Long-form content isn't always better for SEO than short-form material. It's debatable, much like a lot of things in SEO services. Long-form content isn't always required, and it's sometimes wasteful of time and resources. Other times, long-form content is critical to ranking well.
In this article, you'll learn how to calculate the right amount of text on a topic-by-topic basis. Everything is proven by our knowledgeable SEO agency team in London.
What are short and long-form?
Short-form content is anything under a thousand words. This is how we define it, but definitions vary. You may choose to define short-form content as anything less than five hundred words.
Long-form content is any piece of writing that is longer than a thousand words. This is how we see it defined. You may feel differently and only consider something long-form if it's more than two thousand words in length. It's your choice.
Which one is better?
If you're asking this question in the context of SEO, you're probably wondering if a thousand words are required to rank for a certain term. Alternatively, can something shorter be effective? Yes, that's a good question. However, you shouldn't make this decision based on an arbitrary word count. Instead, consider, “How much is enough to satisfy searchers?”
Here's a simple approach to address that concern in 5 easy stages:
Research on what ranks high
Locate the search results for your target keyword. This might be accomplished in several ways. Search on Google in an incognito window to gather information about your target location.
Choose the format of an article
Regardless of how much you write, your content is unlikely to rank unless it corresponds with what searchers want. This is why, generally, it's preferable to pick a writing style that is already ranking. Lists, how-tos, tutorials, reviews, definitions, "vs." postings are just a few of the most popular content types to look out for.
It is entirely up to you which format to use if there are mixed intent keywords in your text. Just bear in mind that some content formats will provide you with a better chance than others to market your company. For example, since we can detect keyword cannibalization problems with our tool, it's more practical to create a how-to than a definition article.
Outline the main thoughts
An outline for your content that is focused on search is a basic plan based on comparable top-ranking material. The thinking here is that top-ranking material with which similar may be compared to are clearly satisfying searchers, therefore analyzing it might assist you in determining what they want. A content gap analysis is the ideal starting point for a search-focused outline.
Take a look at the pages themselves and see what subheadings they have. This can also assist you in structuring your content and suggest additional topics that you had not considered previously.
Begin to write your piece of content
It's finally time to put words on paper and turn your outline into "content." This is when you get to use your imagination and share your expertise with the globe. Just remember not to stray too far from your outline; it's there to ensure that you cover all of the information that people are looking for.
Don't be concerned about word count or length yet. Simply concentrate on recording your ideas. If you're having trouble, here are a few pointers to get you started:
When the flow is established, you can type and keep writing. There's no backspacing to fix spelling mistakes. Sentences aren't rewritten. Simply write down what you see. You'll probably discover that your material flows better if you can master this technique.
Utilize a Pomodoro method
When you're done with the rough draft, it's time to move on to the final one. After that, you'll write for 25 minutes before taking a five-minute break. This is when you repeat this procedure as many times as needed to finish your material.
Choose the distraction-free writing tool that suits you best
Regardless of which program you pick, I don't recommend using one that displays the word count as you type. It's too distracting, and it might persuade you to think, "This is growing rather quickly," or "This seems quite brief." This is the polar opposite of how you should think. You simply want to write as much as is required, and no more. Don't even consider the word count.
Get rid of the unnecessary information
It doesn't matter whether your material is long-form or short-form; no matter how far you progress in your writing, it will always be way too long. It'll include run-on phrases and subjects that aren't important, as well as excessively lengthy paragraphs.
It may seem awful, but that is precisely what a first draft should look like. Once your thoughts are on paper, it will be much simpler to cut and improve them than it would have been while you were writing.
The first stage is self-editing. This is where you go through your first draft and cut everything that isn't relevant to the story. You should also go over any meandering phrases and make sure everything is as brief as possible.
Step two is to ask a friend or coworker for input. This might be difficult because most people don't want to insult your feelings. I suggest explicitly asking them for advice on how to trim or reduce your expenditures. This should help their feedback be more focused, allowing them to feel less guilty about offending you.
The final stage is to go through the manuscript with a set of friend or colleague comments.
Your content needs to be that many words long, regardless of its length now. It could be long-form or short-form; it doesn't matter. What matters is that you've produced enough material to satisfy searchers' criteria.
Is writing so easy?
The goal is straightforward. Although there are a few other things to consider that might influence your decision.
Let's assume you're looking for subtopics for an article and discover one that you've previously covered.
Competitive key phrases may be treated in a different way
Let's pretend you're looking for a super competitive term like "SEO" in this scenario. On the SERP, we see a mix of definitions and tutorials, but virtually all of them have thousands of backlinks from other websites. Most of these pages are old and have acquired their backlinks over many years, continuing to earn links via the SEO vicious cycle. To rank for this term, you'll need a large number of backlinks.
In this situation, you'll have a hard time competing against the competition by simply producing search-focused content. You'll have a higher chance of obtaining the links you want if you write something engaging or inventive (and ideally follow up with outreach). Note that this does not mean you must produce long-form material. Long-form manuals can be link magnets as well, although short-format pieces cannot.
Instead of focusing on meeting a certain word count, concentrate on pleasing searchers.
If you're dealing with freelancers and need to give them a range number since you're paying per word, let your search-focused outline help you. Tell them to keep it brief and sweet if there isn't much ground to cover. If there's a lot to talk about, establish a rough limit and have them tell you whether the material needs to be expanded. It's important to give them some room for movement.