In the last few years, content marketers that used to love 300 word articles are starting to embrace the trend towards longer pieces of content.
There are a lot of reasons for this trend. For one thing, Google seems to prioritize longer items within its organic search results, deeming them to not only have more searchable phrases but also greater authority. And at the same time, longer content posts can attract more comments and engagement, which further increase the value and act as search signals in their own right.
There is one important downside, though: if a longer post or article doesn’t grab hold of a reader’s attention, they are going to look elsewhere for the answers they need. That can happen with any piece of content, of course, but the longer something is, the harder you have to work to keep searchers and social users engaged.
So, how can you turn longer content marketing pieces into longer site visits? We are glad you asked, because we have a few tips you can use right away…
Convert Scanners Into Readers
Just because someone clicks through your page doesn’t mean they’re going to hang around to read all of your thoughts. So, while your title might be important to bringing searchers in, it’s critically important that any long piece of content be immediately scannable by readers who want to flip through the main points before digging in. Ultimately, your subheadings, bullet points, and pullout quotes should be constructed in a way that will “sell” a potential viewer on the idea that your content is worth their time.
Break Your Content Into Pieces
One thing that will kill viewership on a page with lots of content is big strings of heavy, unbroken text. No one likes to look at an unending mountain of paragraphs in front of them, even if they are interested in the topics being offered up. Do yourself a favor and break your content up into short, pithy paragraphs with breaks, subheadings, and even pictures.
Pay Attention to the Visuals
Speaking of the aesthetic elements of your content, you should pay close attention to your visuals. That doesn’t just mean the text or image you put at the top of your post, but also any charts, infographics, and author photos that will show up on the page. All of these add to interest and credibility. It’s important that they stand out so viewers will stay engaged.
Keep Readers Hanging Around
One great thing about posting a long piece of content is that a reader who checks out one lengthy article you have written might be inclined to view or even share several others. Knowing that, you should lace your writing with internal links that support your ideas while guiding visitors to other related posts they might like. Give searchers the chance, and they might just hang around longer than you think.
Posting longer pieces of content isn’t right for every marketer, and there are bigger challenges to engagement that have to be overcome. But, if you can set your posts up in a way that drives viewership and results, you could give your business a permanent SEO advantage over your competitors. Why not give it a try and see the difference for yourself?