Small business owners who promote thin content thinking readers don’t have the time, energy, or patience required to filter their content pieces are seriously underestimating their audiences.
These days, crafting in-depth relevant content is not just necessary – it’s actually required.
Long content ranks better in search engine results, allowing its creators to improve their online presence, boost conversions, and gain superior social engagement and authority. If you’re dying to find out what Google is looking for in today’s content world, you should know that in-depth, relevant content is an indispensable asset that will always stay in fashion for a number of reasons.
3 Top Reasons Why Long (And Evergreen) Copy Should be Your New Best Friend
Numerous company owners erroneously think that a content marketing strategy is as flexible and easy to set up and maintain as a conversation between two close friends. In this case, they are deliberately ignoring the fact that even the most basic forms of social conversations compel participants to follow certain rules of conduct. They have to be genuinely interested in their interlocutors, converse instead of debating, respect the speaker’s point of view without judging, imposing, or criticizing. Above anything else, dialogists should learn to accept their differences, while learning to build a solid foundation on their commonalities.
Great copy is just as elaborate and effective as a conversation established between two people who care for one another. When it comes to exchanging ideas with a person whom you value a great deal, you definitely don’t want your economy of words to work against you, by impacting the clarity of the message that you’re trying to send. Following the same principle at work, you will notice that long copy will bring you better results and a higher level of satisfaction, compared to those short posts that you used to write and promote every once in a while.
Here are three great reasons why long-form content can (and should become) your most reliable weapon of mass seduction.
1. Google Loves It
The biggest challenge small business owners face these days is creating quality content that is highly rated by both humans and machines. Striving to reward stellar content creation and marketing efforts while also cleaning up SERPs, Google introduced the “in-depth article” feature, allowing users to stumble across a block of search results designed to help them research a certain topic and get more detailed information. Google lets you know which steps you should follow to optimize your website for this feature and essentially gives you access to a great method to promote your non-commercial content meant to entertain, inform, and educate your readers.
According to Search Engine Watch, the in-depth article feature was implemented by Google in an attempt to push out players who do not see a steady content flow as the central piece of their strategy. In this context, it becomes obvious that businesses counting on in-depth, relevant articles tailored to the needs and expectations of their audiences will witness a superior click-through rate and make the most of a privileged position in search engine results. Don’t take our word for it. Several players operating in the content industry have already realized that more is more.
For example, WordStream reveals that its most successful post entitled Find Your Old Tweets: How to See Your First (Worst?) Tweet, which counts approximately 2,300 words, has been viewed more than 100,000 times over the past months; the post is also has a superior average time on page estimated at 8 minutes.
Now would definitely be a good time to change your perspective on the concept of “light reading”, taking into consideration the fact that the average length of the top 10 results is in the 2,300-2450 words range, according to the data provided by serpIQ. Clearly, Google loves long-form content and this one reason should be enough to make you want to adjust your tactics and your future posts a bit.
2. Your Readers Love it Too
Responding to the demands of modern, Internet-savvy readers can be difficult. Most of them aren’t really fond of insanely long posts with a complicated structure that prevents them from skimming or scanning the written material in a split second; at the same time, they refuse to make any type of quality compromises and reject low-quality food for thought served on a rusty platter without any hesitation.
What’s the best way to keep your audience engaged without oversimplifying your work or over whelming your readers?
First of all, you should stick to facts and details that are relevant to the topic that you’re expanding on. Secondly, you should opt for a clear structure that is easy to follow and highlights the main points of interest presented your article. Thirdly, before distributing your content piece across different channels, you should reread it and ditch any embellishments that may distract your readers from your calls to action and the main message that you’re trying to send.
3. Success is in the Details
Here’s another important aspect that you shouldn’t disregard: detailed solutions to your readers’ biggest questions and concerns can’t always be delivered in a short form. We are told that strong essences are being kept in small bottles, but in this case, when it comes to crafting Google and user-friendly content, size does matter a great deal.
You could come up with the cutest, wittiest, and most clever 300 words blog. However, if search engines can’t find you, they won’t rank you and all your content creations will be in vain. On the other hand, no matter how incisive and well-organized you may be, how could you pack a plethora of useful information in only two paragraphs or less?
Keep it simple, they say. At the same time, when it comes to researching a particular topic, readers hate the idea of landing on ten different websites just to collect the information that they require to stay updated. They would much rather check out a trustworthy online source offering them all the details that they could ever need to gain insight into a certain matter, optimally compressed in 2,000-words articles that could never be labeled as boring or irrelevant.
Here’s an interesting paradox that you should factor in: as Buzzsumo points out, although more and more users choose to use their mobile devices to surf the Internet, they would gladly read longer, quality articles on their smartphones or tablets.
