Both short-form and long-form content play an important role in content marketing. You may be wondering, what is the difference and how can they help to propel your business forward? Is long-form content better than short-form content or vice versa? In this article, we’re going to look at the importance of content length and how it should play into your online business marketing plan.
Table of Contents
What is Short-Form Vs Long-Form Content?
The exact definition of short-form vs. long-form content is up for debate in the content marketing world. Most content marketers consider short-form content to refer to anything fewer than 1200 words, but some definitions limit that length even further to content under 1000 words or even content under 500 words.
Short-form content is designed to offer a quick, easy answer without providing too much information about a topic. This is generally accomplished either by focusing on a very specific topic or by providing an overview without getting into too many details.
Some common short-form content examples include:
- Short blog posts and articles
- Email content
- Social media posts
On the other hand, the long-form content definition can range from 1200 words up to 20,000 words or more. This allows the writer to share significantly more detail about a topic. While this could refer to much longer blog posts, other long-form content examples include:
- How-to guides
- Pillar pages
- In-depth tutorials
- Case studies
Why is Short-Form Content Popular?
If short-form content is limited in how much information it can provide to your audience, why is it so popular and how can it help your business? It’s a fair question!
The evolution of technology has created a faster-paced society. We are more accustomed than ever to having everything we need at our fingertips – communication, online shopping, same-day delivery, and a wealth of information. But this has also given rise to an instant-gratification culture.
Short-form content appeals to those that want information quickly and easily. Take a moment to think about the last time you used Google to find the answer to a question. You likely weren’t looking to read a long story about the topic.
This is where short-form content shines – providing a quick answer without all the added “fluff”.
How Important is Content Length for SEO?
A long-standing recommendation by content marketing and SEO specialists has been to write longer content for SEO purposes. But this raises the question – does content length have a direct impact on your search performance?
The answer is both yes and no.
Determining the impact of content length on search performance isn’t as simple as hitting a set content length. Instead, you should focus your attention on the user intent of those searching. For some topics, this will require more detail and, as a result, longer content. But other search queries can be answered with a much shorter result.
Long-form content does allow more opportunities to incorporate keywords. But this isn’t the only factor influencing search performance. With the recent Helpful Content update on Google, you should focus on providing enough information to provide value to your audience without adding words just to meet a minimum word count.
Writers that add too much unnecessarily to their articles with the intention of increasing the keyword count can hurt the performance of their content.
Should a Business Blog Focus on Short-Form or Long-Form Content?
When deciding on short-form vs long-form content, you need to consider your audience and the intended purpose of the content that you are creating. When someone searches a specific query, are they looking for an in-depth tutorial or a quick answer? This will vary from query to query.
For example, if you are trying to rank for a query like “how to build a backyard porch”, you want to find all the information needed to build a safe and sturdy porch. This is going to require a more in-depth guide with all the information necessary.
On the other hand, a query like “can dogs eat carrots” can be answered quickly and in much fewer words. Even if you share the benefits of carrots, it can still be accomplished with short-form content.
When considering short-form vs long-form content, there is no simple answer. The secret to success if finding balance. Both short-form and long-form content are important tools to incorporate into your business blog and your greater content marketing plan. Start by identifying the goal of the content that you are publishing and allow that to determine which form of content is best suited to meet the needs of your audience.
Are you interested in creating a content marketing plan for your business that effectively incorporates both short-form and long-form content? Contact me to discuss your options and how I can help you achieve your marketing goals!
Are you interested in learning more about Content Marketing?
Sign up for my email newsletter to receive tips, tricks, and the latest content marketing news in your inbox each week!