Write long and engaging content for each article
Write long and engaging content for each article
Under Category "SEO content strategy"
Beginner

SEO: Long Contents Are Better

Congratulations! You have put in the required work and got your website up and running. Now, what’s next is to put your website out there. I like to believe that in life, there is no such thing as luck, so if you are sitting there, hoping that one star in the sky would align with another, make things go your way, and make your website popular, I’m sorry (I’m actually not) to break it to you but you are on a train heading to the land of wasted potentials.

One way to make your website popular and well-known is to get it on the front page of Google, and how do you do that? Simple! SEO! Now, I now won’t go into what SEO is all about. I will do you one better and talk about one of the most underrated SEO strategy – Long contents.

Why Are Long Form Contents Important?

To fully understand how this strategy works, you ought to know that the search engine is a three-way game where the leading players are the websites, the information consumers, and the search engines that act as a link connecting the two earlier mentioned parties.

Now, to ensure the information consumers keep running towards them for information, search engines make sure that they can provide well comprehensive answers that would fully satisfy their customers’ curiosity, and how do they do that? Simple! By showing only websites with contents they believe would answer their customer’s questions extensively and satisfactorily.

Now bringing us to why long contents are better, the question is which do you believe is more likely to provide an in-depth, detailed, and helpful solution to a problem? A 200-word article or a 2000-word post? Exactly.

It is evident that the content, apart from being extensive, must be of quality, relevant and offer the user what they are looking for.

What are the top signals for Google to evaluate your content?

Google

In order to get relevant and beautiful content, you first need to plan the content of your site, This will give you a general approach on how to apply the most convenient strategy for your website and your audience. Google currently considers the following criteria when evaluating a content:

  • Quality of the content. The content must be grammatically correct, easily understandable and easy to read by the users. It must provide the relevant information that your audience wants to grab. Hence, don’t try to fool Google and visitors by offering irrelevant lengthy content.
  • Keywords in the content. To do this, we must do keyword research, to find out what questions are being asked by users. You can use the short tail as well as long tail keywords to optimize your content.
  • Content updated. Google values more the contents that are kept updated over time. Having a blog that is updated frequently is a good way to give signs of freshness.
  • Make citations and references to other authors. Introducing content, exposing our conclusions and supporting them with quotes from other authors (with their hyperlinks) is a good way to relate your content to one that already has authority and relevance.

If you want to tip the odds of making the first page of search engines in your favor, creating relevant contents of over 2,000 words will do the trick. However, this is only one part of the solution and not all of it.

Optimize the content

Optimize the content of the articles

Content length helps the SEO experts to work on those factors, which make the content highly noticeable to the search engines. Some of these critical factors include.

  • Compelling title and description tags
  • Comprehensiveness
  • Utility and value
  • High dwell time

As far as creating a compelling title is concerned, you must have an eye to judge a good title from the bad one. “Lose 4 Pounds in Just 2 Weeks”, is a clear example of a good title. This is so, as the title serves as an irresistible invitation to read the content.

On the contrary, “How to lose weight” is a less engaging title, since the title suggests that the content is all about those weight loss tricks, which everyone is already talking when there is nothing new—why people should read such content.

Now, let’s talk a bit about the high dwell time. To put it simply, dwell time is the actual time that a person/visitor spends on the web page before going back to the Search Engine Result Page (SERP). Longer the person stays on a page, higher the dwell time will be.

Once you successfully harness these elements of quality content, the next step is to add them in long content. Content marketers are following this principle to improve their overall search rankings by earning more backlinks and increasing the number of social shares.

While ranking a page, Google doesn’t rely on the word count. However, there are certain indicators, which suggest that content length correlates with better search rankings. In fact, long content makes it possible to include those factors, which assist Google to rank a page.

Benefits of creating a long and optimized piece of content

Benefits of creating a GOOD LONG Content

This may sound confusing, as there are numerous elements, which influence the SEO performance of your website’s content. To make things clear, here are some of the most prominent SEO benefits associated with long form content.

