4 Actionable Steps to Write Long Articles: Most researchers claim that modern users tend to skim through the Content, not read it word-by-word. But why then is long-form Content named one of the best sources of blog traffic and overall website success? Let’s find out what benefits this kind of Content has and how to create it.
What is long-form Content?
Long-from content evangelists name it one of the vital content types any blog and website needs. But hardly will they agree upon how long exactly long-from article should be. Some say that long-form articles start already from 700 words. Others will insist it to be at least 1,500 words.
I guess we may assume that long-form Content should be at least 1,000 – 1,200 words long. But it’s not the number of words that defines long-form Content. It is also the value that such posts provide. Longer posts usually contain more helpful info about the topic and show the issue from different angles.
Why your blog needs it
Of course, not every article you post on your website should be a long-form one. But having a decent amount of such pieces is highly beneficial for any blog. Here are the reasons why longer articles on your blog tend to bring more value to you and your visitors.
- It’s simple psychology: users tend to perceive wordy pieces as something that contains more data and more helpful info, thus bringing more value to them. Thus, more long-form guides and in-depth research on your blog help position you as an expert in your niche.
- Better rankings. Despite not setting it out loud, Google favors longer articles and ranks them higher in SERPs. Thus, its Panda algorithm update greatly influenced many blogs with the so-called “thin content” in 2012. Although the Ahrefs study revealed that the average amount of Top 10 articles is still under 800 words, even these longer articles tend to outperform short 400-words pieces.
- Search relevancy. Long-form articles are mostly considered topically relevant when they cover some topic in-depth. They can also be naturally optimized for a bigger number of topic-related keywords.
- More Backlinks and shares. Researches show that long-form articles generate more Backlinks and shares than shorter pieces. It must be connected with the sense mentioned above of trustworthiness that longer guides and case studies produce.
Creating long-form Content step-by-step
I guess I convinced you of the value that long-form Content brings to your website. It’s time to share strategies that should help anyone create a long article like a pro.
Research your audience before creating any Content. You should first think about who will read it. Focusing on the topic of your interest is tempting. It gives you an opportunity of showing yourself as an expert in a chosen niche. But will your readers need this expertise?
The best idea here is to define your target audience and find out its needs and problems. You can directly ask your users to share their thoughts and ideas about what they would like to read at your blog. Read comments they leave to other articles and on other websites. Ask them to share their ideas via social media and emails.
You can also check out what Content on your website already brings you traffic and improve it. Don’t forget to spy on your competitors, research what Content helps them rank in the Top 10 on Google, and create 10x better articles on the same topic.
1. Choose the right keywords.
Using the right keywords across the text helps you with many goals. The main idea here is getting into the topically-relevant searches the readers perform. Here it would help if you considered many characteristics keywords have.
First, you may not wish to rank for long-tail keywords with long-form Content. The truth is, long-tails usually have such low search traffic that your efforts spent on a huge article may not pay out in a decent traffic flow. So it would help if you were trying mid-competitiveness keywords or higher. At this stage, you might wish to use keyword generation tools that will show you the estimated traffic you may get with this keyword, related search keywords to include into your Content and even reveal the keywords that your competitors use in similar articles.
2. Determine the article format
Choosing the right format for the article is highly important. It helps attract the right audience and keep its attention on the Content. It also helps keep up with the other formats of the blog.
Moreover, one and the same keyword can be easily written in different formats, e.g., for the keyword “keyword research tools,” you can try the following:
- 15 Best Keyword Research Tools (a list);
- How to Use Keyword Research Tools for Creating Content (a how-to guide);
- Cheat-Sheet for Using Keyword Research Tools (Infographic) etc.
No matter the format you choose, the Content should be well-researched and complete to show that they don’t have to search anywhere else to get more info on the topic.
Write an outline (and the text itself)
Writing an outline is a crucial step for content writing. However, many writers tend to skip this stage and form the content shape during the writing process. It’s a wrong strategy.
Creating an outline before writing the text will not only ease the work for you (or the writer you hire). The outline will also help you include many additional and closely-related keywords your topic may also rank for.
Here’s how to use the entire amount of keywords you gathered during your keyword research:
- Start with the broad keywords (with high competitiveness) and create a rough plan for the topic (e.g., what is keyword research. How to do keyword research. Keyword research tools…);
- Expand each section with more specific sections using more specific keywords. Thus, “What is keyword research” can be divided into “What are keywords,” “Keywords characteristics” etc.;
- Spell out details for search subsection using more closely-related and long-tail keywords.
This simple tactic will allow you to include tons of cool keyword suggestions into the text and outrank your competitors with them.
To sum up
These are the basic steps to start creating long-form Content for your website. Then you have to sit and write an article that will cover the topic of choice in depth. Try to create Content that will be explicit and require nothing to add. Then users will not have to look for more at the competitors’ websites. Contact SEO Agentur Hamburg Services today to see the transformation in your business, one of the leading Local SEO Hamburg.