Business, Education

Short Form Vs. Long Form Content – Which Should You Use?

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By Kaleem Ullah

Should you create short-form or long-form content for your site? The answer isn’t straightforward. Both forms of content are important parts of your SEO strategy.

Short-form content is often used for blog posts and social media posts. Long-form content typically contains 1,000 or more words and provides in-depth information on a topic. Long-form content helps educate readers, while short-form content provides a quick answer to a specific query or a short update on a topic.

Yet, there’s plenty more to consider.

Whether you use article writing services or create everything in-house, take a moment to compare the benefits of short-form and long-form content.

What Is Short-Form Content?

Short-form content is website content with a limited word count. Most examples of short-form content contain 1,000 or fewer words.

Shorter pieces of content are often used to share information quickly, answer specific questions, provide updates, and keep your audience engaged.

Common examples of short-form content include:

  • Blog posts
  • Social media posts
  • News articles
  • Videos
  • Testimonials
  • Infographics
  • FAQs
  • Product descriptions
  • Email newsletters
  • Announcements
  • Polls and surveys

These types of content serve different purposes but generally don’t need a lengthy word count. Short, focused articles covering a portion of a topic are often just 300 to 500 words.

News articles and social media posts are also typically short. They contain concise information relevant to specific topics. You can provide essential information without extensive details.

Infographics, announcements, and other forms of short content are not intended to cover a broad range of topics. They focus on one aspect of a much larger topic, which may be covered by a separate piece of long-form content.

What Is Long-Form Content?

Long-form content is longer, containing at least 1,000 words. However, the average length for long-form content is closer to 2,000 to 2,500 words.

Using long-form content may help establish authority, improve your SEO, and build trust with your audience.

Common categories of long-form website content include:

  • In-depth blog articles
  • White papers
  • E-books
  • Guides and tutorials
  • Case studies
  • Research studies
  • Webinars
  • Technical documentation

Long-form content is often used to create “pillar pages.” These core pages offer a detailed look at a topic. When you need to drill down deeper into a topic, you may link to a piece of short-form content.

Long-form content is intended to provide more information compared to short-form content. For example, long-form content includes detailed guides and how-to articles. Guides and in-depth articles may offer step-by-step instructions or cover multiple subtopics.

White papers are another common example of long-form content. These detailed reports explain complex issues or offer a detailed solution to a problem. They are mostly used in the business-to-business (B2B) sector to generate leads and demonstrate expertise.

Case studies also frequently include longer word counts. A case study offers a detailed analysis of a specific project, making it a type of long-form content.

Long-form content is also frequently necessary for explaining technical information. Research studies, reports, and technical documentation may require a longer word count to present more detailed info.

Pros and Cons of Using Short-Form Content

Short-form content offers several advantages when incorporated into an SEO strategy that includes a mixture of content types. Potential benefits include:

  • Easier to produce
  • Increased engagement
  • Quicker to digest
  • More shareable
  • Mobile friendly

Creating short-form content requires fewer resources. You can even outsource.

Hiring an article writing service is a cost-effective way to produce short blog articles and original website content quickly. You can easily generate more content for your site without a major investment.

Using short-form content is also a great option for increasing your audience engagement. Delivering concise, impactful content keeps your visitors engaged and coming back for more. It’s easier to digest, as reading a short article requires less time.

Short-form content is more shareable. People are more likely to share a short blog post or social media post if they think that the recipient will bother to read it.

Shorter content is also typically more mobile-friendly. Most people don’t want to scroll through thousands of words of content on a phone. You can read short content on a smaller screen with less hassle.

The fact that you can produce and update short-form content more quickly makes it invaluable for staying relevant.

However, you’re also going to need longer pieces of content to grow your online presence significantly.

Shorter content is less likely to rank highly in search rankings. This is especially true for search queries on technical topics and high-volume searches. For the best results, you’ll also need long-form content.

Pros and Cons of Using Long-Form Content

Producing longer pieces of content offers several distinct benefits:

  • Improved search rankings
  • Build greater authority
  • Earn more quality backlinks
  • Improve conversion rates
  • Attract more leads

Long-form content tends to rank better for similar keywords compared to short-form content. It provides more opportunities for keywords, backlinks, and other elements of successful SEO.

Producing long-form content can also build authority. People and search engines are more likely to trust your website as a source of reliable information on the topics that you cover if you offer detailed content.

These benefits can lead to higher conversion rates and more leads. Giving visitors what they want can go a long way toward increasing your lead generation efforts.

The main drawback to long-form content is the extra resources needed. One solution is to consider working with a content writing agency, such as Textun. You can outsource the creation of pillar pages for anchoring your site and establishing your authority.

Last Thoughts on Content Length

A successful SEO strategy typically includes a mixture of short-form and long-form content. You may use long-form content to build your audience and establish your authority. Yet, you’ll also need short-form content to help populate your site and provide fast solutions to common problems.

If you’re not sure whether a piece of content should be short or long, think about its purpose and the main points you want to make.

In some cases, short-form content works better, such as short news articles or blog posts. However, you also need long-form content to cover topics in greater depth.

The bottom line is that the objective of the content and the information you want to convey should dictate the word count. Decide on the purpose of the content to determine whether the topic needs a long or short discussion.