Attention spans are getting shorter, people are busier, and information is everywhere so articles need to be short and sweet, right?
If you look around the web today, you’ll notice short articles aren’t the ones that get read and shared. In fact, it’s the exact opposite – if you look at the most popular resources on the web, you’ll notice that these articles are long with high keyword potential.
This isn’t surprising, nor is it a coincidence.
Numerous studies have outlined the benefits of writing long articles – articles that are at least 1000 words (we’ll get to those studies later).
In this article we explore the top seven reasons why long articles have higher keyword potential – these findings are backed by research, meaning you can confidently apply these insights directly to your content marketing strategy for optimal results.
1| Search Engines love long articles
Keyword potential is all about having your keywords recognized and ranked by the major search engines. To rank well for keywords – you have to speak the search engines language. One of the ways in which you can do this is by writing long articles.
Research diving into this subject finds that if you’re writing with the goal of improving your search rankings – longer is the way to go.
A study by SerpIQ clearly illustrated this point as they discovered that the best ranked websites on Google have articles with at least 2,000 words.
This is the case because longer articles are perceived as more authoritative – the purpose of search engines is to refer searchers to the most relevant and authoritative content available. Ultimately, one of the ways Google and other search engines measure the relevance of your articles is by length – the longer your article, the higher your keyword potential, and the more likely you are to rank on search engines.
2| Longer articles naturally have higher keyword potential because you can get away with using more keywords
It makes perfect sense why longer articles have higher keyword potential – the longer your article; the more keywords you will be able to insert into your article (better keyword density).
Take for example a 500-word article – there’s not a lot of keywords you can include in such a short article. Now compare this to an article of 2000+ words – it soon becomes apparent that you can get away with using more keywords, allowing you to achieve much higher keyword potential.
3| The keyword potential of longer articles attracts more attention – leading to more shares
Longer articles contain more keyword potential – resulting in satisfied readers and searchers. This is the case because people like articles that speak directly to them – if you include the exact phrases and keywords your target market uses in your articles, you’ll generate greater engagement, leading to more shares.
A study conducted by Orbit Media illustrates this point as they discovered articles of at least 1,500 words generated 50% more shares than shorter length content – not to mention they were also shared 68% more on Twitter and 22% more on Facebook.
4| Longer articles are much more comprehensive, meaning they’re more likely to answer a searcher’s query
It’s easy to write articles for the sake of writing articles, but at the end of the day – the purpose of articles is to provide value. One of the ways you do that is by providing a comprehensive answer to searchers queries. Longer articles achieve just that – a study conducted by SerpIQ verified that the top ranked websites contained articles with an average word count of 2,416 – compare this to the tenth ranked site that had an average word count of 2,032 words.
5| Higher word counts have a positive correlation to higher backlink counts
Longer articles do a much better job at providing solutions to searchers queries – meaning the content is of higher value, leading to more backlinks.
For example, an analysis conducted by HubSpot clearly showed that articles of at least 2,000 words received more backlinks, compared to shorter articles.
6| Long form articles contain more keywords – leading to higher conversion rates
The longer your article, the more keywords you can insert – allowing you to directly speak to your viewer’s core needs. This in return leads to higher conversion rates, and more sales.
A study conducted by Highrise Marketing discovered that homepages leveraging the power of long form content generated higher conversion rates, with some websites increasing their conversation rate by as much as 37%.
7| Longer articles cater to both short tail and long tail keywords
The beauty of longer articles is they allow you to include both short tail and long tail keywords for your respective niche – this results in higher keyword potential, and greater rankings.
The days of achieving rankings just for short tail keywords are gone – nowadays web users want answers to exact and specific queries – meaning there’s a rise in long tail keywords.
You can take advantage of this trend by creating longer articles that adequately and sufficiently appeal to both short tail and long tail keywords.
Keep in mind, however, that writing long articles for the sake of writing long articles isn’t the way to go. Instead, you need to focus on creating high quality articles that fully and adequately answer searcher’s inquiries. By doing so, not only will you possess higher keyword potential, but you’ll more naturally rank for both short tail and long tail keywords.
The number of words you use will vary from article to article – but you should aim to write articles that are at least 1000 words.
So what’s the bottom line and what does it mean for you and your content marketing strategy?
Everyone in the content marketing sphere is resorting to writing short and sweet blog posts that fall around 500 words – if you can make your articles longer and more comprehensive – you’ll achieve higher keyword potential, allowing you to separate yourself from your competitors.
Although every article you write doesn’t have to be a long one – we highly encourage you to put in an extra 1500 words of work into your articles – the results will be well worth your time.