If you want to bring any visitors to your website, having high-quality content on your website isn’t optional. It’s been known for years that content is one of the most important parts of SEO and you can’t get anywhere without investing in it. However, there are various types, so it can be difficult to understand what will have the biggest impact. Even if you understand what all your options are, implementing them effectively can still be extremely challenging. Two types of content you might hear about often are short-form content and long-form content.

You’re likely wondering what counts as short-form and long-form content and, of course, which one is best. Learn more about these and which one will help you get the most out of your content marketing efforts. 

What is Short-Form Content?

Many people have different definitions as to what length is considered short-form content. However, many people consider short-form content to be anything under 1,000 words. Because of this, this type often makes up a lot of the content online. Short-form content is also very popular because, in many cases, that’s all someone wants or really needs. Many people want quick answers, so they don’t want to read through thousands of words to get what they’re looking for. 

Benefits of Short-Form Content

Short-form content could mean 100 words, but it could also be 1,000, so the ways it is used can range greatly. Short-form content can give simple, straightforward answers to users’ questions, while some longer examples of it can explain topics much further. Even when the content is high-quality and interesting, not everyone wants to commit to the time it takes to get through a lengthy piece of content. 

Users can make many searches that are only looking for very general, surface-level information when they’re just starting to gain interest in something. Also, not every subject needs to be explained in great detail. Sometimes, all a topic requires is a few hundred words to tell someone all they need to know. Not only does short-form content make it easy to get your point across quickly, but it also allows you to create content more regularly. This means you can consistently share content with your audience and keep them engaged over time, while this can be difficult when you only use long-form content.

Examples of Short-Form Content

Some common examples you’ve likely seen online include:

  • Blog posts
  • Social posts
  • Emails
  • News posts
  • Product descriptions

What is Long-Form Content?

Like short-form content, what is considered long-form can vary depending on who you ask. While some consider long-form content to be anything over 1,000 words, others believe it to be anywhere from over 600 words to over 2,000 words. Unlike short-form, long-form content is perfect when you need to go into heavy detail and dive deep into a topic. 

Benefits of Long-Form Content

Long-form content can be thousands of words long, so this could give people much more information than short-form. While people often want simple answers, there are also plenty of times when they really want to learn the ins and outs of something, which requires longer content. 

Some topics can be extremely complex and warrant more information to explain everything a user needs to know. If a topic requires this, it’s best to go into detail, rather than keep it short and risk leaving important information that users are looking for out. Although it often isn’t practical to only rely on long-form content, it can help meet the needs of users who require in-depth knowledge of a topic in a way that short-form content can’t.

Examples of Long-Form Content

Some examples you might see include:

  • Tutorials
  • Ebooks
  • Whitepapers
  • Guides

Is Short-Form or Long-Form Content Better for SEO?

As you can tell, the types of content used to produce long-form and short-form content are extremely different, so it’s understandable that they’re used to accomplish different goals. Unfortunately, there’s no easy answer as to which is better in general, using short-form or long-form. However, that doesn’t mean there aren’t specific situations where one will be better to help you achieve your goals. Each has benefits when used at the appropriate time, so you need to know what type of content to use when. 

Is Content Length a Ranking Factor?

Many people believe that word count is a ranking factor and your content absolutely must have a certain number of words if you want it to rank at all. However, this isn’t true. Google has stated multiple times that word count is not a ranking factor, so it won’t necessarily make or break a piece of content. 

While content length might not be an official ranking factor, there are some correlations between longer content and higher rankings. One study shows that results on the first page of the SERPs average over 1,000 words. Although hitting a certain word count won’t be enough to help you rank well on your own, there are a few reasons it can be beneficial for your SEO. More words mean more chances to rank for different keywords and providing more information can help earn more backlinks. Well-thought-out, thoroughly researched ideas can also result in high-quality content.

Of course, length is not an indication of quality, so a longer piece might not have what it takes to perform well in the SERPs, even if it has a bigger word count than your competitors’ content. Making something longer than it needs to be and including unnecessary information only to reach a certain word count can reduce the quality of a piece and make it unlikely to rank well.

Understanding User Intent

User intent can be much more important to consider than word count when creating content. However, this can be challenging and requires a strong understanding of what users are looking for when they conduct certain searches. Are these users who only want something quick and brief or do they want to gain a deep understanding of a topic? What type of content are others producing to help meet the needs of these users? Google wants to provide results that meet a user’s needs, which includes considering what type of content and what length will be most beneficial for them. 

Get Help with Content Marketing

There are many different ways you can utilize content marketing to achieve your digital marketing goals. Knowing what the best types to use at certain times are and how to create it using SEO best practices can be a huge challenge. Because of this, the easiest thing you can do for your business is to have a digital marketing agency take care of it. 

At ENX2 Marketing, we can help you with everything you need to create the right high-quality content for your business. Contact us today to learn more.