The average viral story word count displayed by some of the most prominent names in this industry is in the 721-2012 range (BBC – 721 words, CNN – 938 words, The Huffington Post – 1139, The New York Times – 2012, according to the numbers reflected by a chart introduced by NewsWhip). These numbers indicate you shouldn’t be afraid to invest time, money, and energy in information-rich, well-researched articles and blog posts. While these pieces may be more difficult to create, they will definitely reward your efforts as long as they are good enough to feed your readers’ appetence for premium content.
Turning Evergreen Content into Your Inexhaustible Gold Mine
Most brands assume they don’t have enough time/energy/cash to produce and distribute long-form content. But, I have the best arguments to counteract your argurment: evergreen content is the most valuable asset you can generate and use even – when your options are limited by a tight schedule and an even tighter budget.
Three (More) Reasons Why Evergreen Content is an Invaluable Resource for Any Type of Business
These days, the internet is flooded with low-quality information with very little or no practical value. In this context, many budget-conscious companies decide to take the easy (and cheap) way out by lowering their quality standards and crafting and delivering thin content that doesn’t resonate with the necessities and demands expressed by readers. Instead of making the same mistake and suffering the consequences of your actions, you should focus on producing evergreen content that will always do your brand justice.
As its name suggests, evergreen content is timeless. It displays the highest quality and usually represents the definitive, canonical content piece that a business has and promotes on a given subject. According to Hubspot, high-impact, in-depth content with a lifespan of one or two years can be labeled as fairly evergreen for certain industries. Any player operating in any sector can create his fair share of timeless content. Here are the three main benefits offered by this particular category of long-form content.
1. It Ranks Well in Search Engine Results
Naturally, optimization is one of your top priorities when it comes to creating Google-friendly content. If that’s the case, you should know that aside from having a long shelf life, evergreen content also ranks well in search engine results due to its timelessness. To maximize its potential, you would just have to perform optimal keyword research and make sure that your content is properly optimized for the keywords that you’re currently targeting.
2. Generates Leads for the Longest Period of Time
Evergreen content also has the ability to generate new leads over a long timeframe. Many reputable sources credit day-to-day leads to high-value articles that were published years or months ago. As impossible as it may seem, in the era of perishable content, evergreen masterpieces can help you stay active and relevant in your industry, regardless of its particularities.
3. Keeps You in the Public Eye without Making You Seem Outdated
Some types of content revolving around a subject that will never change can easily stand the test of time and guarantee your success. Topics such as How to Create a Killer Facebook Page for Your Online Store or 10 Solutions to Common Problems That You’ll Encounter in Your Business Environment usually contain information and guidelines that can resist new trends and changes.
How to Craft & Optimize Evergreen Content to Achieve Your Marketing Goals
Now that you are familiar with the advantages of long-form, timeless, canonical content, you are probably dying to create your first such pieces. In this situation, here are the three golden rules that you should follow to obtain excellent results:
1. Do Your Homework
Research is key, especially when it comes to tackling a topic that is generous enough to be compatible with a long-form article or blog post. Also, do not neglect keyword research and the importance of a deeper understanding of your audience; both aspects could help your new piece rank better and respond to your readers’ problems in a more effective manner.
2. Optimize Your Content Creation Process
- Determine the ideal structure for your content piece enabling you to introduce your ideas in a logical manner
- Figure out when and how often you should revisit and adjust each evergreen content piece; if you have a lot on your plate and wish to stay organized, you may want to create an editorial calendar and document all these changes.
- Make sure your timeless content piece displays an ideal keyword density
- Work on both external and internal linking to support your SEO efforts
- Check for grammar/spelling errors
- Assess the quality of your post and keep in mind the fact that each content piece should be uniquely valuable, instead of being a poor reflection of your previous work.
3. Expand Your Sharing Strategy
There are countless ways in which you could increase your exposure through long-form content. Email newsletters and social networking websites offer you the most fertile ground for a flawless distribution and promotion. Even when you have a lot to say, you can still come up with a social media-friendly, pared-down message by pulling out interesting sentences or statistics. Also, according to Kapost, in order to achieve similar positive results, you could also make a short video introducing your topic or create a bunch of related images that could support your content and make it more palatable.
Sometimes, More Content Means More Everything
As much as I would like to tell you that 100-words blog posts could guarantee your success on any market, this is clearly not the case. While 2,000-words content pieces are clearly more complex and difficult to create than the ones half their size, as long as their creators put quality over quantity, they are always worth the extra effort.
Therefore, instead of tightening your writing, put your thoughts in order and let those words flow on paper; if for some reason or another you don’t feel ready to face this challenge, let a team of experienced writers help you achieve excellence in long-form content creation.