The evolution of the internet and the devices used to browse it changed the way content writers craft their articles. In the beginning, there was absolutely no difference between print and online articles. Now, we see a huge difference: in the layout and formatting, in the length of sentences and paragraph, even in the choice of words.
However, there are two schools of thought that have not reached a consensus yet: one of them advocates for long-form content (articles of over 1,000 words) and short-form content. This article is not really going to tell you which one is better because this is not a one-size-fits-all situation.
What Really Matters: A Good Content Mix
In reality, there will be situations when long-form content will prove more useful and valuable than the other, and vice-versa. Thus, what really matters is to know the strong and weak points of each of the two content writing forms.
We are here to help you create a great content mix, which will boost your lead generation and sales efforts. To this end, we will go in detail with the analysis of long-form and short-form content.
1. Educate Your Readers
Long-form content is ideal for tutorials, how-to articles, cheat sheets, etc. With this type of content, you can detail each step to achieve a specific goal in great detail, so that even an inexperienced person can follow through.
2. Reach Your SEO Goals
Long-form content is truly great for promoting your chosen keywords. You can use a mix of the main keyword, synonyms, long-tail keywords, and LSI keywords without being penalised by Google. At the same time, it is easier for a content writer to integrate so many keywords in one article in a natural, easy to read manner.
3. You Stand Out among Competitors
It takes skill and time to create long-form content. Not everyone has the ability to write such detailed content or afford to pay a skilled copywriter. Thus, you can have a competitive advantage over other businesses: you offer prospects the detailed information they are looking for.
1. Expensive to Create
One of the strong points of long-form content is also a weak point. If you do not have a consistent marketing budget, you won’t be able to hire a good copywriter to create a valuable long content form.
2. Not Mobile Friendly
The long content form is awkward to read on a mobile phone. It involves a lot of scrolling down and many people do not have the time to read long articles during the lunch break or while waiting for a taxi.
3. You May Lose the Reader’s Attention
Even if they are sitting comfortably on the sofa and reading on the laptop, your readers may simply get bored or distracted and abandon your article before reaching the CTA.
When Should You Use It: Long-form content is ideal for the top of the funnel, for readers who know next to nothing about your business and your services.
1. Ideal for News Stories
On certain occasions, it is better to be quick about sharing an article than take your time to go in-depth. This is the case of news of great importance for your readers. For example, if you are in the mobile phone business, the news of Google no longer allowing Huawei to use Android OS is best served as soon as possible. Details can follow later, in an analysis article.
2. Easy to Share on Social Media
People are likely to share short-form content on Facebook™ and Twitter because they know that their friends are as busy as they are. Thus, they will appreciate a quick and insightful read.
3. Better Engagement
With short-form content, there is a decreased risk of losing your reader’s attention. Thus, if you want to get them to take action, this is the ideal type of content.
1. Poor Performance in Google Indexing
The minimum required length of an article for proper indexing by Google is 300 words. But even this does not guarantee good SEO results, let alone promoting keywords.
Short-form content cannot go in-depth with explanations, so some readers may feel dissatisfied and label it as superficial.
When It Is Best to Use It: Short form content is ideal for the bottom of the funnel when your leads need precise, actionable information and guidance.