Why Your Best 2018 Content Marketing Resolution Could Be Long-Form Blogging

Written by: admin Date of published: . Posted in test

One of your New Year’s resolutions might involve buckling down on your content creation.

You might have pledged to direct more resources toward your content (time, money, etc.) to make it better, because you know better content wins.

Turns out, one BIG way to make it better is to make it longer.

Write more words.

Not 1,000. Not 1,250. I’m talking 1,500 – 2,000 words… and beyond.

Let me show you why.

The Power of Long-Form Blogging: What Do the Stats Say?

Everybody is hopping on the long-form bandwagon: From Kissmetrics to Neil Patel to Search Engine Land, authority voices are urging us to write longer posts.

Of course, there are excellent reasons for this.

Long-form blogs have been shown to consistently get more social shares and attention than middle-of-the-road blogs (the ones hovering between long and short).

BuzzSumo famously analyzed 100 million articles online to figure out what factors help an article go viral.

One of those factors: length.

The longer the article, the more shares it got:

Articles from 3,000-10,000 words in length got an average of 8,859 shares. That’s nearly twice as many as articles under 1k words.

Here’s some more good data that proves long-form content gets results:

Crazy Egg did an A/B split-test on their homepage. One version of the page was short and sweet. The other was about 20x longer. Which one got more conversions?

Here’s the difference in length, for scope:

Yes – the long-as-heck page did better. It outperformed the short page by 30%.

Of course, there’s even more research out there about this topic.

HubSpot did a study on over 6,000 of their own blogs. They looked at the correlation between things like views, word count, number of shares, the title length, and more.

Turns out, the posts with the longest word counts got the most shares:

In addition, the posts with the longest word counts also had the most backlinks.

As HubSpot notes in its analysis, these are strong correlations and great arguments for longer content.

But, if you need more convincing, here are extra reasons why you should go long.

Why Long-Form Blogging? 4 More Convincing Reasons to Go Long

1. Long-Form Content Can Be Repurposed Endlessly

Long-form content that’s evergreen (i.e. it has no expiration date – the information is valuable for the long-haul) is worth its weight in gold.

This is content that can be reused and repurposed in a million different ways.

Why? The information is always relevant. It always matters. The points are timeless.

Here’s a great example of this type of content from Buffer: The Complete List of Evergreen Content Ideas for Your Blog.

The information is useful now, and it will be useful in a year. There’s nothing in the post that dates it.

You can reuse long-form content like this in so many ways. The points it includes could easily be translated into:

  • An infographic
  • A slide deck
  • An email newsletter
  • A podcast

And more.

So, don’t think of long-form content as silos. Consider the mini pieces of content you can pull from them and share in different ways.

2. Google Loves Longer Posts

Google’s algorithm favors longer posts, according to Search Engine Land. Why?

Two reasons:

  • Longer posts tend to be more in-depth and comprehensive than shorter posts. This means they tend to have the answers that people are searching for when they ask Google a question, along with discussion and explanation of a subject the user is already curious about.
  • Google looks at a ton of stuff to determine the relevancy and quality of your post for a specific keyword (or keywords). Case in point: It also notes how long people stay on your page before bouncing. Well-crafted long-form content keeps visitors on your page longer, which contributes to its relevancy ranking.

In short, for a better chance of getting ranked well, go longer – it certainly can’t hurt.

3. People Are Looking for Learning Opportunities

Lots of people turn to Google for quick answers.

“How do I get to Starbucks?” and “How many tablespoons are in a quarter-cup?” are common enough.

…And, let’s be honest, queries like this:

However, plenty of people are also on the web researching (and not goofing off).

They’re looking to learn.

They don’t want to read 300 words about one facet of a topic. They want a whole overview of that topic, including extra resources to check out, tips and tricks, or additional viewpoints.

Long-form blogs are what those people want. They want exhaustive, comprehensive, thorough, trustworthy, factual, well-researched information.

People don’t use the internet in one way. It’s used in a plethora of ways for all types of purposes. As such, you must consider how your particular audience is searching, and what they want to find, when you’re constructing your content for them.

It’s a call-and-answer relationship. Make sure you’re answering the right way.

If they need longer content, you need to deliver to get results.

4. There’s Less Competition

Here’s a universal truth (one Jane Austen may have agreed with): Writing longer content is harder.

It takes more time, of course. But it also takes much, much more effort.

The result is that fewer people even attempt it. However, that leaves a big, gaping hole.

According to research from BuzzSumo and Moz, who analyzed 1 million articles, about 85% of published content is less than 1,000 words long.

Yes, that’s a gap you can fill.

The Number One Reason NOT to Write Longer Blogs

Before you barrel down on your typing speed and cram in as many words as possible into your next blog post, stop.

This is not what we mean.

The correlation between longer blog posts and higher engagement isn’t just because of the word count.