  1. Earns More Backlinks with Longer Content— Studies have shown that longer content is an ideal candidate for making quality backlinks. As a result, it helps to improve the search rankings of your site.
  2. Helps to Get Maximum Social Shares— The relationship between content length and social shares is identical to one that we see between backlinks and content length. This means that an average social media user serves as a link between your site and the audience.
  3. Google's RankBrain Likes to Reward Long Content— Being the third most essential ranking factor of Google, it casts a massive impact on search results. The primary function of RankBrain is to assist Google while understanding a particular search query. It also allows Google to measure one of the most critical ranking factor, named as “User satisfaction.”

What is Long Tail Content?

Long Tail Content is the use of a less popular and specific set of keywords used by an audience to search for a particular topic. As these terms are less used than others, it's easier to be found in searches, and it's more likely to make conversions in your website.

When you write a good and lengthy article on your blog or website, writing long-tail content also helps to rank in Google.

For example: if you write an article title titled "SEO On Page" this is more generic than if you write one titled "Tips to write headers and help your SEO On Page."

The benefits of the second one are the lower competition that will have compared to the first one, so it will be easier to rank.

There are a few search terms, which are of extremely high volume. However, the popularity of the most search terms is not that high. The search terms with less-popularity are known as the ‘long tail.’ The long tail search terms have earned its name due to their place on the graph, which shows a comparison between the number of searches and the number of words in a key term. 

Let's put another example. Imagine you have an online store of products for pets. Now you need to put the focus on specific keywords in your content.

So you make keyword research, and you find some of the keywords and phrases used by potential buyers of your products. With a list of keywords, you need to choose which one to use.

Long tail content graph

Credits: https://www.flickr.com/photos/caseorganic/3269767147/

In the graph, the line on the upper left side of the graph usually rides high, representing popular and short key terms. However, with the decrease in search-volume-per-search-term, the graph line sinks down and continues to extend, which resembles a “long tail.

Search terms or keywords show what type of information users are looking for. Although popular search terms may appear in more search results, these terms are not suitable when you are looking for specific information.

For instance, ‘Pets’ and ‘Dogs’ are famous search term as compared to the ‘Cocker spaniels’ and ‘Cocker spaniels puppies’. The later terms are far less popular than the former ones. Although the popularity of terms like ‘Pets’ and ‘Dogs’ appears to be tempting, it may not be a good option when you are selling food for puppies.

In most of the cases, a popular search term would turn out to be a high-cost and high waste term, mainly because the competition of these type of keywords is way too big.

Also people usually use long tail keywords while searching for their desired information. Hence, when creating your content strategy, it is essential to think about a variety of words and their combinations, which people can type.

The reason why specific search terms manage to draw a few searches each month on Google is that even though the opportunity is relatively small, startups and new businesses can use these particular terms to grab the attention of people looking for a particular product or information.

What Involves during Long Tail Content Strategy

The primary reason behind following a long tail content strategy is to defy competition. When most of the web marketers are focusing on highly competitive keywords, it would be wise to go for less competitive search terms.

The factors involved during long tail content creation strategy include target keywords, target geographies, and target market segments to create a wide range of permutations. This allows the content creators to deliver high quality and genuine content to each of the specific segments.

When addressed to a particular segment, content can engage relevant users and enhance the chances of lead conversion. Creating a perfect long tail content strategy isn’t a simple task. In fact, it demands hard work, investment, and patience.

However, when moving ahead in your SEO journey, don’t act hastily. It requires you to optimize your site's content, which demands a lot of time and effort. Moreover, before following your SEO strategy, make sure to optimize your content for the target audience.

For this purpose, you need to analyze how visitors interact after landing on your site. Whether they get the desired information or bounce back immediately, you can optimize your website in an ideal manner by evaluating the user experience.

Google Knowledge Graph Explained

Google Knowledge Graph

Launched in May 2012, the Google Knowledge Graph is a mechanism, which helps Google to understand information about places, people, things, and how these entities interlink with each other.

It helps Google to improve its search relevancy. Google also provides Knowledge Graph boxes, within its search results, which offer direct answers to relevant search queries. Knowledge Graph is one of the various ways, which assists Google to find exactly what they are looking for. This system largely depends on the intentions of the searchers.

These Graphs show information regarding thought leaders and businesses. To optimize your content and display the right information, you can assist Google while creating a Knowledge Graph, which is in line with your business goals. The Google Knowledge Graphs serve as inspiration, allowing you to understand what type of content people want to see.

