Long Article or Short Article: Which One is better for You

3Leaps Content Writing & Article Writing Blog

People keep telling you that long form articles are the best as they get favored by search engines. But just because people are telling you that you need to write long articles that don’t mean that it should be adding flops or unnecessary information just for the sake of making it long actually defeat the very purpose of writing a long form article. The concept stems from the fact that Google loves longer articles but nothing could be further from the truth.

long article or short article

Purpose of Writing Article

Forget about the search engines the purpose of writing a great article is to is to give valuable information to the details so that they come back for more. if your readers love your content, love your ideas; it would not matter for the searching in is giving your articles the importance in the form of higher search engine rankings in related keywords. Sooner or later search engines will find out the fact that your target audience a liking your articles sharing them over social media circles and this will have a ripple effect on the ranking.

Of course to rank high we all have to follow Google's guidelines. But at the same time we should not forget the fact that links also play a vital role in Google search algorithm. But here we are not talking about links; rather we're talking about the length of the content. If you make the article too long the readers might feel uninterested to read the entire content. On the other hand if you make it to small like if you write 300 to 400 words content, the chances are quite high that the article is not going to rank high in related keywords.

So you are in a dilemma. However there is a silver lining. Google and other search engines have figured out the fact that the word count has very little to do with the quality of an article. This is the reason why most of the webmasters have now figure out the fact that writing long form articles is not going to help them rank their websites in some highly competitive keywords. Just increasing the word count or increasing keyword density in an article is not going to help the website to boost its visibility. In fact, Google and other search engines are focusing more on other on page factors like - Average Time Spent on a page, Bounce Rate, Users interaction with the web page, Users Experience, Pogo Sticking and more.

Search engines have now got more fire powers in their arsenals and that means they can now figure out the difference between a badly written article and an informative well written one. as they are still fine tuning their algorithm, chances are quite high that within a few months or year pages without any valuable content will start falling from the cases of Google. to be precise if you are writing content on a subject that has already been covered by other websites you may not helping your website to get better ranking or achieve higher visibility.

The days of keywords rich content is over. If you are a content writer you need to focus on what the users are looking for rather than focusing on the search engine bots. If people find your content unique and informative they will surely spend the time to read the entire content and they even feel encouraged to share your article with their friends and family members. Google and its products like Gmail and Google Chrome, they now can track every single action of a user. So if your content is gaining traction on the web thanks to the readers and if the details are finding your content informative, sooner or later you will notice a major uptick in your website rankings.

There is a major difference between an online reader and an offline reader and we need to understand the subtle difference between them. An online reader really spends more than a minute to read the content of a web page. In majority of the cases, readers skim through the content rather than reading it thoroughly. It is not like reading a novel it is rather like reading a newspaper; people just go through the headlines and in some cases just the first and second paragraphs when they are reading it online. So the question remains should we make our content long? Or should I focus on making the content more compact and concise?

There is no straight forward answer. It depends on the proposition, on the objective of your website. if you have hired really high quality content writers 5 years of experience in that field that they are writing you should not constrained their creative impulse by forcing them to sum up a content within a certain specific word count limit. That is totally fine. If there is enough information available you can make the content 8000 words long. But if the content can otherwise be summed up within thousand words you should not be extending it to 5000 words just for the sake of getting some push in the SERP.

According to a research conducted by Chartbeat, almost 90% of the online readers stop reading an article halfway. SO that means, if you have written an epic 10K words articles, the readers are most likely to read only 3000 words or 4000 words at max. Now, this might tempt you to put all the valuable information within that ‘first half’ of your article but that is a silly move because you are directly discouraging genuine readers who want to read the entire article.

So, there we have this problem. If we write a 300 words article on a topic which has already been covered by other websites, the article will struggle to rank high even if you manage to get some natural backlinks pointing towards it. Now, search engines are getting smarter but still they have miles to go before they can even realize the fact that a 300 words article can be more informative to a user compared to a 10000 words article.

The longer, the better.

Nope not always. For example, there is a new trend that is catching everybody attention and that is making the landing pages longer and longer. Some webmasters feel that it is their religious duty to add as much texts in the landing pages as possible. Maybe there are some SEO benefits, but what you are going to do with this added SEO benefit if your landing page fails miserably to convert a single person. So, you need to focus less on the search engine bots and more on the actual readers whom you are trying to convince and convert.

Writing compelling content has got nothing to do with writing long and boring content. Rather all it boils down to one thing and that is making the readers feel happy. Keep them happy and they will make you happy by purchasing products listed on your website or subscribing for your website’s newsletter.

So, the point is you don’t need to write long and boring content just because search engine loves longer content rather you need to play your strength and make it catchy and compact.

Now, nobody knows how long is too long. Nobody is going to give you any advice about the ideal length of an article because nobody knows anything about it. It is all but guess work. Sometimes, you will come across websites that are ranking high even when the length of their content is not that impressive. Yeah just adding crappy content does not help all the time.

So, what you are going to do? Just planning to go with the flow? Nope that would not work. Rather you need to take a cautious approach and try different combination of pages with different word counts each and then track them. Identify the pages that are archiving higher rankings and also seeing higher conversion rates.

Armed with this data, you will be able to make more informed decisions regarding whether you should be investing more time to produce long article or the shorter ones are working fine for you. The results will vary vastly from one website to anther website. So, take your time and make the decision that works best for your website.