According to one study, the average blog post takes around 3 hours to write.
They say time is money. You may think that spending less time on each post would lead to more articles being turned out and therefore better SEO.
But is that actually the case? Is a lot of short content better than writing high-quality long-form blog posts?
We’re taking a look at 6 key reasons why upping your content length makes way more sense.
1. Higher Ranking on Google
This is what SEO is all about, after all.
Studies have shown that for the top 10 search results on a given topic, the average length of each article is over 2000 words. And those at the very top are usually between 2300 and 2500 words long.
Obviously, the length of the article isn’t the only deciding factor in where your page will rank. But longer articles allow you to offer more of the key things that make your SEO success.
Simply churning out 2000 words of trash won’t get your site to the top of the search results. But if you use those 2000 words correctly, it will mean that you can get a lot more SEO bang for your buck.
2. More Backlinks
An important consequence of writing longer content is more backlinks.
Backlinks, especially from high-quality sites, are a key part of any SEO strategy. So why does long-form content tend to do this better than shorter articles?
A big part of the reason for this is that your content is far more useful. A 500-word blog on the benefits of local SEO is unlikely to be something that people will be desperate to link to. But an in-depth guide into that topic that really provides useful and practical information is far more likely to do so.
Content creators want to include the most useful and authoritative external links in their work. So if you can offer longer articles that are useful and authoritative, you are going to get more backlinks. The statistics back this up; longer content generates far more backlinks on average than shorter content does.
3. More of What Readers Want
If someone ends up reading your article, it’s usually because they’re looking for information.
And it’s a no-brainer that you can provide far more useful information in 2000 words that you can in 500.
Consider listicles, a highly popular form of blog post. For a 500-word article, you can cover at most 5 points in any reasonable amount of depth. For a 2000 word article, that number can be 20 or more, or you could decide to have fewer points but really go into some serious depth on each one.
Which of those articles will offer more value to the reader? Which will give them the most of what they want? And which one are they most likely to link to?
4. More Shares
Giving the reader more of what they want not only leads to more links. It also leads to far more shares.
At first, this seems a little counter-intuitive. Social media is full of short, snappy posts. Twitter is built around this concept. So surely short-form content is the most likely to do well in this medium?
In fact, the opposite is true. Long-form content gets far more shares on social media than articles that are around 500-1000 words. The reason for this is because there are so many articles of that length, making it much harder for your content to stand out. With around 85% of all content being 1000 words or less, good quality long-form articles get a lot more notice, and therefore a lot more shares.
5. A Reputation for Knowledge
If you create long-form, in-depth content that is of real use then you will begin to acquire a reputation for knowing what you are talking about.
Many hugely successful blogs have done this. Finding a niche and providing what is seen as the definitive takes on specific topics means that people are more likely to come back to you when seeking information on that niche.
The better your reputation and authority, the more shares and backlinks you are going to garner. All of which is great for your SEO. Trying to build the same level of authority with 500-word articles is almost impossible as you just simply aren’t able to provide the level of detail or depth that will give your content real value.
6. More Time on Your Site
It may seem obvious, but the longer your content, the more time people will take to read it.
And the more time they spend reading it, the longer they are spending on your site. This metric is something that is used by search engines to determine how useful your content is. If people click away almost instantly, it’s unlikely your site has much worth.
But if people hang around on your site for some time, or click through to the next page of a long-form article, then this is a sign that you are providing real value to the user. The upshot of which is that search engines will see your site as offering good user satisfaction. And this is part of the complex system of deciding what ends up on the first page of results.
Need Help Creating High-Quality Articles of the Right Content Length?
Creating great articles with sufficient content length takes time, effort, and skill. But as we have seen, the rewards can be more than worth it.
So why not let us take the struggle off your hands, and leave you to concentrate on running your business. We offer a wide range of SEO products and services, including managed SEO. It means that you can leave the job of getting your site up the rankings to us and concentrate on what matters most: your business.