Google prefers a website that knows how to write long-form content
You may think that since people nowadays are busy, you need to help them by providing short, clear, and concise content for your website. Therefore, people will only spend 2 to 3 minutes to read information from you. However, when it comes to search engines, they demand you understand how to write a long-form blog post if you want to increase significantly on their pages.
Now, you may wonder whether you should write long-form or short-form content. Hubspot reported that people publish more than 70,5 million new blog posts on WordPress monthly. Looking at the enormous number of blog posts, you want to “beat” them in becoming the first rank on the search engine results page (SERP), right?
According to Backlinko, the first pages that appear on Google frequently contain 1,890 words. It means that if you write 500-800 words like what the marketers used years ago, you minimize the probability of positioning on the first page on search engines.
You can use these steps on how to write long-form content
- Determine the goal
Finding your goal before writing a long-form blog post is unquestionably important because it gives you a big picture of what you should do with your content. Do you focus on building brand awareness or connecting with customers? You can also expand your email list and increase your sales by publishing a blog post.
To make your content in line with the goal, consider some questions below:
- Why do you write the blog post?
- Whom will you address the content to?
- What are the specific goals you want to achieve?
- How will you measure success?
For example, you want to develop your brand awareness. Then, you try to understand audiences and plan to focus on your audience persona. Your goal in building awareness is to increase 25 percent of user behaviors on your website. Therefore, you can measure it by looking at the page views, unique visitors, and average time on page.
- Choose a topic
When choosing a topic for long-form content, do not pick any topic randomly because it can lead your blog post to be unindexed by Google and abandoned by your readers. If you are confused in deciding a topic, think about these points:
- Popular keywords on search engines. You can search on Google Trends and social media to find what is currently becoming a trending topic or go to LSI keyword generators such as LSIGraph or Keysearch.co to get to know the search volume of keywords within your niche.
- Your website analytics. This analytic tool can help you discover what kind of content in your blog that becomes the favorite of the majority of your readers.
- Your target audience. This still becomes the focal point in determining almost everything in your blog. It is true that Google is the one that grades your website, but once your readers feel attached to your content, they will always wait for your next post. Therefore, ensure that you write what your readers want.
- Outline your blog post
The next step on how to write a long-form content is to make an outline. Because you will write a long-form content about 2,000 words (some content writers can go beyond that), you need to plan it well so that the final result will not be unbalanced.
Sometimes, you are eager to put all of your efforts at the beginning of the article. Then, when you are in the middle of the writing process, you realize that you write almost 1,000 words for the introduction and first tip only!
To avoid doing that kind of mistakes and make your writing more structured also organized, you can use these tips:
- figure out what types of articles you will write: how-to, listicles, or tips.
- decide how many words included in the article
- divide the number of words into introduction, body, and conclusion
- plan your body by thinking of how many tips or steps, then split up the number of words for each point.
- Write it!
You are now stepping on the best part that is writing the long-form content!
- Make the sentences short
Your readers will be overwhelmed if you put too many words in one paragraph. Remember that blog post is different from your essay during high school. You can write 3-4 sentences in one paragraph. You can also mix it with writing one sentence for one paragraph. That is totally okay too!
- Use headers
A blog post is not aimed to be read words by words. Even more than 40 percent of internet users confess that they skim blog posts. Using headers can help your readers “skim well” your article.
- Develop bullets and numbers
You do not have to make an article that contains paragraphs only. Use bullets and numbers if it is helpful to assist your readers to understand your topic.
- Utilize bold, italic, or quote
You can emphasize something in your text by using bold or italic. Add a quote section to make it more stand out than other paragraphs.
- Insert media
A picture is absolutely worth a thousand words. Use relevant pictures and write an alternative text on it to improve your SEO rate. You can also grab your readers’ attention by inserting media like pictures, videos, or podcasts.
- Include Call To Action (CTA)
For you who have a goal in generating more sales from your blog post, it is necessary that you integrate the CTA button in between the paragraphs of your article. Brafton has revealed that you can grow your revenue by 83 percent in one month once it included CTA in the article templates.
Even though you have already followed the practical guide on how to write a long-form content above, the thing you need to highlight is the quality of the content. Let us say you have known what your audiences need, chosen a perfect topic, and attached pictures, but if your content is not understandable and readable, your readers will not stay long reading your blog post.