In order to compete effectively in their respective industries, companies must establish a strong online presence. Content marketing is an integral part of any marketing strategy, and it plays an important role in achieving this. However, many companies often struggle with deciding whether to use short-form or long-form content. When it comes to short form vs long form, you need to consider your type of business, audience, business goals, and existing SERPs when weighing the dilemma. Let’s take a look at the difference between short and long form content as well as the pros and cons of each type.

What Is Short Form Content?

Short-form content generally refers to pieces that fall under 1,000 words, although the limits may be higher or lower depending on who you ask. Such types of content can take the form of blog posts, landing pages, social media posts, news articles and emails – a useful way to provide readers with the basics they need to know or answer their most frequent queries. Others employ this style as part of a series of smaller pieces focusing on a single topic.

What Is Long Form Content?

Long-form content can range anywhere from 1,000 to 2,000-plus words. Depending on your definition, it could comprise blog posts, white papers, pillar pages, ebooks, how-to guides, tutorials, case studies and research reports – tools you can use to showcase your expertise and share your authoritative knowledge on niche topics.

Google tends to reward long form content more as it helps showcase the author as an authority on the topic. However, this isn’t always the case. The content piece needs to answer relevant questions and be built properly. Google and other search engines have been known to lower rankings for this type of content due to keyword stuffing and other black-hat SEO tactics. Just be sure that you are producing true long form content rather than trying to make a quick jump in organic rankings.

Which Form of Content Is Right for My Business?

The true answer is both. Marketers have the opportunity to use a mix of content depending on their desired message. When determining what length of content is best for your goals and customer needs, consider how much your customers already know about a topic, how interested your readers are, and the resources you have available. You should also factor in user intent alongside business objectives. 

It’s best to remember that both short-form and long-form pieces can be beneficial or detrimental depending upon seasonality, their intended use, and the position of consumers in their buying journey. If they’re still in a research phase, long form is going to be best to help educate them on your product. If they’re close to making a decision, then short form will be good to help give them a nudge in the right direction. It’s all dependent on the desired use of the content piece.

The Takeaway

The key takeaway is that there is no right or wrong choice for how long your content should be. As long as you are producing strongly written content that answers questions for your intended audience then you will be in a great position to increase your organic rankings, as well as convert more people by standing out as an expert in your industry. 

Be sure to incorporate both long and short content pieces to give yourself a healthy mix of content. The more strongly written content you can publish, the more likely Google and search engines are to award you higher rankings.