How long should a blog post be?
This is a question every content marketer is asking.
Writing long-form content does not necessarily boost its quality. Nevertheless, research has shown that long-form content can get better search rankings.
In this article, you will learn how to write optimized long-form content.
But first, let’s look at statistics that back up long-form content.
- An analysis by Backlinko of over 1M Google search results shows that blog posts with an average word count of 1,890 words have higher chances of ranking on the first page of Google’s search results.
- Another analysis by BuzzSumo shows that content with 3,000 to 10,000 words gets more shares on social media than short form content.
- HubSpot, on the other hand, found that content with at least 2,500 words received most Google search traffic and most backlinks.
From these studies, it’s evident that writing optimized long-form content can boost Google rankings, earn more backlinks, and get the most shares on social media. Therefore, when writing your blog post, your content should be more than 1,000 words at the minimum. On the maximum, you can write up to 2,500 words or more, if you can.
Benefits of Optimized Long-Form Content
There are plenty of benefits of writing informative, optimized, in-depth, long-form content.
Usually, long-form content is a blog post with 1,500+ words.
So, let’s find out the benefits of writing optimized long-form content before we learn how to go about the process of writing it.
#Optimize Long-form Content Ranks Better in Google’s Search Results
In a bid to get more clicks and better conversions, content marketers strive to rank their content in the first pages of Google’s search results. This is exactly what long-form content can do. As seen in the studies above, content with more than 1,890 is likely to rank better in search engines that short-form content.
#Long-Form Content Builds Authority
People are looking for in-depth, informative, and useful information that could help them solve a problem they are facing.
If you were the one looking for information on how to start an online business, would you put your faith in on a 500-word post or a long-form blog post?
Most likely, you will prefer to read the long-form one.
In fact, that’s the main reason why Google favors long-form content for certain topics
#Long-Form Content Gets the Most Shares on Social Media
According to the study by Assignment Holic, long-form content receives the most shares on social media. People would prefer to read and share content with their networks if they find it informative, in-depth, and properly optimized.
#Long-Form Content Remains Evergreen for Longer
Another amazing benefit of long-form content is that it will continue to attract traffic, earn backlinks, get shared on social media and better rankings for a long period of time.
Overall, long-form content is unbeatable. No matter what your intentions are, it will still get you better results than short-form content.
That said; let’s get into the meat of the article.
How to Create Optimized Long-Form Content
Having seen that long-form content earns you more backlinks, social shares, and better rankings, how do you go about creating it in the first place?
Most people will think that creating long-form content is all about aiming at writing a blog post with more than 1,500 words.
Well, while long-form content is one that has more than 1,500 words, you also need to understand that it’s more than just text. You also need to make it visually attractive by adding images, videos, GIFs, graphs, and memes where possible. This way, your blog post will become more engaging and unforgettable.
Let’s get started.
1) Define the Aim of Your Content
Before you start writing a blog post or an article, you should first define what you want to achieve from it.
There are plenty of end goals for every type of content.
For instance, some content marketers would want to create long-form content to create brand awareness, some will want to attract more leads and some will want to introduce a new product or service to the market.
For you to get the results you desire, you need to identify who the reader of your content is and the mission you want your content to accomplish.
Another important thing you should not forget is measuring the goals. For instance, you could measure the success of your content by the number of shares it receives, website traffic it attracts, or the number of leads.
Put these questions in mind.
- What’s the main aim of writing this blog post?
- Who am I writing it for?
- What would I consider a success and how would I measure it?
Once you define your end goals, it would be much easier to measure success.
2) Pick the Right Topic
No matter how good your content is, it won’t get you better results if no one will read it. In addition, it will not stand out from the crowd if it does not outshine your competitors.
For that reason, you should take advantage of some powerful analytics tools like Ahrefs Keyword Explorer to find the best topics in the industry. BuzzSumo is also another powerful tool to help you find out the type of content that receives the most social shares.
You might as well adjust and extend your existing content or decide to write a fresh blog post.
Check out on social media or industry forums to find out hot topics in the industry. Interview your audience to know the problem they are facing and the information they are searching for on the internet.
3) Decide the Type of Content to Write (Gated or Ungated?)
As seen above that before you start writing content you should define your end goals, you should decide on the content that would assist you in achieving those goals.
For instance, if you want to build your email list and generate leads, you should create gated content. Note that gated content might push away potential readers and hinder social shares. Also, with gated content, you will have to struggle when identifying fake email addresses from the genuine ones
Gated content is one that readers are required to provide their information for them to access and read it.
For instance, a reader wanting to access the content will be required to provide their first name and email addresses. This way, it would be easier for you to gain information about them thus making it easier for you to put them into your sales funnel.
On the other hand, ungated content is helpful if you are planning to attract more traffic and increase your organic search rankings. That’s because users are allowed the freedom to click wherever they want without providing their email addresses. However, with ungated content, you will lack information about who is reading your content which makes it hard to convert visitors into real buyers.
You have to decide on the route to take putting in mind the good sides and bad sides of each route.
4) Start Writing
If you have reached this far with me, congratulations are in order for you. This is the easiest part but a complex one for those who aren’t keyboarding warriors.
But don’t fret. You can either decide to do it yourself or hire a freelance content marketer to do it for you.
Here, you should aim for quality content that stands out from the crowd. For that reason, if you aren’t comfortable or knowledgeable to create the content by yourself, you should be prepared to pay for quality work.
If you have an in-house writing team, the better but outsourcing your writing work to freelance writers is believed to be a cost-effective method.
What you need to understand is that top-quality content isn’t cheaper to get and because you want to build credibility and brand awareness, you should avoid below-par content like plague.
Now if you decide to outsource your content writing work, you should ensure to provide the freelance content writer with clear instructions and if possible provide some examples of content you want.
Here is an example of an email you may want to use it as an inspiration when looking for a freelance writer for your project.
I hope this message finds you well. I have an upcoming project and would like to know if you have the time to write a quick-fire guide to write optimized long-form content. I’ve attached the instructions, outline, and the keywords to be integrated and how to use them throughout the content.
Some additional notes:
- Content should be 1,500-2,00 words no fluff
- Ensure to format the blog post properly and make it readable. Use short paragraphs, at least three sentences each paragraph
- Use H2 for subheads; H3 for sub-subheads.
- Use images 700×355 px (size)
- Include links to authoritative sites
- The first link should lead to one of essay writing help posts.
- Use active voice
Let me know how much you will charge for the blog post and whether you need further clarification.
Well, if you have been working with the freelancer for a long period of time, you will not need to give out instructions since they already know what to do with the topic you assign them.
Over To You!
When creating optimized long-form content, you should not only focus on the number of words but put more emphasis on your conversion goals, a top performing topic, and your target audience. Once you are done writing, share your content, measure results, and be patient.
Jacob Dillon is an editor and journalist from Sydney. The best way for Jacob to express himself is to write. Being passionate about what he does, Jacob likes to discuss stirring events as well as express his opinion about technological advancements and evolution of society. Find Jacob on Twitter.