Is Short-Form Content or Long-Form Content Better?

Writing good content is the lifeline of your business’s website. Sure, having a pretty-looking website in general already gives you some competitive edge. However, using flash or cool graphics isn’t enough to increase your SEO. Most importantly, it’s not enough to drive consumers to purchase your product or service. 

Short Form or Long Form Content

Website Content Writing

Website content writing can do wonders for your SEO. Because keywords play a huge factor in your Google search rank, content writing is a technique to incorporate keywords. When you write content using a focus keyword (including additional keywords) a certain number of times, the more likely your website will pop up first on the search engine results page. 

Besides SEO, what else does website content writing do for your business? It brings brand awareness.

The Content Marketing Institute calls content marketing a “profit center.” In other words, the purpose for content writing/marketing is to subscribe, win, and grow a loyal customer base. When writing your website content, your sales goal is to create demand for your products and services. Typically, this starts with engaging an audience with content, turning them into subscribers, and ultimately into customers.

How Does Content Marketing Help Find Customers?

Written website content is used as a marketing technique to create a demand for a good or service among your audience. There are three different ways that content marketing does this:

  • Establishes your credibility in the industry

One way that website content writing drives demand, is that it establishes credibility in your industry. 

When writing informative content about your product or service, you not only educate an audience, but show that you’re well-versed in your industry. When your audience sees that you have a lot of knowledge, it makes your business more of an authority figure. Therefore, gaining more trust from your audience which will then turn into consumers.

Ways that you can seem more credible in your writing are:

  • Referring to your credentials or skills
  • Using research from credible sources
  • Using your own personal experience
  • Showing your genuine interest in the topic

Ultimately, credibility and authority can persuade an audience to buy your good/service over your competition’s.

Content

  • Creates emotions

It’s no hidden secret that advertisers take an emotional approach to trigger a need for their products. In fact, content that appeals to the audience’s emotions is more likely to resonate with their values. Therefore, showing that you care about their needs rather than yours as a business. 

Some techniques that use an emotional appeal include

  • Using descriptive or figurative language such as metaphors, similes, or symbolism
  • Real life stories 
  • Vivid imagery

Using an emotional appeal can be highly persuasive and get your audience to strongly react to your content. This ultimately gets them to have a quicker call-to-action.

  • Acts as a voice of reason

Besides using content to establish your business as an authority figure, it can also act as a voice of reason. 

Instead of thinking like a business owner, put yourself in a consumer’s perspective. We as consumers use logic when making purchasing decisions. In other words, you can write the most informative content on your products and services, but how does this information serve your audience’s needs? You need to provide a logical reason as to why a product/service will benefit them.

So, how exactly do you use logic as persuasion? Here are a few ways:

  • Statistics
  • Facts 
  • Data
  • Charts
  • Graphs 

A real world example of using a logical appeal is Apple highlighting the features and specs of a new iPhone. As you can see, this approach can be very persuasive as it gives your audience a solid reason on why they need your products and/or service.

So, what makes good content?

Content that takes any of the persuasive approaches listed above is considered good, but what exactly is website content writing? 

It comes in many forms including (but not limited to) blogs, infographics, emails, and social media posts. Once you decide which one of the persuasive approaches to take, then you can choose which type of content writing you would like to proceed with.

However, writing effective content requires you to use some creative brain power which isn’t an easy task for everyone. That’s why digital advertising agencies like SEO Design Chicago can help. We have experts that are well-versed in using different persuasive approaches as well as writing different types of content. There are many reasons to outsource your content writing to experts. 

Short Form vs Long Form Content

Short-Form Content vs. Long-Form Content

Another important factor that goes into website content writing is length. According to the Search Engine Journal, interest, education, intent, and journey all play a role in content length. 

In other words, there’s no universal rule when it comes to determining the right length of your content. It all depends on your audience, product and business goals. 

As a content writer, it’s vital to keep your readers’ needs in mind while maintaining their engagement and attention. This is actually one of the trickiest parts of content writing, besides coming up with the content itself. That’s why in this case, length does matter.

There are two lengths of content writing. Long-form and short-form. 

Each length serves a different purpose and is best used for a variety of reasons. When content writers are deciding between long-form or short-form content, they always keep purpose and user intent in mind. 

5 things to keep in mind when choosing the length of your content are:

  • how much your audience already knows;

  • how interested you audience is in your content;

  • what resources your content provides for readers;

  • the intent your audience has and if keywords cater to their intent; and

  • what goals your business is trying to achieve.

There has always been ongoing debate on whether short-form or long-form content is better in terms of SEO and reader engagement. Most people might think that the longer the content, the better. In fact, this is a myth. There is a ton of studies and data that actually prove short-form content to be more effective than long-form. Of course, all of this is subjective. No need to worry though.

In this article, we will discuss the difference between the two lengths, why, and when they are used.

Long-Form Content

Short-Form Content

Short-form content is usually 600 words or less, has a short reading time, and does not take much critical thinking. Some examples of short-form content include social media posts, blog posts, and emails.

Thanks to technology, the human attention span has exponentially shortened over the past decade. As a matter of fact, studies show that people only read about 60% of an article. This is why digital marketers tend to use short-form content to feed small chunks of information as this is easier for readers to process information. 

Other cases when short-form content is best used include:

  • If readers already have some familiarity and trust with your business;

  • When advertising inexpensive or commonly used items; and 

  • When readers have converted from subscribers to customers i.e. ready to purchase your products/services

Social media marketing is a great real-life example of short-form content. When you create posts on platforms such as Instagram or Twitter, you have a character limit. This can be both a blessing and a curse. Although it doesn’t require an essay to tweet something, it can be challenging to effectively deliver your message in brevity. This poses as one of the downsides to short-form content writing. SEO Design Chicago offers social media marketing services that focus on traffic bringing content.

Another challenge that short-form content faces is that Google search results don’t exactly favor content that is less than 1500 words. This can pose a problem for your SEO because it heavily relies on the use of keywords. Due to the limiting factors of short-form content, your Google search rank can suffer as a result.

Short-Form Content

Long-Form Content

Long-form content is 1,000 words or more, usually in the form of whitepapers, scholarly articles, or e-books.  This kind of content is used to show readers a business’s expertise in their products and most importantly their industry. Remember how we discussed the credibility and logical approach to persuading your readers? This is where long-form content comes in handy because it can be used to give in-depth information about your products and services.

One of the goals of using long-form content is to identify your readers’ needs and educate them on it. A real world example is a pharmaceutical company using scholarly articles or medical research to explain why a certain drug will help cure a chronic illness. Ultimately, this helps your readers resort to logic and reasoning when it comes to making purchasing decisions.

Other cases when long-form content is best used include:

  • High end products and services that are more expensive

  • Products and services that need more purchasing commitment

  • When readers have little to zero awareness or knowledge on your products/services.

Another important thing to keep in mind is that long-form content is more favored by Google search results. This brings more traffic to your website and benefits your SEO in the long run. 

Even though long-form content is better for SEO and more informative than short-form content, retaining information as a reader can be challenging. Another challenge it faces is keeping the reader engaged.

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