Another most influential source for helping Google to understand your content is Schema Markups. The term Schema relates to the semantic vocabulary of tags. When added to the HTML, it helps the search engines to understand what is your content about, so you increase the chances to improve the rankings for a particular related set of keywords. Markups are nothing but HTML codes, which helps Google to analyze the type of data available on a particular website. Google, Yahoo, and Microsoft created Schema to enhance the contextual value of the online content.

What to Avoid When Writing Long Content

Before start writing long-form content, you need to consider a few things. Some of them are listed below.

Don’t Create Useless Content 

While creating your content, you need to provide authentic information. This means that the content should be informative and exciting. Longer content with inappropriate information appears to be boring. Remember, only good content is capable of obtaining higher rankings.

Long content Doesn’t always Increase Conversions

You can’t just continue writing long content without any reason to do so. As a matter of fact, some web pages and sites can offer better conversion rate by offering short-form content. Hence, before creating your content, make sure what form of content is ideal for your site.

Long Content and Social Media

Most of the popular blogs and sites take their strength through their social media accounts. They have lots of followers who assist the site owners and bloggers in spreading the words. In this context, long and great content can help you to strengthen the relationship between you and your audience. Hence, it is essential first to build up your social media account and then start working on creating a great piece of content.

Top 5 SEO Tools to help you to write the content:

  • Anchor Text Over Optimization Tool (Free): Google Penguin Algorithm is no longer a problem as all you have to do to insert the concerned link and receive full reports on the possibility of raising flags. This tool helps you to identify whether you have over-optimized the links pointing towards your site. By using this tool, you can relieve yourself from facing a Google penalty.
  • Content Strategy Generator Tool (Paid): Now, you can carry out content strategy planning seamlessly as this tool estimates your audience while making use of keyword research.
  • Convert Word Documents to Clean HTML (Free): For Word users who are not familiar with Google docs, the process is now simplified as this tool will help transform your content into HTML with seamless copy and paste function.
  • Copyscape (Paid): this tool is a unique content checker to check for duplication and plagiarism. Now you can get to see all the locations where your content is being used on the web. This particular tool helps you protect your site’s content against online plagiarism. It is quite easy to search for plagiarism and locate the instances of content theft by using Copyscape.
  • Similar Page Checker (Free+Paid): With this tool, you can easily web-scan to identify duplicate content. Insert the HTML of any two pages, which look alike and get a score rating of the relationship between them. 

Top 5 WordPress Plugins to improve the content of your posts:

  • Yoast SEO(Free+Paid): arguably the most widely-known WordPress plugin. About four million sites currently use this plugin as it is very simple and highly effective, which makes it, stand out from other plugins. With Yoast, you can control titles, meta descriptions, and manage sitemaps. It also allows you to set your targeted keywords and track their usage. The paid version of this plugin offers some additional functionality.
  • Google XML Sitemaps (Free): Take your site's fortunes into your own hands with search engines by using Google XML Sitemaps plugin, which will auto-generate a sitemap for you to make indexing easier with search engines. These XML sitemaps assist the crawlers in identifying the contents of a site and index it more efficiently. This plugin is compatible with all types of WordPress generated pages and custom URLs. Moreover, it also notifies the search engines when you post new content.
  • Broken Link Checker (Free): Churning out content continuously will eventually make it a bit of a challenge to keep track with your blog management, but this plug-in takes care of all that work. It helps you to monitor the links pasted in your pages, comments, and posts. With this tool, you can detect dead links, redirects, and missing images. This WordPress plugin is highly configurable.
  • Google Analytics by MonsterInsights (Free): Now you can easily track users who visit your site, the trending keywords, and all related data with Google analytics. Over 11 million downloads already with superb features. This plugin shows only those stats that matter. By connecting your site with Google Analytics, you can make data-driven decisions and promote your business.

Did you know? With long and good contents, it is possible and easier to incorporate other SEO strategies (Usage of keywords and key phrases, and a mobile-friendly website), thus killing three birds with one stone.

Expert’s suggestion: “Focus on searcher intent. This should underpin all of your activities- research. Creation and distribution. What is the searcher really trying to achieve and how is your content helping them reach this goal?” – Simon Ensor ( 5 ways to find great long-tail keywords: https://searchenginewatch.com/2018/03/27/keyword-research-5-ways-to-find-great-long-tail-keywords/ )

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