Choosing the Best Length of Content for Your Website: Short-Form Vs Long-Form 

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How long should your content be? That is probably one of the most common questions content writers come across. Technically, a 400-word article is enough for it to be indexed by Google. However, adding a lot more words can amplify your content, educate your readers more deeply, position your brand as a thought leader, and help you rank well in search engines.

That is a lot of benefits. But short-form content also boasts quite a few advantages such as it requires less time to create, it is mobile-friendly, it is preferred by many readers, and it offers the opportunity to easily produce a huge variety of content frequently.

So, how do you know the ideal length of your content? It actually depends. This article will guide you the type of content that will work for your business.

What is a short-form content?

Any content that is 1,000 words or less is typically considered short-form content. It can take the form of blog posts, list posts, infographics, social media posts, and so on.

Key Benefitsshort-form content

Perfect for online scanners. Majority of readers online are scanners, meaning they would rather scan through an article quickly than spend time reading through it in detail. According to a study, 55% of Internet users spend fewer than 15 seconds actively on a page.

Works for mobile browsers. Over half of online consumers access content on their mobile devices. They want to have bite-sized messages that tell a meaningful story while they are on the go. Short-form content is more mobile-friendly than long-form counterpart.

Takes less time to create. Another excellent advantage of producing short-form content is that it doesn’t require as much effort and time. Therefore, you can produce content more often and update your blog more often.

Easily shared on social media. It is obvious that short-form content dominates the social media space due to the fact that it is easy to create, read, and share. Snapchat is an example platform that shows that short-form content is not only easy to share but is also more engaging and easier to digest.

What is a long-form content?

Long-form content could be any assets that go over 2000 words, although recently the word count is increasing from 3,000 to 10,000. It can take the form of guides, eBooks, tutorials, manuals, powers pages, research papers, videos, or webinars.

Key Benefits

Allows you to provide more value. It gives the readers a deeper and broader understanding of the topic. As a result, they are more inclined to visit your website for updates as well as become loyal subscribers to your mailing list.

Gets more shares as proven by BuzzSumo. Neil Patel also found that his blog posts that were over 1,500 words received 68% more tweets and 22% more Facebook likes than those that were under 1,500 words. Short-form content may perform better directly on the plarform, i.e. short status updates on Facebook, but when it comes to blogs and articles, long-form content is more likely to be shared, with a link, which will lead people back to your site to read your content.

More opportunities to rank for long-tail keywords. When you have more keywords it will become more diverse and you will get more organic search traffic. Additionally, lengthy posts have become more vital as Google and other search engines tend to give priority to them, especially those that answer questions.

Establishes your brand as an industry expert. It enables you to prove that your brand is a reliable source of pertinent information. This improves your credibility, helps you earn your customers’ respect and increases your conversion rates in return.

Short-form Content versus Long-form Content

When choosing the right content length for your business, you have to review a few key elements. This may include your marketing objectives, your audience and their expectations and interest, your industry and products/services, the customer experience and journey, and the platform. Once you have these elements checked, adapt your content length accordingly.

Situations that work well for short-form content

  • When your customers are already familiar with your product or service. Thus, you no longer have to provide in-depth information about what you are offering.

  • When your product or service is commonly used and less expensive, hence less explanation and persuasion are required. You can be confident that your customer will purchase your product without having to convince them why they should.

  • When you are writing content for platforms that require fewer words, such as social media posts, email or ads. It is also suitable for ad hoc communication.

  • When you want to provide quick answers, summaries, roundup posts, text-only content, tips and tricks.

Situations that work well for writing long-form content

  • When you want to explain a new product or service or when your audience has little to no awareness of your product or service. Through long-form content, your customers can understand what exactly you are offering and how they can benefit from it.

  • When your product or service comes with higher price tags. You will want to persuade your customers to purchase your product or service even if it is more expensive than the usual ones in the market.

  • When you’re marketing a product that is more technical in nature. This is often referred to as technical marketing, a method of marketing that focuses on a product’s key features and specs, designed to appeal to customers with a base technological understanding of a product.

  • When you want to offer in-depth research, white papers, detailed explanations and guides.

In Conclusion…

The right way to approach your content plan is to incorporate a mix of long-form content and short-form content – as both have their own value and purpose. Figure out what is best for your situation or goal at hand. Test each content and measure how your audience responds. And don’t forget that quality is always better than quantity. A customer would rather read short content that offers valuable insights than a long post that is boring and provides no value.

What does your content look like? Whether you need long-form or short-form content, we have a team of content experts who can revamp your existing content and make them work out for your marketing objectives. Get in touch.

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