Long form content has gradually taken over the blogosphere, thanks largely to Google’s emphasis on publishing high-quality content.
This subtle endorsement by the almighty Google has brought a stampede of unserious publishers who are always determined to outsmart one another in the quest to occupy the top spot on search engine result pages (SERPs).
This has resulted in most blog posts nowadays being between 2,000 and 5,000 words.
However, when dealing with long form content, one this is very, very important:
- It’s not about length, it’s about quality.
So, when writing long form content, emphasis needs to be placed on producing evergreen posts. But why should we be concerned about evergreen content?
According to Al Gomez, “on the subject of content marketing, for instance, I often find myself reading and enjoying the more comprehensive older posts more than I do the new, rehashed ones from syndicate sites. It’s not that I don’t find the new ideas awesome – it’s usually because older (or evergreen posts) tend to have a better grasp of the topics I care to know about.”
You can now understand why Google is interested in seeing you write long form and evergreen content.
So now that we know length is not the only thing which ranks a page, what else do we need to pay attention to?
Two Important Things To Focus On When Looking To Rank Long Form Content
1. Page Load Speed
Page load speed is an important metric for ranking websites, and it is important that you pay attention to it.
Unfortunately, lots of websites owners neglect this.
They believe that with quality content on their site, readers will keep coming. But this is not entirely true.
Google is very mindful of the loading speed of your site because it represents a part of the overall user experience – a slow loading blog does not leave a great user experience. Faster sites, in general, make users happier, and as a result, they will get a higher rank.
In one blog post on the Google Webmaster’s blog, the Google team stated that:
“Here at Google, we’re obsessed with speed, in our products and on the web. As part of that effort, today we’re including a new signal in our search ranking algorithms: site speed. Site speed reflects how quickly a website responds to web requests.”
Similarly, in a blog post on the SEMrush blog, “Users are less likely to stay on a website that takes ages to load and Google will certainly penalize your website for being too slow. Also, a fast website also converts better.”
With tools like GTmetrix and Pingdom, you can check your website’s loading speed.
If it takes more than 3 seconds to load, you should do something about it.
Here is ShoutMeLoud on Pingdom:
For more info:
2. Rich Media
Adding in visually appealing graphics will increase your subscribers, leads, traffic, and also, your rank.
Jeff Bullas stated that, “articles with images get 94% more views than articles without images.” Now, if I confidently tell you that doing something as simple as adding relevant images into your post would boost your page views by ninety-four percent, you probably wouldn’t think twice about adding in an image or two.
Essentially, a blog post’s media directly affects backlinks, traffic, and shares, especially on social media.
For example, tweets with photos average 35% more retweets:
Similarly, posts with good images get shared more on Facebook, as 87% of popular posts on the platform include images:
Recently, several bloggers and content creators started adding videos to their content because of the increased user experience. It’s little wonder why informative videos are ranking so high in search engine result pages.
But images aren’t just vital for blog traffic alone, they’re equally important for memory. This Brainrules study shows that, “images make information much easier to remember”. They call this the “Pictorial Superiority Effect”.
Interestingly, many of your subscribers feel they don’t have the time to read your content all the way to the end. But if you add in a high quality and informative video as part of the content, I bet they’ll happily watch until the end.
This is because some people may find long blocks of text boring. For these users, videos become the best way to engage them.
This all has a direct effect on the ranking of your site. If Google sees that your site is providing a great user-experience, they won’t hesitate to rank you higher.
For instance, the featured image is one of the first things a user sees before reading the content. If this image isn’t engaging, there’s a high chance that people will just ignore the content altogether and the rank will ultimately drop.
Therefore, if you really want your site to have lots of happy fans, and also rank high in the search engines, you should never ignore the use of quality media in your posts.
For more info:
Ranking Long Form Content
Long form content is undoubtedly valuable.
But length is not the only criteria that Google uses in ranking your site; other factors like page load speed and rich media must be given their due considerations.
Far too often, marketers make the mistake of writing long form content and expecting great search rankings, but this is not going to happen.
You need to optimize your site so that your users are happy and your website is professional.
If you make sure to take proper care of your site, then ranking high in SERPs won’t be a problem.
What are some of the things you focus on when trying to rank long form content? Do you pay attention to these two factors? Let me hear your thoughts in the comments below!
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