Almost every marketing company or SEO out there will tell you that the time of simply writing a few hundred highly targeted keywords in your blog posts has long gone. Most of them will tell you that it is all about long form, well written and well researched content – all of which is not only time consuming but expensive if you outsource it and hard work if you are doing it yourself.
The trouble is – in this day and age it is hard to know who to believe as everyone has differing opinions on what is “defacto” and more to the point few of them have any actual evidence to back it up.
Sure you can look at track record and the successes that they may have had with previous clients – which is perfectly valid in terms of the results they have achieved. The question though is whether it is those long form posts they were creating for the client or whether it was a combination of things that lead to their client success.
So what size content do you really need to create in order to get ranking high on Google and more to the point, does it have to be long form?
On 21st January 2016, backlinko.com did a large scale study and by large scale I’m talking over 1 million search results analysed – it’s findings were extremely interesting
“Based on SERP data from SEMRush, we found that longer content tends to rank higher in Google’s search results. The average Google first page result contains 1,890 words.”
Steve Rayson of Moz.com bloggged, “Content, Share and Links: Insights from analyzing 1 million articles”, you can download his 31 page pdf here
So the research shows that longer form content and specifically content in excess of 2k is most likely to be a success. So in effect, time spent creating 5 x 500 word blog posts could be wasted whilst time spent creating 1 x 2,500 word blog post would indeed reap the SERP rewards.
Oksumo also chimed in with a blog posts on the results
Why Content Goes Viral: What Analyzing 100 Million Articles Taught Us
“If you look at the chart below, the longer the content, the more shares it gets, with 3000-10000 word pieces getting the most average shares (8859 total average shares). Not surprisingly, there was a lot more short-form content being written. How much more? There were 16 times more content with less than 1000 words than there were content with 2000+ words.”
It is totally evident from this chart that you are far more likely to have your content shared on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest etc if you are producing content that is 3,000 words plus as opposed to content that is 1000 words or less.
This is generally the opposite to most peoples thoughts that we are only likely to share short, digestible bits of content with our friends and family circles. That is certainly not what the data is telling us!
Gareth Moon from Coshedule did some research himself
5 Things That Will Change Your Mind About Long Form Content Marketing
“Yes, it’s true. Long-form content ranks higher on average than shorter pages. In my results, the pages in the top five (1-5) averaged more than 2,000 words per page. In the bottom half (6-10), the posts only averaged 1,400 words. Long-form content was absolutely weighted to the top of the list.”
So what’s the deal here – we need longer content then right?
Well that really depends on your overall aim and everything needs to be taken in to consideration, specifically the reasons for your content.
Let me elaborate – if you are currently blogging and writing about 500 words and you are doing that say once or twice a week – that’s great – you’re getting the content out to your audience on a regular basis and engaging with them (which is what blogging is all about).
Now if you were to take these figures on face value, you might think “I don’t have the time to write 2000 word articles every week, I’ll just do one a month instead”
That would probably do you a grave disservice because the content that you are sharing is being consumed by your readers and to them it is valuable.
If you switched to posting longer content but far less frequently then it WILL effect your business.
The other angle of course is that if you are just wittering on about something to try and drag out the word count then your post is going to become boring pretty quickly and not as interesting and engaging as shorter posts might have been.
The content needs to be clear, concise and above all “connect” with the reader so that they will engage with you.
I could go on but already here I am just over 800 words and I feel as though I have got my point across.
So could I have dragged this out further? Sure – I could go on for another 2200 words firing all kinds of studies and figures around, showing you over and over again that longer is better and expressing this with more graphs and data and maybe even a video as well. Would that have got my point across to you any more than you have read already? You already know what I am trying to say don’t you.
Enjoy discuss and if you have any questions on content creation or otherwise then feel free to drop me a line (preferably not 3000 words worth)