Think about it: What do longer blog posts have in common, besides length?

I have a few ideas:

  • More research
  • More in-depth writing and discussion of a topic
  • Writing that covers various sides of a story, including different schools of thought or opposing viewpoints

All of these actions that make a post high-quality also naturally make it longer.

So, no – stuffing in some extra paragraphs that you didn’t research will not help your post. Just because it’s longer doesn’t mean it’s better. (This Copyhackers article even argues that both short and long content can be successful.)

Here’s a smarter idea:

Make your posts better. Devote more time to writing, researching, and editing. Your content will automatically get longer without any extra effort.

To sum up:

Better research and writing = better posts = longer posts = more engagement.

Done, done, done, and done. 2018 is looking up already.


avatar

Julia McCoy is the founder of Express Writers, a serial content marketer, and bestselling author. A dedicated self-starter since an early age, by age 13, she’d written a 200-page book and taught herself Internet marketing. At 19, Julia dropped out of college and a nursing degree to follow her passion, teach herself online writing, and start her agency. Within two years, Express Writers grew by 400 percent, and today, Julia’s agency serves more than 5,000 clients. Julia is a bestselling author, the creator of The Practical Content Strategy Certification Course, host of the Write Podcast and Twitter Chat #ContentWritingChat. She just published her second bestseller, Practical Content Strategy & Marketing, November 2017.

The post Why Your Best 2018 Content Marketing Resolution Could Be Long-Form Blogging appeared first on SiteProNews.

Why Your Best 2018 Content Marketing Resolution Could Be Long-Form Blogging

Written by: admin Date of published: . Posted in test

One of your New Year’s resolutions might involve buckling down on your content creation.

You might have pledged to direct more resources toward your content (time, money, etc.) to make it better, because you know better content wins.

Turns out, one BIG way to make it better is to make it longer.

Write more words.

Not 1,000. Not 1,250. I’m talking 1,500 – 2,000 words… and beyond.

Let me show you why.

The Power of Long-Form Blogging: What Do the Stats Say?

Everybody is hopping on the long-form bandwagon: From Kissmetrics to Neil Patel to Search Engine Land, authority voices are urging us to write longer posts.

Of course, there are excellent reasons for this.

Long-form blogs have been shown to consistently get more social shares and attention than middle-of-the-road blogs (the ones hovering between long and short).

BuzzSumo famously analyzed 100 million articles online to figure out what factors help an article go viral.

One of those factors: length.

The longer the article, the more shares it got:

Articles from 3,000-10,000 words in length got an average of 8,859 shares. That’s nearly twice as many as articles under 1k words.

Here’s some more good data that proves long-form content gets results:

Crazy Egg did an A/B split-test on their homepage. One version of the page was short and sweet. The other was about 20x longer. Which one got more conversions?

Here’s the difference in length, for scope:

Yes – the long-as-heck page did better. It outperformed the short page by 30%.

Of course, there’s even more research out there about this topic.

HubSpot did a study on over 6,000 of their own blogs. They looked at the correlation between things like views, word count, number of shares, the title length, and more.

Turns out, the posts with the longest word counts got the most shares:

In addition, the posts with the longest word counts also had the most backlinks.

As HubSpot notes in its analysis, these are strong correlations and great arguments for longer content.

But, if you need more convincing, here are extra reasons why you should go long.

Why Long-Form Blogging? 4 More Convincing Reasons to Go Long

1. Long-Form Content Can Be Repurposed Endlessly

Long-form content that’s evergreen (i.e. it has no expiration date – the information is valuable for the long-haul) is worth its weight in gold.

This is content that can be reused and repurposed in a million different ways.

Why? The information is always relevant. It always matters. The points are timeless.

Here’s a great example of this type of content from Buffer: The Complete List of Evergreen Content Ideas for Your Blog.

The information is useful now, and it will be useful in a year. There’s nothing in the post that dates it.

You can reuse long-form content like this in so many ways. The points it includes could easily be translated into:

  • An infographic
  • A slide deck
  • An email newsletter
  • A podcast

And more.

So, don’t think of long-form content as silos. Consider the mini pieces of content you can pull from them and share in different ways.

2. Google Loves Longer Posts

Google’s algorithm favors longer posts, according to Search Engine Land. Why?

Two reasons:

  • Longer posts tend to be more in-depth and comprehensive than shorter posts. This means they tend to have the answers that people are searching for when they ask Google a question, along with discussion and explanation of a subject the user is already curious about.
  • Google looks at a ton of stuff to determine the relevancy and quality of your post for a specific keyword (or keywords). Case in point: It also notes how long people stay on your page before bouncing. Well-crafted long-form content keeps visitors on your page longer, which contributes to its relevancy ranking.

In short, for a better chance of getting ranked well, go longer – it certainly can’t hurt.

