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Short Form vs Long Form : Which Content Type is Better for Your Blog?

Moeez — February 26, 2018 5 Minutes Read
short form vs long form content

In order for your content to work, you must have a clear content strategy in mind. Because whether it’s textual, visual, or audio, helpful content is the pillar of any successful website.

A clear content strategy requires a few elements to become useful. These include the type of keywords to target, the tone of your content, their [keyword] difficulty level, and of course, the length i.e. long or short.

In this article, I will be discussing the last one; taking you through the advantages of both the content types [long form and short form]. So, that you can understand and make an aware decision for your content plan.

Difference Between Long Form and Short Form Content

There are blogs that rank with just 500 words. Then, there are blogs that can’t even rank with 1500 words of content. Why is there so much difference in content ranking? Are there any special factors that you should focus on to rank better? Let’s learn all about it.

Long Form Content

The average word length of a long form content type is around 1500+ words. There is no upper limit but usually, it goes to 4,000 to 5,000 words. The content includes in-depth explanations of the product/idea from every aspect. To add value, pieces can also include opinions and quotes of influential personalities.

This type of content takes a lot of time to create. There are many WordPress blogs that create long form articles and they rank on many keywords.

Advantages of Long Form Content

Optimized for keywords

Longer pieces of content allow you to use more keywords on which you want to rank. You can also use variations and longer phrases that increase the chances of ranking higher on the search engine.

You can also use different keywords within the same article if the length is somewhere around 2500 to 3000 words. This would mean that you article will rank on multiple keywords increasing your traffic altogether.

According to Backlinko, long Form content ranks higher than many other content types. It did an analysis of multiple websites for a few keywords and found that content pieces with word length greater than 2000 words ranked in the first three positions on Google rankings.

Read How to Do Keyword Research for a WordPress Website

Image shows the relation between the number of words written and their rankings on Google. (Backlinko)

In-Depth

Long form content is a preferred choice for in-detail posts of products, explanation of ideas, investigative stories, and fiction writing.
If you’re writing on a topic that requires multiple examples and quotes from influential personalities in order to understand it clearly, then your content will stretch to more than 1500 words easily.

This type of content also gives you a chance to include short case studies and well-researched data to support your arguments, making them more concrete. You can also use your readers’ point of view in a long-form article to add more value for your audience.

Supports more H2 Headings

The longer your content is, the more H2 headings you can use. Using keywords in H2s is a proven SEO strategy that makes your content optimized. H2s also give your content an organized look to impress your readers.

These H2s can also be converted into a ‘Table of Content’ section to improve its readability and rankings in the search engine.

Sounds authoritative

Long form content gives an impression that the article has been written by a subject matter expert. It increases the content authority not only in front of the readers but also Google. Users tend to trust a content that is lengthier as it includes research, quotes and other details on the topic. It also helps build writer’s credibility and readers would want to read more articles of the same writer on the website.

More Shareable

A research by Buzzsumo concludes that the shareability of the content is directly proportional to its length.

Short Form Content

Short form content is concise and crisp ranging from 500-800 words. Writing short form content is tricky because while you want to limit your content, you also want to transfer as much information as you can to your readers.

Short Form content is by no means easier to write than long form and in some cases, writing it might take longer than writing a 1500+ article. This type requires good writing skills, creativity, and a knack for presenting sizeable information in a compressed piece.

Advantages of Short Form Content

Creative in Presentation

Short form content allows the writers to show their creative side. Since you are limited by the number of words, you must present your case in a way that is short and understandable. You can use images, graphs, videos and GIFs to support your piece and deliver more value to your readers. This will not only please your visitors but also the Google crawlers.

Support Series Articles or Pillar Posts

Short form content can be used to break down a larger piece of content into chunks. These pieces can then be interlinked creating a small cluster on information. Examples include: eBooks, How-tos, Knowledge bases and Glossary pages.

Ideal for Skimmers

Many online readers tend to skim through an article rather than reading every headline and paragraph. They find the prominent points and go through them taking in only the most important and crucial information from that article. Short form content is perfect for these kind of readers.

Decreases Bounce Rate

The reader would want to read other articles on your website because the information is easier to digest. To keep them engaged on the blog, place the “Related Article” section where it is visible to readers, allowing them to jump to the next article easily.

It helps increase the average session duration of your website, as the user now spends more time reading the whole article.

Long Form or Short Form?

Use both.

A misconception among new content developers is that only one of the two types of content can work best for a website. However, experience suggests that both long and short content types can be used together to form a successful content strategy.

Which content type do you usually use for writing content on your blog and why? Let us know in the comments or tweet to us @wpblogdottcom.

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Moeez is ‘The’ blogger in charge of WPblog. He loves to interact and learn about WordPress with people in the WordPress community. Outside his work life, Moeez spends time hanging out with his friends, playing Xbox and watching football on the weekends. You can get in touch with him at moeez[at]wpblog.com.

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