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Why Longer Content Is Smarter Content

According to a recent report from the CMO Council and NetLine almost two thirds (65%) of B2B buyers value research reports and studies above other content types (as illustrated in the bar graph below).

most-valuable-content

With research reports and studies topping the ranks of other content types, companies should then focus their attention on that type of content, right?

Right, but that’s not the end to the equation. When it comes to Google ranking, studies show that the length of content proves just as important as the type of content.

Word Count Affects Google Ranking

The mistake that many marketers make in incorporating research reports and studies into their content lies in their word count. Their content is too short.

A study by serpIQ in 2012 found that the top positions in Google are dominated by longer content. As shown in the bar graph below, SerpIQ found that the magic number of words you need to write in order to rank in the top 10 is 2,000! Not 300 or 400—which is what most companies produce.

avg-content-length

In this case, more is more. To rank among the top positions, companies have to have more to say. Not only does longer content affect Google ranking, but longer content proves more influential on a user level as well.

Users Share Longer Content
Despite the assumption that modern technology users have short attention spans, users value longer content more than shorter content. As demonstrated in the chart below, longer content is shared more frequently on social networks than shorter content is.

avg-shares
source: okdork.com

Not only is longer content shared more often on social platforms, but other websites prefer to link to long form content over short form content which further impacts Google ranking.

The chart below shows the positive correlation between longer content and more inbound links:

links-per-length

These studies demonstrate that competitive marketers should include research reports and studies into their content, but also that that content should be longer, more shareable, and more easily able to accrue inbound links and rank better in Google.

Writing 300-400 word blog posts is not going to get you in Google’s top ten! In this case, more is more.