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3 Reasons Why Longer Content is Better

3-plain-english-reasons-why-longer-content-is-better

Scour the net and you will find countless: 

1. Reasons why longer content is better (for example herehere and here)

2. Logic on why longer content is better for rankings (for example herehere and here)

3. Statistics / case studies with evidence on why longer content is better (for example herehere and here).

But here is 3 easy-to-understand reasons why longer content is better to ‘motivate’ you to take action on your content marketing and maximise return on investment (what matters).

 

longer-content-allows-greater-topic-focus

1. Longer Content Allows Greater Topic Focus

By focusing on longer content, it’s easier to ‘narrow your focus’ to the:

really-matter

Because you can no longer just:

  • Open your keyword spreadsheet (eyeballing it)
  • Choose a highly searched keyword (most likely with low competition)
  • Pump out a blog post on that keyword (and then rank for it).

Then wash, rinse and repeat.

No – that’s not the way – that’s old school SEO.

Topics are the next evolution of SEO, and by focusing on topics (as opposed to keywords), you can build:

  • Trust
  • Expertise
  • Authority (the holy grail of SEO) quicker.
holy grail light up and perched on rock

But what are topics?

A topic is what it sounds like = a broad concept.

A keyword = a component of that concept.

Just think of your local grocery store as an example.

fruit section of supermarket

You have:

1. Produce, meat and dairy (at the highest level)

Then within ‘produce’ you have:

2. Fruit and vegetables (as sub-topics)

And within the sub-topics:

3. Apples and oranges (are the keywords).

If the difference is still not clear between ‘keywords’ and ‘topics’ – check out this comprehensive explanation by MarketMuse.

But why focus on topics?

Simple. The consumer is always changing.

consumer-always-changing

But not always how you think (as detailed in this great resource by Deloitte Insights).

Fundamentally (again as reported by Deloitte Insights here) and from a big-picture viewpoint they:

1. Have less time (no surprise)

2. Are more conscientious (looking not just for more – but the right information).

consumers-always-searching-right-information

Therefore, by focusing on ‘topics’ (rather than ‘keywords’), it’s easier to go to:

Beautiful tree on hill of red flowers

The top of a bushy-tree (by focusing on what matters – the big picture topic).

Rather than your competitors, who are more likely to focus on the branches (the keywords – less important).

green leaves on tree

And the result is that by broadening your ‘focus’ on a topic, you can create:

  • Better content that (that is likely to rank for more keywords too)
  • Resourceful content (that your customers love)
  • Authority content (key to high rankings in Google).
problem and solution concept

2. Longer Content Solves More Problems

Every word / sentence / paragraph (provided it’s not fluff) gives you another chance to solve a problem.

Any by ‘solving more problems’ you’re more likely to be seen as an authority (by your prospects).

longer-content-solving-more-problems-gives-greater-chance-being-authority

And more authority increases conversions.

But stop.

red and white stop sign

Because just going ‘long’ (with content) does not mean you are solving the right problem.

As the great Albert Einstein said: “If I were given one hour to save the planet, I would spend 59 minutes defining the problem and one minute resolving it.”

cartoon of Albert Einstein

According to Time (read more here) you need to consider the following, when solving the right problems:

Why does the problem need solving?

Establish reasoning first.

Is there a clear need to solve this problem?

This will ensure time is not wasted.

What is the context of solving the problem?

From approaches tried to what others have done to constraints on the solution.

What is the problem statement?

Take answers to all and layout the problem (including scope, requirements of a solution and who will be involved).

But (from a big picture), always go straight to the root cause of a problem. 

always-get-root-cause-problem

Mind Tools (in this great resource) outline 5 steps for doing this and they are:

  • Step one: Define the problem
  • Step two: Collect data
  • Step three: Identify possible causal factors
  • Step four: Identify the root cause(s)
  • Step five: Recommend and implement solutions.

For brevity purposes, the ‘root cause’ of a problem goes beyond this blog post – but here is more on the process (if interested).

Note: As Forbes states in this resource – solving the problem ‘permanently’ is key.

solving-problems-permanently-key

Because when you solve problems permanently:

  • You learn from it (as a business)
  • Alter (the way you do business) to avoid the same problems in the future.

Takeaway: Longer content gives you a greater chance to solve more problems, but it’s only when you combine longer content with solving more of the right problems, and ideally (permanently), that you can succeed with your long content marketing strategy.

longer-content-creates-evergreen-content

3. Longer Content Creates Evergreen Content

The beauty of evergreen content is that it’s not ‘time sensitive’ and will remain relevant regardless of the ‘time’ or ‘date’ in the future.

You can read more on the benefits of evergreen content herebut its number 1 benefit is that it’s valuable long after it’s released.

evergreen-content-valuable-long-after-released

This is much like a plant that keeps its green leaves all year around (how the ‘evergreen’ name came about).

green plant leaves in garden

And longer content has a greater chance of becoming evergreen content.

But, only when you have mastered:

  • The ‘80% art of copywriting’ (discussed in this top blog post)
  • Followed the ‘3 golden keys to success in copywriting’ (discussed in this top blog post)
  • Solved the ‘right problems’ (discussed earlier in this blog post).

But what does the data say?

newsreaders standing in front of large data screens

Neil Patel summarises in this data-driven guide about why 3,000+ word blog posts not only get more traffic but:

  • Set you up as the authority (to win)
  • Generate leads (for a longer timeframe)
  • Create ‘beautiful’ and ‘timeless’ evergreen content.

And as Neil Patel says (again in this data-driven guide) long-form content allows you to:

  • Go further (beyond just scratching the surface of a problem)
  • Beat your competition (who only focus on short-form content)
  • Provide enormous value (without ‘wasting’ any words).

How do you craft great evergreen content?

confused man scratching head

Any piece of content can be evergreen but some great examples of ‘evergreen content format’ (in this guide by Backlinko) are:

  • Ultimate guides (covering the most important elements of the topic)
  • List posts (top 3, 5 or 10 for example) 
  • Case studies (evidence something happened)
  • Videos (can accumulate more views for many years after going live)
  • Checklists (an extremely valuable resource)
  • How-to guides (always work).

These formats are a great starting point in creating evergreen content, but any piece of content:

  • Short
  • Long
  • Whatever format (can be evergreen).
top of green pine trees forest

But remember (and this is a biggie):

Just because you ‘hit’ publish and have spent hours (on your content piece) does not mean parts of your ‘evergreen content’ will never go out of date.

Note: Ensure you do a content audit at least every 3-6 months (as recommended by Portent in this resource) to maximise your content marketing success.

Water drop formation

Conclusion

Short, medium or long content – it doesn’t matter.

Because (as discussed in this blog post) what matters is fulfilling user intent with your content.

But if you choose to go for ‘long content’ it’s about making an impact and not going long for the ‘sake’ of it.

And author / speaker / marketing consultant John Jantsch summarises this beautifully, saying: “Your impact is measured not by what you do, but by what happens to other people when you do it.”

Over to You…

Do you agree with 3 Reasons Why Longer Content is Better? Or is there something missing, or you would like to add?? Would love to hear from you in the comments – any feedback is greatly appreciated.

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