3. People Are Looking for Learning Opportunities

Lots of people turn to Google for quick answers.

“How do I get to Starbucks?” and “How many tablespoons are in a quarter-cup?” are common enough.

…And, let’s be honest, queries like this:

However, plenty of people are also on the web researching (and not goofing off).

They’re looking to learn.

They don’t want to read 300 words about one facet of a topic. They want a whole overview of that topic, including extra resources to check out, tips and tricks, or additional viewpoints.

Long-form blogs are what those people want. They want exhaustive, comprehensive, thorough, trustworthy, factual, well-researched information.

People don’t use the internet in one way. It’s used in a plethora of ways for all types of purposes. As such, you must consider how your particular audience is searching, and what they want to find, when you’re constructing your content for them.

It’s a call-and-answer relationship. Make sure you’re answering the right way.

If they need longer content, you need to deliver to get results.

4. There’s Less Competition

Here’s a universal truth (one Jane Austen may have agreed with): Writing longer content is harder.

It takes more time, of course. But it also takes much, much more effort.

The result is that fewer people even attempt it. However, that leaves a big, gaping hole.

According to research from BuzzSumo and Moz, who analyzed 1 million articles, about 85% of published content is less than 1,000 words long.

Yes, that’s a gap you can fill.

The Number One Reason NOT to Write Longer Blogs

Before you barrel down on your typing speed and cram in as many words as possible into your next blog post, stop.

This is not what we mean.

The correlation between longer blog posts and higher engagement isn’t just because of the word count.

Think about it: What do longer blog posts have in common, besides length?

I have a few ideas:

  • More research
  • More in-depth writing and discussion of a topic
  • Writing that covers various sides of a story, including different schools of thought or opposing viewpoints

All of these actions that make a post high-quality also naturally make it longer.

So, no – stuffing in some extra paragraphs that you didn’t research will not help your post. Just because it’s longer doesn’t mean it’s better. (This Copyhackers article even argues that both short and long content can be successful.)

Here’s a smarter idea:

Make your posts better. Devote more time to writing, researching, and editing. Your content will automatically get longer without any extra effort.

To sum up:

Better research and writing = better posts = longer posts = more engagement.

Done, done, done, and done. 2018 is looking up already.


avatar

Julia McCoy is the founder of Express Writers, a serial content marketer, and bestselling author. A dedicated self-starter since an early age, by age 13, she’d written a 200-page book and taught herself Internet marketing. At 19, Julia dropped out of college and a nursing degree to follow her passion, teach herself online writing, and start her agency. Within two years, Express Writers grew by 400 percent, and today, Julia’s agency serves more than 5,000 clients. Julia is a bestselling author, the creator of The Practical Content Strategy Certification Course, host of the Write Podcast and Twitter Chat #ContentWritingChat. She just published her second bestseller, Practical Content Strategy & Marketing, November 2017.

The post Why Your Best 2018 Content Marketing Resolution Could Be Long-Form Blogging appeared first on SiteProNews.

Why Your Best 2018 Content Marketing Resolution Could Be Long-Form Blogging

Written by: admin Date of published: . Posted in test

One of your New Year’s resolutions might involve buckling down on your content creation.

You might have pledged to direct more resources toward your content (time, money, etc.) to make it better, because you know better content wins.

Turns out, one BIG way to make it better is to make it longer.

Write more words.

Not 1,000. Not 1,250. I’m talking 1,500 – 2,000 words… and beyond.

Let me show you why.

The Power of Long-Form Blogging: What Do the Stats Say?

Everybody is hopping on the long-form bandwagon: From Kissmetrics to Neil Patel to Search Engine Land, authority voices are urging us to write longer posts.

Of course, there are excellent reasons for this.

Long-form blogs have been shown to consistently get more social shares and attention than middle-of-the-road blogs (the ones hovering between long and short).

BuzzSumo famously analyzed 100 million articles online to figure out what factors help an article go viral.

One of those factors: length.

The longer the article, the more shares it got:

Articles from 3,000-10,000 words in length got an average of 8,859 shares. That’s nearly twice as many as articles under 1k words.

Here’s some more good data that proves long-form content gets results:

Crazy Egg did an A/B split-test on their homepage. One version of the page was short and sweet. The other was about 20x longer. Which one got more conversions?

Here’s the difference in length, for scope:

Yes – the long-as-heck page did better. It outperformed the short page by 30%.

Of course, there’s even more research out there about this topic.

HubSpot did a study on over 6,000 of their own blogs. They looked at the correlation between things like views, word count, number of shares, the title length, and more.

Turns out, the posts with the longest word counts got the most shares:

In addition, the posts with the longest word counts also had the most backlinks.

As HubSpot notes in its analysis, these are strong correlations and great arguments for longer content.

But, if you need more convincing, here are extra reasons why you should go long.

