How to write long form content

There are infinite ways that you can produce content. However the most effective content for the web hasn’t changed, and long form is still king. Below we look at how to write it, how to plan it, and things to be aware of.

How to write long form content

In the age where everyone is making videos, vlogs and short consumable content. Long form written content still reigns supreme in search. You can make the argument that users don’t have the attention spans that they used to due to the rampant machine that is social media messing with everyones brains, but deep down people still want to be informed and dive deep on subjects they find interesting and helpful. There is a reason why long form podcasts are growing at an astronomical rate and becoming extremely profitable. Written content is just another platform to push useful content that users find interesting.

How to know what to write for?

Before you put pen to paper, you should probably find out what questions people actually want answered. There is no point going in and writing about a subject that no one actually cares about. You will be wasting your time as no one will resonate with what you write, in turn actually hurting your brand. This is where Keyword Research comes into play. Use a tool like keyword planner to find search volumes on different keywords and phrases in your chosen market to see which subjects and topics people are interested in. Doing this will future proof your content not only for engagement, but also SEO. A helpful tip is to search some of the keywords you find in Google, then look at the ‘related queries’ or ‘people also ask’ sections. These are generally good starting points to build out a content brief and guide you in your writing as it is what people are often searching.

How to structure your content on a web page?

Structure long form content in FAQ format. Google favours this type of content more than any other, so will help you rank in the search results. The majority of users when they search the internet often ask questions. People ask “what is”, “how is”, how to”, and “where is” types of questions, so being direct and answering these questions will work and help your audience. Write as if you were writing an interview style based article, but for your chosen topic of choice. Doing this will hep Google will see you as an authority on this topic, and users will build trust in your brand. Answer 5 questions on the same topic and be specific on the topic you are writing on. Focus on writing rich content and don’t be too broad.

Structured Snippets

How people use the internet is changing, people are clicking through to websites less and less and instead just gathering information directly off Google search. What this means is writing for questions becomes more important because if you do it well you will be rewarded with a thing called a “Structured Snippet”. A structured Snippet is where google pulls information from your website and puts it directly in search. This is a great way to drive authoritative traffic to your brand and website.

How long should your content be?

When Google says it favours longform, it means long. Anything over 1200 words is ideal but you can get away with it being around 1,000. The reason for this is the more rich content you have on one subject, the algorithm will interpret that you are an authority on this subject. In-turn you will rank higher up the search results. Writing 1000 words plus content won’t impact user experience, because you structured it in FAQ style so the reader can look at the questions and read the sections they find most useful. 

Summary

Creating good quality content has multiple benefits for your brand, SEO, and website. The better the content you create, the more engagement it will get from both Google’s algorithm and your users, the more links it will generate across the internet from people sharing, and ultimately the more business and value it will generate you.

Published by Alex Jordan