Long-form vs Short-form Content: Which Will Win?

Are you confused to choose between long-form vs short-form content?

When it comes to writing a blog post, many people still question whether they should use long-form vs short-form content. It is a common question that business owners from many industries have: “How long should my company write our content?”

What people wait for is the exact answer to the problematic question. They search for the magic number that can guarantee them having a lot of people visit their website. Yet, the number of words in the article is not the only thought that appears during writing an article.

You may also consider the amount of time your readers need when they read your article, right? Therefore, you probably think that the shorter the better, so people can absorb your content without being burdened about how long the content is. Or, do you believe that it is better to have long-form content because you deliver a very complete and thoughtful insight?

This article will discuss that common question and show you the better option between long-form vs short-form content for your blog.

What is short-form content?

Short-form content typically has 400-600 words. This type of content does not require deep and critical thinking to write because marketers classify this as an easy reading. People usually read short-form content in around 2 minutes.

Hubspot showed that marketers frequently spend 1-2 hours when they write short-form content in about 500 words. Amanda Clark, the CEO of Grammar Chic, Inc., said that Google technically will index your 400-word article, but to get the substantial benefits of SEO is a whole different issue.

And, what is long-form content?

Long-form content holds around 2,000 words. It aims to give readers in-depth content that contains complete and compelling ideas. Usually, long-form content is used for e-books, resources, webinars, and guides. However, the top blog posts today that rank number one on Google have a similar length as the mentioned number above.

You indeed spend more time in writing this type of content, but this is favorable since it can be a great way to “sell” your brand due to the detailed explanation provided. 

The benefits of using short-form content

  • Spend less time writing it.

The process of writing can be endless. Before you write something, you need to rigorously research. Next, you have to both write and always be mindful of the grammar and writing style. After that, you need to edit it until it is acceptable to publish. Therefore, the fewer number you write means the less burden you have.

  • Help your viewers to read it fast

It is not only you who can save time on an article but also your readers. Because it is short, they will easily consume your content. They do not need to read an article contain more than 1,000 words to get the idea of what you talk about because you write it concisely.

Why you should use long-form content

  • Educate and persuade your readers

When you describe your products, you also educate them about what should a good product or service looks like. By providing long-form content you can showcase your products and prove to them that you are a trustworthy business owner.

  • Attract more organic traffic

On the definition above, it is mentioned that the highest rankings on Google are the blog posts that have long-form content. Consequently, if you are on the first page on Google, you can generate more organic traffic because more than 70 percent of internet users will never go beyond that page.

The best time to apply short-form content

You definitely can write short-form content if your readers have already been familiar with your brand or products. In this case, they do not need a long explanation about what the products are or what your brand offers.

Being familiar means that they are your loyal readers, so they know your business inside out. Or, the products are somewhat commonplace or inexpensive. For example, you sell toilet paper. You just need to offer an explanation about the size, material, and whether it has scent or not.

If you write for a specific platform that requires only a few words such as Tweet, Facebook ad, or even an email, those will only need short-form content. They are quite different compared to a blog post since those platforms have limited words.   

When you should write long-form content

When you have a new product or just release your brand, people undoubtedly will wonder what your product or brand is. If they do not know you, how can they purchase something for you? As a result, this is the best time to write long-form content to introduce what your business provides and how it can add value to them.

Another moment to publish long-form content instead of the short one is when your readers need plenty of considerations before buying it. It can be that your product is expensive like gadgets and furniture, or it is a long-term purchase such as life insurance or other financial products.

Do you sell something that has a quite long procedure and make anyone puzzled? Well, long-form content will suit you the best. It can be something technical like electronic products or big machine that you usually find in B2B business.

Which is better?

Considering the advantages you will get, the long and high-quality posts do perform better in competing with other websites. Brian Dean and his team from Backlinko conducted thorough research about SEO and concluded the average blog posts in the first search results page have 1,890 words. Therefore, if you want to reach the first page, you had better write long-form content.

Neil Patel, an online marketing guru, agrees that long-form content can bring you a higher ranking because it can employ the elements of SEO better than the short ones, increase the time readers spend on your site and give you a superior position of domain authority. Whether you eventually decide long form vs short form for your blog, remember that the quality of the content is over the quantity.