Why Long-Form Blogging? 4 More Convincing Reasons to Go Long

1. Long-Form Content Can Be Repurposed Endlessly

Long-form content that’s evergreen (i.e. it has no expiration date – the information is valuable for the long-haul) is worth its weight in gold.

This is content that can be reused and repurposed in a million different ways.

Why? The information is always relevant. It always matters. The points are timeless.

Here’s a great example of this type of content from Buffer: The Complete List of Evergreen Content Ideas for Your Blog.

The information is useful now, and it will be useful in a year. There’s nothing in the post that dates it.

You can reuse long-form content like this in so many ways. The points it includes could easily be translated into:

  • An infographic
  • A slide deck
  • An email newsletter
  • A podcast

And more.

So, don’t think of long-form content as silos. Consider the mini pieces of content you can pull from them and share in different ways.

2. Google Loves Longer Posts

Google’s algorithm favors longer posts, according to Search Engine Land. Why?

Two reasons:

  • Longer posts tend to be more in-depth and comprehensive than shorter posts. This means they tend to have the answers that people are searching for when they ask Google a question, along with discussion and explanation of a subject the user is already curious about.
  • Google looks at a ton of stuff to determine the relevancy and quality of your post for a specific keyword (or keywords). Case in point: It also notes how long people stay on your page before bouncing. Well-crafted long-form content keeps visitors on your page longer, which contributes to its relevancy ranking.

In short, for a better chance of getting ranked well, go longer – it certainly can’t hurt.

3. People Are Looking for Learning Opportunities

Lots of people turn to Google for quick answers.

“How do I get to Starbucks?” and “How many tablespoons are in a quarter-cup?” are common enough.

…And, let’s be honest, queries like this:

However, plenty of people are also on the web researching (and not goofing off).

They’re looking to learn.

They don’t want to read 300 words about one facet of a topic. They want a whole overview of that topic, including extra resources to check out, tips and tricks, or additional viewpoints.

Long-form blogs are what those people want. They want exhaustive, comprehensive, thorough, trustworthy, factual, well-researched information.

People don’t use the internet in one way. It’s used in a plethora of ways for all types of purposes. As such, you must consider how your particular audience is searching, and what they want to find, when you’re constructing your content for them.

It’s a call-and-answer relationship. Make sure you’re answering the right way.

If they need longer content, you need to deliver to get results.

4. There’s Less Competition

Here’s a universal truth (one Jane Austen may have agreed with): Writing longer content is harder.

It takes more time, of course. But it also takes much, much more effort.

The result is that fewer people even attempt it. However, that leaves a big, gaping hole.

According to research from BuzzSumo and Moz, who analyzed 1 million articles, about 85% of published content is less than 1,000 words long.

Yes, that’s a gap you can fill.

The Number One Reason NOT to Write Longer Blogs

Before you barrel down on your typing speed and cram in as many words as possible into your next blog post, stop.

This is not what we mean.

The correlation between longer blog posts and higher engagement isn’t just because of the word count.

Think about it: What do longer blog posts have in common, besides length?

I have a few ideas:

  • More research
  • More in-depth writing and discussion of a topic
  • Writing that covers various sides of a story, including different schools of thought or opposing viewpoints

All of these actions that make a post high-quality also naturally make it longer.

So, no – stuffing in some extra paragraphs that you didn’t research will not help your post. Just because it’s longer doesn’t mean it’s better. (This Copyhackers article even argues that both short and long content can be successful.)

Here’s a smarter idea:

Make your posts better. Devote more time to writing, researching, and editing. Your content will automatically get longer without any extra effort.

To sum up:

Better research and writing = better posts = longer posts = more engagement.

Done, done, done, and done. 2018 is looking up already.


avatar

Julia McCoy is the founder of Express Writers, a serial content marketer, and bestselling author. A dedicated self-starter since an early age, by age 13, she’d written a 200-page book and taught herself Internet marketing. At 19, Julia dropped out of college and a nursing degree to follow her passion, teach herself online writing, and start her agency. Within two years, Express Writers grew by 400 percent, and today, Julia’s agency serves more than 5,000 clients. Julia is a bestselling author, the creator of The Practical Content Strategy Certification Course, host of the Write Podcast and Twitter Chat #ContentWritingChat. She just published her second bestseller, Practical Content Strategy & Marketing, November 2017.

The post Why Your Best 2018 Content Marketing Resolution Could Be Long-Form Blogging appeared first on SiteProNews.

Why Your Best 2018 Content Marketing Resolution Could Be Long-Form Blogging

Written by: admin Date of published: . Posted in test

One of your New Year’s resolutions might involve buckling down on your content creation.

You might have pledged to direct more resources toward your content (time, money, etc.) to make it better, because you know better content wins.

Turns out, one BIG way to make it better is to make it longer.

Write more words.

