Building a popular and high-ranking website requires content. Without content, there’s no incentive for users to visit it or for search engines to rank it. Rather than creating short-form content, though, you should focus on creating long-form content.
While there’s no officially recognized length for long-form content, most experts consider any page of content with a minimum of 1,000 words as being long form.
Why should you create long-form content?
Promotes a lower bounce rate
If you’ve noticed that your website has a high bounce rate, long-form content may help. Bounce rate is a Google Analytics-tracked engagement metric for the percentage of single-page sessions. Users who only visit a single page during their session will be tracked as a bounce.
Achieving a zero percent bounce rate is nearly impossible. Fortunately, creating long-form content can keep this negative engagement metric in check. Users are more likely to visit other pages on your website if your site features long-form content. And as long as a user visits at least two pages, he or she won’t be tracked as a bounce. Bounces only occur with single-page sessions.
Encourages a longer time on page
fTime on page is an engagement metric that, like bounce rate, is tracked by Google Analytics. You can use Google Analytics to see how long, on average, users stay on a given page.
Long-form content encourages a longer time on page by providing users with more information to consume. A study conducted by researchers at the Nielsen Norman Group found that the average time on page for long-form content is over one minute, compared to just 20 to 40 seconds for short-form content with a maximum of 400 words.
Projects expertise and authority
Creating long-form content, of course, takes time. You’ll have to identify a relevant topic, research the topic and then write about it. Even then, you’ll probably want to proofread and optimize the content before publishing it.
While it is more time-consuming, taking a more comprehensive content approach for your topic will help position your website as the authority.
Attracts natural backlinks
There’s no better way to attract natural backlinks than by creating long-form content. According to a study conducted by Backlinko, pages built with longer content attract over 77 percent more natural backlinks than those built with short-form content. You are more likely to attract organic links because your content offers more value.
Increases social media engagement
The number of times a piece of content is shared on social media may be influenced by its length. According to Neil Patel, content articles with more words are shared more often on social media. And more shares of your content on social media, the more they will engage with your site.
Helps your website rank higher
Search engines don’t require pages to have a specific number of words in order to rank. There are plenty of top-ranked pages with fewer than 300 words.
Backlinko found that the average length of indexed content ranking on the first page of Google’s search results is nearly 2,000 words. Lower-ranked content, conversely, tends to have fewer words.
Your website will experience increased user engagement as well, which could further increase its search rankings. User engagement reveals whether users are satisfied or dissatisfied with your website. If users enjoy your website, they’ll engage with it. Dissatisfied users, on the other hand, may not engage with your website. Search engines evaluate user engagement when ranking websites.
Regardless of the length, you should create original content that provides value to your users. Long-form content, however, is particularly beneficial. It promotes a lower bounce rate, preserves crawl budget, encourages a longer time on page, projects expertise and authority, helps your website rank higher and increases social media engagement. You can still create pages with short-form content, but going long-form with your website’s content will help it succeed.