There are a lot of factors at play in a good SEO strategy. Your content may be the most important of them all. SEO optimization can only do so much if your content isn’t high quality and isn’t meeting users’ needs. But how long does that content have to be to have the best possible impact on your search rankings?
What Is Long-Form Content?
Long-form content is, as its name suggests, longer content. It’s typically recommended for any written content to be at least 300 words long in order for it not to negatively impact your search rankings. Long-form content is even longer, but how long it has to be to qualify as long-form depends on who you ask.
How Long Is Long-Form Content?
Some believe that written content qualifies as long-form when it reaches 700 words or more. Others think that it needs to be at least 1500 words or more. The longer the content, however, the better. This is because longer content gives you more room in which to really cover a topic in an in-depth way, which benefits users. In terms of SEO, longer content offers more room for Google’s EAT signals to be displayed.
What Is EAT?
EAT stands for:
- Expertise – your own knowledge and understanding of a topic
- Authority – whether others view you as an authority on that topic
- Trust – are you providing users with accurate, factual information
Google uses AI and an algorithm to determine search rankings and therefore has to have ways to determine how to quantify more qualitative factors such as user experience. EAT is one of the ways Google does this.
How Does Long-Form Content Demonstrate EAT?
Long-form content helps you to demonstrate your expertise in a certain topic. The more time you devote to discussing that topic the more you can show that you are an expert in that topic and that you really know what you’re talking about. Authority and Trust are demonstrated via links – Google considers you an authority on a topic if others link to your content and you’re demonstrating your trustworthiness by linking to other authorities on a topic.
The longer your content is, not only the more information you can provide but also the more link and citation opportunities you create to demonstrate your trustworthiness. Plus the higher the content quality, the more likely others will link back to you, demonstrating your authority.
Can Long-Form Content Improve Your Dwell Time?
Dwell time is the amount of time a user spends on your page before navigating elsewhere. Longer content can help to improve that time, which does play a role in Google’s algorithm for search rankings. However, it’s important to keep the content engaging and well-organized so that users don’t get bored partway through or frustrated if they can’t find what they’re looking for on your web page.
How Should You Organize Long-Form Content?
It’s important to divide your long-form content into sub-sections with appropriate headers. Not only is each header an SEO keyword opportunity, but headers also help users to find what they’re looking for. Some users skim longer content and the headers can help them to understand what your content is about even if they don’t read every single word.