Not 1,000. Not 1,250. I’m talking 1,500 – 2,000 words… and beyond.

Let me show you why.

The Power of Long-Form Blogging: What Do the Stats Say?

Everybody is hopping on the long-form bandwagon: From Kissmetrics to Neil Patel to Search Engine Land, authority voices are urging us to write longer posts.

Of course, there are excellent reasons for this.

Long-form blogs have been shown to consistently get more social shares and attention than middle-of-the-road blogs (the ones hovering between long and short).

BuzzSumo famously analyzed 100 million articles online to figure out what factors help an article go viral.

One of those factors: length.

The longer the article, the more shares it got:

Articles from 3,000-10,000 words in length got an average of 8,859 shares. That’s nearly twice as many as articles under 1k words.

Here’s some more good data that proves long-form content gets results:

Crazy Egg did an A/B split-test on their homepage. One version of the page was short and sweet. The other was about 20x longer. Which one got more conversions?

Here’s the difference in length, for scope:

Yes – the long-as-heck page did better. It outperformed the short page by 30%.

Of course, there’s even more research out there about this topic.

HubSpot did a study on over 6,000 of their own blogs. They looked at the correlation between things like views, word count, number of shares, the title length, and more.

Turns out, the posts with the longest word counts got the most shares:

In addition, the posts with the longest word counts also had the most backlinks.

As HubSpot notes in its analysis, these are strong correlations and great arguments for longer content.

But, if you need more convincing, here are extra reasons why you should go long.

Why Long-Form Blogging? 4 More Convincing Reasons to Go Long

1. Long-Form Content Can Be Repurposed Endlessly

Long-form content that’s evergreen (i.e. it has no expiration date – the information is valuable for the long-haul) is worth its weight in gold.

This is content that can be reused and repurposed in a million different ways.

Why? The information is always relevant. It always matters. The points are timeless.

Here’s a great example of this type of content from Buffer: The Complete List of Evergreen Content Ideas for Your Blog.

The information is useful now, and it will be useful in a year. There’s nothing in the post that dates it.

You can reuse long-form content like this in so many ways. The points it includes could easily be translated into:

  • An infographic
  • A slide deck
  • An email newsletter
  • A podcast

And more.

So, don’t think of long-form content as silos. Consider the mini pieces of content you can pull from them and share in different ways.

2. Google Loves Longer Posts

Google’s algorithm favors longer posts, according to Search Engine Land. Why?

Two reasons:

  • Longer posts tend to be more in-depth and comprehensive than shorter posts. This means they tend to have the answers that people are searching for when they ask Google a question, along with discussion and explanation of a subject the user is already curious about.
  • Google looks at a ton of stuff to determine the relevancy and quality of your post for a specific keyword (or keywords). Case in point: It also notes how long people stay on your page before bouncing. Well-crafted long-form content keeps visitors on your page longer, which contributes to its relevancy ranking.

In short, for a better chance of getting ranked well, go longer – it certainly can’t hurt.

3. People Are Looking for Learning Opportunities

Lots of people turn to Google for quick answers.

“How do I get to Starbucks?” and “How many tablespoons are in a quarter-cup?” are common enough.

…And, let’s be honest, queries like this:

However, plenty of people are also on the web researching (and not goofing off).

They’re looking to learn.

They don’t want to read 300 words about one facet of a topic. They want a whole overview of that topic, including extra resources to check out, tips and tricks, or additional viewpoints.

Long-form blogs are what those people want. They want exhaustive, comprehensive, thorough, trustworthy, factual, well-researched information.

People don’t use the internet in one way. It’s used in a plethora of ways for all types of purposes. As such, you must consider how your particular audience is searching, and what they want to find, when you’re constructing your content for them.

It’s a call-and-answer relationship. Make sure you’re answering the right way.

If they need longer content, you need to deliver to get results.

4. There’s Less Competition

Here’s a universal truth (one Jane Austen may have agreed with): Writing longer content is harder.

It takes more time, of course. But it also takes much, much more effort.

The result is that fewer people even attempt it. However, that leaves a big, gaping hole.

According to research from BuzzSumo and Moz, who analyzed 1 million articles, about 85% of published content is less than 1,000 words long.

Yes, that’s a gap you can fill.

The Number One Reason NOT to Write Longer Blogs

Before you barrel down on your typing speed and cram in as many words as possible into your next blog post, stop.

This is not what we mean.

The correlation between longer blog posts and higher engagement isn’t just because of the word count.

Think about it: What do longer blog posts have in common, besides length?

I have a few ideas:

  • More research
  • More in-depth writing and discussion of a topic
  • Writing that covers various sides of a story, including different schools of thought or opposing viewpoints

All of these actions that make a post high-quality also naturally make it longer.

So, no – stuffing in some extra paragraphs that you didn’t research will not help your post. Just because it’s longer doesn’t mean it’s better. (This Copyhackers article even argues that both short and long content can be successful.)

