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What is Long Form Content and How Does It Help SEO?

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Long form content

Long form content is a concept and tactic in online publishing that improves reader engagement and search engine optimization at the same time.

Long, well-written articles offer more information to readers. They also benefit SEO because they potentially have more keywords that may improve search engine rankings for the article.

What is Long Form Content?

Long form content is both a measurable objective and subjective goal. Various definitions of the objective exist, but in general a long form article is anywhere from 750 to 1,000 words or more.

As a subjective goal, long form offers more content and better content than other competing articles. An informative 1,000 word article about widgets is more likely to have authority with search engines than a 300 word article about widgets from another website.

How Does It Help SEO?

Long form helps search engine optimization in part because of the authority it commands as described above. But it has more practical benefits for SEO.

Longer articles are more likely to have extra keywords that rank well with search engines. They also may have more synonyms that also increase the odds of better rankings.

It is well known that search engines may not index articles of a few hundred words or less, especially if the entire website has low authority. The longer the article, the more likely that search engines will index it.

From Short Form to Long Form

Short form content doesn’t have to remain static for its lifetime. Publishers can turn short form into long form and get a benefit from search engine optimization.

For example, an existing article is 400 words long. It ranks 10th place in search engine results. A writer goes back into the article and adds another 350 words. Ideally, the writer also adds at least one more graphic to improve the visual appeal.

By definition, that 400 word short form article has become long form. But the goal really isn’t just making it longer. It’s also about improving its reader engagement and authority with search engines.

Note that another goal is consistent quality. An extra 350 words that are poorly written or uninformative will increase the odds of poor reader engagement.

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