In real life and virtual life, people work with two attitudes: one is what they like and the other what they don’t like but have to do to fulfill a purpose or real needs. Most of the time, you can identify the reasons behind why someone does something, but how?
- If the person loves the work they are doing, you will find better finishing, better looks, and more organization because they will always be passionate about producing good quality work.
- But if the person did the task just as a formality or because they had to, s/he will not use much concentration or time on this task. So the person will try to deliver only the minimum requirements for the final product. So upon closer inspection you will find lots of problems in the product.
When it comes to producing website content, you can easily tell who is just producing content to try and increase search engine rankings and who genuinely wants to add value to the users’ experience. Search engines such as Google also realize this and that is why they have changed their algorithms a few times to increase user satisfaction.
Now Let’s Talk About Content and SEO
After the invention of Google in 1996 by Larry Page and Sergey Brin, there have been so many updates and so many changes in Google. This has been done to provide more specific and relevant result which can provide real help to the searcher. This is what makes Google the number 1 search engine in the world.
There have been specific updates for specific problems but the goal has always been the same, to make sure they are ranking and showing the most relevant and quality result on their search result pages to their users. To achieve this, they have been regularly updating their algorithm. Despite the updates, people still found shortcuts to achieve higher rankings.
When people realized that Google started to give priority of internal linking and regular website updates, most website administrators begun producing more content. However, a large number of these website owners and administrators had no idea what the future of search engines would be like. Most of them were just producing short but regular content that contain no quality or real value. Most were about 150 to 200 words in length. The administrators got so busy creating new posts and internal links. These efforts bore lots of benefits as they gained rankings in search engine results. However, this was not Google’s intention. Their main intention was to return the most qualitative results to users of the search engine.
The question now is, why do websites need to produce long content yet they can pack just as much value in shorter articles?
With longer length articles, it is possible to provide more comprehensive descriptions. However, the length of an article largely depends on the topic and niche. If you feel the topic in question does not require a long length article to provide a perfect description, then it is better to go with a short article. Making an article unnecessarily long will, only serve to reduce the interest of users. If your content is naturally long, then that’s great. However, if it is not, you should not dilute the content with too many unnecessary words.
You Can Create More Internal Links and Target More LSI Keywords
Every website gets visited by users of varying skill levels and interests. For example, this article is about the length of web content and benefits of long articles. to describe these benefits, I have used terms like internal linking and its benefits. Users may become interested in learning more about internal linking. If I already have an article that describes in detail what internal linking is, then I can easily invite users to that page instead of having them go to the search engine page to look for a description of the term. That page/post may not have a high search engine ranking, but it can still get visitors by linking with other popular post of that website. This will help in the following ways:
- It will help readers gain more value from the site and spend more time on the site.
- It will help readers get related posts without having to conduct a search.
- It will reduce website’s bounce rate.
- It will pass Link Juice and gain other passive advantages.
Therefore, it is evident that long articles can contain more links.
Higher Possibilities of Social Media Sharing
You might think the length of content does not influence the frequency of sharing on social media. Actually, even though not all your site visitors may read the whole article, they may like the content and share it with their social networks.
- One set of users may like the content and read the whole article before sharing with their social network. This is the kind of effect every content creator should strive to gain from users. The longer articles are easier to pack with more interesting and useful information that the user may find valuable enough to share with others.
- A second set of users may read only a few paragraphs but find the content useful. They might not have the time to read all the paragraphs to the end or may just want to bookmark it for later reading. By making each paragraph and every subheading interesting, a user who only reads a few of the paragraphs will realize that the rest of the article has valuable content and even though s/he has no time to go through it all, s/he will share it with friends and acquaintances s/he thinks will benefit from the content.
- A third set of users may not read the content at all but may still share it on their networks if they feel the article has interesting or valuable content. One way people judge the quality of an article is by checking the size of the article. Longer articles usually have more quality content, otherwise the writer would not dedicate that much time to producing the content.
Social Media Sharing Survey
We conducted a survey using questionnaires asking three pertinent questions to determine user views on the length of article and quality of content. There were 13, 851 respondents and the results are illustrated in the following three graphs:
Figure 1: Do you check the length of the article before sharing?
Figure 2: Do you measure the value of an article by its length?
Figure 3: What do you look for in an article before reading it?
It seems 76% of the visitors look on the heading and subheading to get idea about the content and its quality. and as I showed above that their have some connection with heading and subheading with the length of the content, so dirrectly or passively, length some how influence the audience to share it to their network.
Whatever the reasons behind sharing, the final benefits will be yours. More shares mean more traffic, and as you well know, search engines such as Google give priority to social signals.
Lengthy, high quality content is more likely to gain trust from users and search engines. Google and other search engines look for articles that have value for users and fulfill reader expectations. It does not matter what media or device the readers use, they all need the service/product/information and your ability to supply this is what increases your rankings.
You should also insert more images as this will enable you increase your ATL tags. This means higher probabilities in being found on image search result pages which in turn results in higher traffic.
You should provide more meaningful subheadings. These could be either broad subheadings or long tail subheadings. Google always gives priority to heading tags. Headings increase your chances of scoring high rankings for various LSI keywords and this will in turn reduce your offpage SEO expenses. More length mean more possibility of putting desired subheading.