Here’s a smarter idea:

Make your posts better. Devote more time to writing, researching, and editing. Your content will automatically get longer without any extra effort.

To sum up:

Better research and writing = better posts = longer posts = more engagement.

Done, done, done, and done. 2018 is looking up already.


avatar

Julia McCoy is the founder of Express Writers, a serial content marketer, and bestselling author. A dedicated self-starter since an early age, by age 13, she’d written a 200-page book and taught herself Internet marketing. At 19, Julia dropped out of college and a nursing degree to follow her passion, teach herself online writing, and start her agency. Within two years, Express Writers grew by 400 percent, and today, Julia’s agency serves more than 5,000 clients. Julia is a bestselling author, the creator of The Practical Content Strategy Certification Course, host of the Write Podcast and Twitter Chat #ContentWritingChat. She just published her second bestseller, Practical Content Strategy & Marketing, November 2017.

The post Why Your Best 2018 Content Marketing Resolution Could Be Long-Form Blogging appeared first on SiteProNews.

Why Your Best 2018 Content Marketing Resolution Could Be Long-Form Blogging

Written by: admin Date of published: . Posted in test

One of your New Year’s resolutions might involve buckling down on your content creation.

You might have pledged to direct more resources toward your content (time, money, etc.) to make it better, because you know better content wins.

Turns out, one BIG way to make it better is to make it longer.

Write more words.

Not 1,000. Not 1,250. I’m talking 1,500 – 2,000 words… and beyond.

Let me show you why.

The Power of Long-Form Blogging: What Do the Stats Say?

Everybody is hopping on the long-form bandwagon: From Kissmetrics to Neil Patel to Search Engine Land, authority voices are urging us to write longer posts.

Of course, there are excellent reasons for this.

Long-form blogs have been shown to consistently get more social shares and attention than middle-of-the-road blogs (the ones hovering between long and short).

BuzzSumo famously analyzed 100 million articles online to figure out what factors help an article go viral.

One of those factors: length.

The longer the article, the more shares it got:

Articles from 3,000-10,000 words in length got an average of 8,859 shares. That’s nearly twice as many as articles under 1k words.

Here’s some more good data that proves long-form content gets results:

Crazy Egg did an A/B split-test on their homepage. One version of the page was short and sweet. The other was about 20x longer. Which one got more conversions?

Here’s the difference in length, for scope:

Yes – the long-as-heck page did better. It outperformed the short page by 30%.

Of course, there’s even more research out there about this topic.

HubSpot did a study on over 6,000 of their own blogs. They looked at the correlation between things like views, word count, number of shares, the title length, and more.

Turns out, the posts with the longest word counts got the most shares:

In addition, the posts with the longest word counts also had the most backlinks.

As HubSpot notes in its analysis, these are strong correlations and great arguments for longer content.

But, if you need more convincing, here are extra reasons why you should go long.

Why Long-Form Blogging? 4 More Convincing Reasons to Go Long

1. Long-Form Content Can Be Repurposed Endlessly

Long-form content that’s evergreen (i.e. it has no expiration date – the information is valuable for the long-haul) is worth its weight in gold.

This is content that can be reused and repurposed in a million different ways.

Why? The information is always relevant. It always matters. The points are timeless.

Here’s a great example of this type of content from Buffer: The Complete List of Evergreen Content Ideas for Your Blog.

The information is useful now, and it will be useful in a year. There’s nothing in the post that dates it.

You can reuse long-form content like this in so many ways. The points it includes could easily be translated into:

  • An infographic
  • A slide deck
  • An email newsletter
  • A podcast

And more.

So, don’t think of long-form content as silos. Consider the mini pieces of content you can pull from them and share in different ways.

2. Google Loves Longer Posts

Google’s algorithm favors longer posts, according to Search Engine Land. Why?

Two reasons:

  • Longer posts tend to be more in-depth and comprehensive than shorter posts. This means they tend to have the answers that people are searching for when they ask Google a question, along with discussion and explanation of a subject the user is already curious about.
  • Google looks at a ton of stuff to determine the relevancy and quality of your post for a specific keyword (or keywords). Case in point: It also notes how long people stay on your page before bouncing. Well-crafted long-form content keeps visitors on your page longer, which contributes to its relevancy ranking.

In short, for a better chance of getting ranked well, go longer – it certainly can’t hurt.

3. People Are Looking for Learning Opportunities

Lots of people turn to Google for quick answers.

“How do I get to Starbucks?” and “How many tablespoons are in a quarter-cup?” are common enough.

…And, let’s be honest, queries like this:

However, plenty of people are also on the web researching (and not goofing off).

They’re looking to learn.

They don’t want to read 300 words about one facet of a topic. They want a whole overview of that topic, including extra resources to check out, tips and tricks, or additional viewpoints.

