Long-Form vs Short-Form: Which is Better?





Blog Date

June 3, 2024


UK, Manchester

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Long-Form vs Short-Form: Which is Better?

Long-Form vs Short-Form: Which is Better?

As the founder of an SEO agency here in Manchester, UK, I’ve had countless conversations with clients about the merits of long-form versus short-form content. It’s an age-old debate that continues to rage on, with both sides making compelling arguments. But today, I’m going to attempt to settle this once and for all – at least from my perspective.

You see, I used to be firmly in the short-form camp. After all, attention spans are dwindling, and people just want quick, easily digestible content these days, right? But the more I dove into the data and research, the more I realized that long-form content can be an absolute powerhouse when it comes to driving results for businesses.

Let me paint you a little picture. Imagine you’re browsing online, searching for information on a topic you’re interested in. You come across a short, snappy listicle that catches your eye – “Top 10 Ways to Increase Sales” or something along those lines. You quickly skim through the tips, nodding along, and then move on with your day.

Now contrast that with stumbling upon a long-form, in-depth article that covers the same topic in excruciating detail. You find yourself sucked in, reading every word, taking notes, and genuinely feeling like you’ve learned something valuable. As Simon Kingsnorth points out, long-form content allows you to “discuss a topic in much greater depth” and provide your audience with “high-quality information that is supported by research and data.”

And therein lies the crux of the matter. While short-form content is great for grabbing attention and keeping your audience engaged on a surface level, long-form content is where the true magic happens. It’s where you can establish your brand as an authority, showcase your expertise, and forge genuine, lasting connections with your audience.

The data backs this up too – long-form content is more likely to be shared on social media, better for SEO, and more likely to earn backlinks. And let’s not forget the increased website traffic and genuine audience engagement that comes with providing in-depth, valuable information.

But I know what you’re thinking – “Okay, that’s all well and good, but what about the people with short attention spans? Aren’t they just going to click away from my long-form content?”

It’s a valid concern, and one that I used to share. But the truth is, if you create genuinely engaging, well-structured long-form content, you can keep your audience hooked. As Ramona Sukhraj points out, it’s all about understanding your audience’s search intent – are they looking for education or entertainment? Long-form content excels at the former, providing your readers with a wealth of information that they can truly sink their teeth into.

And let’s not forget the power of breaking up that long-form content with engaging visuals, infographics, and other multimedia elements. As the Finest City Improv team points out, “Long-form content allows you to include different assets such as infographics. This is important for breaking up long articles and keeping readers engaged.”

So, where does that leave us in the great long-form vs. short-form debate? In my humble opinion, the answer is clear – you need both. Short-form content is fantastic for grabbing attention, building brand awareness, and keeping your audience engaged on a day-to-day basis. But long-form content is the true powerhouse, the content that will establish you as an industry leader, drive high-quality traffic to your website, and forge those deep, lasting connections with your audience.

The key is finding the right balance and using each type of content for its unique strengths. Short-form for quick hits of entertainment and information, long-form for diving deep and providing truly valuable, educational content. It’s a winning combination that I’ve seen work wonders for countless clients here in Manchester and beyond.

So, there you have it – my thoughts on the long-form vs. short-form content debate. I hope this has given you a fresh perspective and maybe even inspired you to reevaluate your own content strategy. If you have any other questions or want to chat more about this topic, you know where to find me!

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