Do you remember the last time you published a long, well-researched piece of content over 2000 words or a high-quality video? If you don’t, you’re probably thinking there is no use spending so much time and effort on a single post. However, SEO experts claim that both long-form content and well-structured videos boost your SEO rankings in a marvelous way. The time and energy which you spend to make your content valuable and bookmarkable will be recompensed – trust me.
It’s up to you to decide which one to choose to promote your website or content visibility. We will break the topic down into digestible sections to help you understand the privileges of having long-form content and video, as well as to help you to choose the best for your business.
What Is Long-form Content?
There are several controversial opinions about the length of long content. Some people assume long-form content to contain 700 to 1,000 words; others think it’s content that is more than 3,000 words long. Either way, it’s content that offers in-depth information about a given topic. The number of words may vary depending on the discussed topic, niche, scope, audience and intended aims.
Over 40 percent of people claim that written content is the most attractive type for generating traffic. So if your content is well-structured and well-written, your chances are high to have better results.
Long-form Content Provides Higher Rankings in Search Results
Research has shown that Google prefers content-rich sites, and this is the key to the success of your SEO rankings. A study of the average length of the content in the top 10 results of search queries found that the top-rated posts were usually over 2,000 words. These posts are usually detailed, informative and cover a particular topic in depth. Brief content is no longer the goal. If you want to rank higher in search results, publish long-form content, period.
Long-form Content Generates Better Reader Value
There is a common misconception that people don’t read long-form content. This mindset makes marketers devote more time and resources to create multiple shorter pieces for their readers. On social media, this tactic might work; on your website, not so much. In fact, several analyses have shown that it is still worthwhile to invest more time into deep-dive content, because highly interested readers, who search for trustworthy information, are ready to spend time reading long-form articles.
Of course, there are people who only scan text or headlines, but this shouldn’t hold you back. Research shows that long-form content with a word count that sits above 2,500 gets shared the most on social media.
Long-form Content Increases Dwell Time
Have you ever closed a written text within the first few seconds of opening? Unlike with videos, this happens rarely. People have to read on in order to understand if the content is what they are looking for or not. It is reasonable that they need time for reading. The longer the content you offer, the more time a reader spends on your webpage. Google uses this dwell time as an indicator of the content’s quality and trustworthiness. If readers spend a reasonable amount of time on your page, Google will reward you with a higher SEO ranking.
Long-form Content Boosts Conversions
No matter how helpful short content pieces are, they rarely boost readers’ conversion rate. This is because businesses have chosen the easiest way to keep their page active, which is to post short and helpful content. When readers confront an endless supply of similarly structured short-form content, they usually skip these and search instead for high-quality, long-form content (which is also prioritized by search engines.)
Long content provides the opportunity to optimize for many keywords, and the higher the content is ranked by search engines the more conversions you will generate. Besides, long-form content is shared more frequently on social media accounts than shorter ones.
Long-form Content Builds Authority
When you recognize the needs and desires of your target audience, you will realize what content will satisfy your audience’s interests. If your content is informative, full of facts and examples, it builds trust towards its creators. Comprehensive and insightful content will create the impression of authority. Readers will turn to you for more advice, leadership and topics within your niche. And a good reputation will encourage more people to do business with you.
What Is Video Content?
Any type of content format which includes video is called video content. The most common forms of short or long video content are recorded presentations, live videos, animated GIFS, vlogs, etc. Nowadays, most marketing videos are created in short video format and their lengths usually do not exceed two minutes. However, video length varies depending on the platform where you share or embed it, as well as the type of information that you want to transfer.
Video Drives Massive Traffic
Video is a valuable tool for driving massive traffic to your website; however, depending on the business and your niche, statistics may vary. Not all videos are SEO friendly and not all of them will get the same results. Having video on your page not only helps you generate viewers from video-specific searches but also makes your page appear in some relevant searches. This increases the page visibility and rating. Research shows that video content can boost your organic traffic by 157 percent and it’s regarded as the most effective content format to drive traffic to your website. Pretty cool, if I do say so myself!
Video Content Leads to Increased CTR
Many people would watch videos rather than read a text. When people are performing searches, they tend to click on results that contain videos. Video is a powerful way to communicate your brand story and build relationships and emotional connections with customers. If you want your customers to take action, then consider adding video to your emails. Video may boost the average 2.69 percent click-through rate (CTR) by up to 65 percent and reduce the count of unsubscribers by 26 percent.
If you are using video for purchase purposes, it can increase product purchases by 144 percent. The demand for video content is growing rapidly. In most cases, videos are presented accompanied by written content which is either the video text or a general summary of what has been said in the video. In this way, the creator hits two birds with one stone, providing the same information in two different formats.
Video Content Increases Your Chances of a Page One Ranking
Have you noticed that Google is featuring videos as suggested answers to queries? According to some studies, sites including video content are 53 percent more likely to rank up on the first page of Google. This is because of the dwell time that Google uses to judge webpages. Videos encourage users to spend more time on your webpage. This benefit is leveraged by many businesses that use product videos to educate their customers, convert visitors and ensure higher rankings.
Video Content Earns More Backlinks
In fact, 46 percent of a site’s rank is determined by links. The more links your website has, the higher you will be ranked. If you are getting backlinks from relevant websites that also have high Domain Authority (DA), your rankings are going to climb. This should happen naturally, as Google easily discovers paid promotions from irrelevant sites. If you can get backlinks from high-ranked websites, it will increase your rankings as well.
Video Encourages Social Shares
Video generates 12 times more shares than images and texts combined. In addition to that, 90 percent of consumers watch videos on mobile. Many social networks’ new features encourage the sharing of videos.
Which One Should You Choose?
A long-form content strategy will position you as an expert on a subject and will enable you to be ranked higher, providing more visibility and opportunities to build your brand authority. People tend to engage more with long-form content, which provides more engagement, dwell time, increased social shares and even a ranking boost.
Meanwhile, videos make an emotional connection with viewers. This strategy is used by many famous brands to gain their audience’s trust and position themselves as an authority in their niche. Additionally, video materials get more social shares than texts and images, driving massive traffic and increased opportunities to have page one rankings. Even with a short video, you can still transfer a large amount of information and build trust in your brand.
Using these two tactics together will shoot your rankings up off the charts. However, if you need to choose one of them, the growing popularity of video platforms means video content is always preferable – of course, taking into consideration your specific niche and audience. Personally, I prefer written content, but extensive research proves that video is one of the most effective tactics to increase rankings and raise awareness while boasting an interaction percentage higher than any other content format.