Long-form blogs are what those people want. They want exhaustive, comprehensive, thorough, trustworthy, factual, well-researched information.

People don’t use the internet in one way. It’s used in a plethora of ways for all types of purposes. As such, you must consider how your particular audience is searching, and what they want to find, when you’re constructing your content for them.

It’s a call-and-answer relationship. Make sure you’re answering the right way.

If they need longer content, you need to deliver to get results.

4. There’s Less Competition

Here’s a universal truth (one Jane Austen may have agreed with): Writing longer content is harder.

It takes more time, of course. But it also takes much, much more effort.

The result is that fewer people even attempt it. However, that leaves a big, gaping hole.

According to research from BuzzSumo and Moz, who analyzed 1 million articles, about 85% of published content is less than 1,000 words long.

Yes, that’s a gap you can fill.

The Number One Reason NOT to Write Longer Blogs

Before you barrel down on your typing speed and cram in as many words as possible into your next blog post, stop.

This is not what we mean.

The correlation between longer blog posts and higher engagement isn’t just because of the word count.

Think about it: What do longer blog posts have in common, besides length?

I have a few ideas:

  • More research
  • More in-depth writing and discussion of a topic
  • Writing that covers various sides of a story, including different schools of thought or opposing viewpoints

All of these actions that make a post high-quality also naturally make it longer.

So, no – stuffing in some extra paragraphs that you didn’t research will not help your post. Just because it’s longer doesn’t mean it’s better. (This Copyhackers article even argues that both short and long content can be successful.)

Here’s a smarter idea:

Make your posts better. Devote more time to writing, researching, and editing. Your content will automatically get longer without any extra effort.

To sum up:

Better research and writing = better posts = longer posts = more engagement.

Done, done, done, and done. 2018 is looking up already.


avatar

Julia McCoy is the founder of Express Writers, a serial content marketer, and bestselling author. A dedicated self-starter since an early age, by age 13, she’d written a 200-page book and taught herself Internet marketing. At 19, Julia dropped out of college and a nursing degree to follow her passion, teach herself online writing, and start her agency. Within two years, Express Writers grew by 400 percent, and today, Julia’s agency serves more than 5,000 clients. Julia is a bestselling author, the creator of The Practical Content Strategy Certification Course, host of the Write Podcast and Twitter Chat #ContentWritingChat. She just published her second bestseller, Practical Content Strategy & Marketing, November 2017.

The post Why Your Best 2018 Content Marketing Resolution Could Be Long-Form Blogging appeared first on SiteProNews.

Good SEO habits: Turning over a new leaf in 2018

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Join a gym, start that diet, call your parents more and turn over a new leaf for your SEO strategy.

Whether you’re a stickler for New Year’s resolutions, or the very thought makes you roll your eyes, reviewing your SEO habits for 2018 should be a priority for every business and digital marketer.

You don’t need me to tell you how fast-paced the digital world can be, with the pressures of keeping on top of the latest Google updates and SEO tactics.

Yet it’s all too easy to become stuck in the same routine, mindlessly implementing the same strategy over and over.

Well, it’s time for a change. That new diet can wait another month, but refreshing your SEO strategy can’t. Not if you want to be dominating the SERPs in 2018.

It’s time to sit back and take a long hard look at your SEO habits. In this post, we consider the latest trends and predictions for the year, explain how to review your current strategy, and the SEO habits you should be practising.

Revisit keyword research

You’ve got to start somewhere and what better place than at the beginning. Before you go tweaking your onsite or mixing up your content strategy, you need to make sure the keywords are updated.

Revisit your keyword research and update the data on which you initially based your decisions. People change, habits change, technology changes. The chance that what people are searching for has changed too is also pretty high.

Depending on how long ago you last reviewed your keywords, you may find that there are more tools at your disposal this time around. Bolster your keyword sheet with data from different sources (please do not just rely on Keyword Planner). A personal favorite is SEMRush, particularly the Keyword Magic Tool and Keyword Difficulty Score.

More importantly, when deciding which keywords to allocate to which pages, remember the game has changed. There’s no longer a need to create separate pages for each keyword variation. There’s a little thing called Latent Semantic Indexing and it does most of the hard work for you!

Focus instead on topics and the context of a page, rather than specific keywords. The search engines are smarter than ever; as long as you’re providing value, you can trust Google to figure out the rest without having to shove five variations of the same keyword onto a page.

Onsite audit

You could have the best content and link-building strategies in the world, but if the foundations of your website are not up to scratch, then it will never reach its full potential. On-site optimization is the foundation of any SEO campaign.

Even if you carried out a fully comprehensive, kick-ass audit to start with, things inevitably break and new issues occur. So do it again.

