Establishing your company’s presence on search engines can take time, but the process can speed up once you know how to manage SEO. While proper use of keywords is important, it’s equally important to have well-written, highly optimized content that won’t just grab the attention of the algorithm but also potential readers.
However, answering the question of whether to focus on long-form or short-form content can be tricky. While experts believe that longer content can better answer the reader’s question and provide relevant information, it can be hard to keep focus. Additionally, can the same point be made in fewer words? It’s important to understand whether long-form or short-form content delivers the best results and the aspects that go into high-ranking content.
Authority is one of the key elements that Google uses to determine high-quality content as part of its larger E-A-T metric. Authority largely means that the creator of the content, the content itself, and the website carry a record of value. This may be easier to pull off when you have a longer article, but more isn’t necessarily always better. For instance, if a topic only requires a 500-word blog post, it’s best not to stretch and lose the audience’s attention. However, for content like how-to guides or case studies, it’s best not to rush the content for brevity and let it breathe. Showing expertise and multiple examples is a great way to boost your authority score.
Link-building is another key way to boost your rankings and increase your authority in the eyes of Google. This is done by creating links between your website and affiliate websites, ideally ones that are related to your subject matter but not a direct competitor. These websites should also be authoritative and rated highly by Google. If done right, this will increase traffic and help both sites build an audience. It’s important to know which links are performing, so a tool like Ahrefs Tool Guide: Keyword Explorer for e-Commerce can make it easier to filter out the best results and build on that success.
Finding the right balance for keywords can be tricky. Keywords are the words people use when searching, and finding the right one is key to success. Many people default to trying to force it in as many times as possible, but the problem with that is that it can come off as spam to Google’s metric. This is especially a concern if the content is shorter, and it seems like the keyword is in every other sentence. This is where longer content may work to your advantage. Not only is the keyword more spread out, but you can vary the way you use it and provide a more in-depth response to reader questions.
The ultimate goal of any search engine engagement is converting that initial click into a longer visit to the website and, hopefully, a subscription or purchase. Short-form content ideally brings people in for a few minutes and leads them to check out other website content. However, long-form content may be seen as more trustworthy, which will provide better odds of people sticking around.
To prevent people from feeling like they’ve spent enough time on the site and moving on, it can be effective to end long-form content by giving people the next step they can take. Linking to another article or to your purchase or subscription portal in the content can help your conversion rate from long-form content.
Social Media Engagement
Social media drives most of the traffic to websites these days, with websites like Twitter and Instagram forming an audience of billions to draw on. Most of these websites focus on short-form content, with Twitter being limited to 280 characters. So is short-form content best for social media engagement? Surprisingly not. Studies from Hubspot show that longer content is more likely to be shared on social media. Short-form content might be easier to get across on social media, but long-form content has the edge for staying power.
Long vs. Short
Is long-form content better than short-form content? It has some key advantages when it comes to gaining authority and building links and keywords, but it’s not as simple as all that. It depends on what audience you’re trying to aim for.
The ultimate goal of any content is to create conversions and engagement. Long-form content is effective, but only if you’re able to keep people engaged the whole way through. Quality and relevance is the key to building your online profile.
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