Recently, a client told us they wanted to write 2,500-word articles on healthcare topics to increase their findability on search engines.
And we gulped.
2,500 words on any topic sounds like a lot. And even if it would increase your findability, would people really stay and read it?
So we did what we love to do—researched the topic to find out if this strategy makes sense.
The Ins and Outs of Long-form Content
First, let’s define long-form content.
Most experts say any article longer than 1,200-1,500 words should be considered long-form.
Second, does it work for SEO?
In 2012, serpIQ looked at more than 20,000 keywords. Each of the top 10 results averaged more than 2,000 words, which leads us to the conclusion that longer form content works for findability and ranking. Evidence also suggests that there are more backlinks to long-form content as well as more shares and conversions. All these things probably help your long-term SEO strategy.
But we still have those readers. What if they don’t want to read 2,000 words on a specific topic?
Third, will your readers really engage with that long of an article?
This is where content becomes an art, not a science. I remember very early on in my career people asking me what the right length of a page should be. My answer? As long as it takes to answer the readers’ questions. It doesn’t make sense to drone on and on if you have nothing of value to say.
However, if you can use those 2,000 words to demonstrate your point of view in the marketplace and add relevant value to people’s lives—I say go for it. Just don’t be surprised if some people are turned off by the length because they wanted a quick answer. The solution? Write a short synopsis and then lead people on a journey where they can find deeper information if they want it.