There are too many factors to cover here but just to mention a few of the fundamentals. A good place to start is with the website speed, especially in an age where heavily image-led sites are popular. Ensure you have done everything in your power to send that Google Page Insights score as high as possible.

As an extension of page speed, pay close to attention to the general user experience of the site. This is becoming ever more important and it’s worth getting an expert in UX/UI to review your website. Perhaps it’s time for a website refresh?

If you are launching a new website, don’t forget to implement a checklist of SEO checks before going live (such as removing robots no index!).

Be sure to fix broken links, address duplicate content issues, optimize your images and update your metadata. Since the maximum length for meta descriptions increased even further at the end of last year, it’s probably about time you rewrote them.

Have you implemented schema markup on your site? Now’s the time – don’t put it off.

Mobile

If you haven’t already switched your focus to mobile, don’t wait a moment longer. There are numerous factors to consider when optimizing for mobile and it is therefore a good idea to carry out a separate mobile SEO audit of your site.

Factor in the rise of voice search and how this will impact on keyword formats. Pay close attention to mobile-specific crawl errors via Google Search Console. Ensure your site passes Google’s mobile-friendly test and that mobile load speeds are up to scratch.

Finally, revisit the design and overall user experience of your site on mobile; given that mobile constitutes over 50% of website traffic, it’s time to start prioritizing mobile over desktop.

Content

Take a step back from your content strategy, review what is and isn’t working, and gain a fresh perspective. It can be all too easy to get into the habit of churning out content for the sake of it, without any really solid strategy. Rope in some unsuspecting colleagues and hold a brainstorm. Even people who are not directly involved with the content creation can provide some helpful insight into the mind of an average internet user.

Ultimately, you should be focused on writing content that provides so much value that people want to share it. Think about what makes someone share a piece of content and implement that thinking into your posts.

Be sure to also review and update any old content. Outdated information can be harmful to organic rankings, so take the time to do a refresh. Is there any content that’s been lingering close to the top of the SERPs for some time but hasn’t quite made the final jump to the top spot? Look at the content which is beating you and figure how to make yours even better than theirs.

Don’t forget that it’s not all about the written word. Integrate more visual content into your strategy too, such as infographics and videos. Video in particular is great for keeping people on a page for longer. Given that time spent on page is considered a ranking factor, it’s an opportunity not to be missed!

Link-building strategy refresh

We’ve all been there. Sometimes it feels like you’re putting a lot of time into your link-building efforts but not really getting anywhere. Time to have a strategy refresh! It can be easy to become too focused on only one type of link-building, such as guest posting. Yet there are a whole variety of link-building techniques waiting to be deployed.

Start by ditching any unhealthy linking habits. Use a tool like SEMRush to identify any potentially harmful links and disavow them. Begin the new year with a clean slate and focus on building high-value links.

Perhaps it’s time to start thinking beyond link-building and concentrate on relationship building. Work on building a solid partnership with some of the top publications in your industry. If you’re providing exceptional content for them, then it’s a win-win situation for both of you.

Local search

As more and more web traffic comes from mobile, local search will only become more prominent. Carry out a review of your local search marketing – think Google My Business profile, local directory listings, NAP consistency, schema markup and healthy location pages.

Appearing in the top spot for local searches is absolutely key to skyrocketing your conversions. If searchers see you’re business first, they’re more like to tap that ‘call’ button, visit your business, or browse your website. Fail to nail your local search strategy and you’ll be missing out on some serious opportunities.

Reporting

It’s time to get out the habit of relying solely on keyword rankings as an indicator of success. Clients often get hung up about the rankings but it’s important to stress that these are vanity metrics. The real juicy stuff is conversions and this must be factored into your tracking and reporting methods.

Sure, it’s very satisfying to see those rankings improve. But these are only a tiny snippet of the bigger picture. With 2018, take a step back and review your reporting output. How can it be improved? What other data should you be considering? Can you set up event tracking or more comprehensive goals in your Google Analytics?

You’ve put all the hard work into the campaign, so it’s time you demonstrate the value that work has brought.

Switch from HTTP to HTTPS

We know, switching from HTTP to HTTPS can seem like a lot of effort and potentially risky in the short term. However, as long as you’re careful and follow an HTTPS migration checklist, then you’ll be just fine and can start to reap the benefits in the long-term.

The need for extra security is never going away; it will just become more and more important. We know that Google considers site security a ranking factor, so why would you not do it? Stop procrastinating and get to it!

Final words

As a final point, be sure to keep updated with the latest news and trends in the SEO world. This is more important than ever, with the rise of machine learning and the RankBrain algorithm. We should expect to see further changes related to these as the technology is developed further. So stay tuned and stay agile.

In short, the best SEO habit is ultimately providing value and relevance. Forget about manipulating the search engine (you won’t win). Do everything with the user at the forefront of your mind, follow best practices, and your 2018 search strategy will be golden.