What is Long-Form Content? Why is it Important for SEO?

Content is king in the digital marketing world, and the traffic and conversions you achieve on your website depend on the type of content you deliver to the audience.

Since content is so essential for brands and their customers, it becomes highly crucial for businesses to identify the kind of content their audience likes to engage with. 

In its simplest form, there are two forms of content to deliver to your readers – short-form content and long-form content.

Short-form content includes the catchy captions and pick-up lines you see on social media posts and display ads, whereas long-form content is researched and long-length material that gives readers insights about topics related to your business.

Both kinds of content have their advantages; however long-form content (between 3000 – 7000 words) gets 2x page views than average length (1000 words) content. 

Moreover, long-form content generates more backlinks compared to short-form content. 

In this article, I will explain in detail what long-form content is and why it is crucial for your search engine optimization strategy.

Let’s begin!

What is Long-Form Content?

Long-form content is a piece of writing that provides in-depth information on a particular topic to improve your brand visibility and site authority. It is generally more than 2000 words long.

The upper limit of the content may vary depending on various factors like the scope and presentation of the topic. 

Long-form content is descriptive and well-researched. They have substantial facts, stats, images, videos, and infographics in them.

The content can be in case studies, white papers, ebooks, guides, roundups and reviews, brochures, and more.

Long-Form Content vs. Short-Form Content

Here are the significant differences between long-form content and short-form content:

Long-Form ContentShort-Form Content
Long-form content provides in-depth information on a particular topic.Short-form content answers the queries of readers who want quick and brief responses.
The word count for long-form content exceeds 2000 words.The word count is around 1000 words.
Long-form content heavily impacts your search engine rankings as it helps in building your brand reputation.Short-form content is created to catch readers’ attention and draw their interest toward a particular product or service. 
Popular examples of long-form content include listicles, case studies, guides, etc.Short-form content includes social media posts, emails, newsletters, news articles, and infographics.

Steps To Write a Long-Form Content

Here are the steps to prepare long-form content:

Step 1- Conduct market research and select your niche-related topic

Writing a long-form content piece is challenging. Every topic you select needs a lot of research and study before delivering it to the audience.

Conduct competitor analysis and check what kind of long-form content and keywords are helping them rank higher on search engines.

For example, you can use tools like SEMrush or Buzzsumo to check content pieces that are popular in your niche. 

Buzzsumo shows the number of social shares for the top content in your niche related to your searched keyword. This way, you can analyse the kind of content that is popular among your target audience.

Using tool to shows the number of social shares for the top content in your niche related to your searched keyword

Besides, you can use SEMrush to find the exact landing pages that are driving traffic to your competitor’s websites. You can mimic their style of content creation after adding your unique touch to compete in rankings. 

When researching from various sources, capture specific keywords that the searched resources are ranking for. Try to make a combination of those words in a single content and provide them to readers.

Step 2- Create a blueprint of your content

Once you have selected the topic and collected enough information about it, you should begin creating an outline for your content that includes headings and subheadings.

Preparing a blueprint for your article clarifies what to research for additional content and broadens your research capabilities. 

Make sure you have set the common content marketing goals you want to achieve with your long-form content.

Here are some of the common goals and the possible metrics to track:

common goals and the possible metrics to track

Ensure each topic is enticing and has the potential to be explained in detail.

Step 3- Write your paragraphs in brief sections

The whole point of writing long-form content is to provide users with valuable and informative writing pieces. 

Besides, it is crucial to create content that is easily understandable by your target audience.

Try to keep your paragraphs short and crisp to improve readability. Your paragraphs should be at most three sentences long.

It’s essential to keep the readers engaged in your content. Long paragraphs might make your content mundane for them, and soon they are likely to lose interest.

Step 4- Section off your ideas

Divide your content into various headings, such as H1, H2, H3, and H4 headings, that provide readers with a clear idea of your main topics and subtopics by breaking your long-form content into many sections.

For instance, this article is divided into various sections for the readers to navigate through the article easily. This improves the readability of the users. 

Changing the size of the text for every heading and content emphasises the importance of it in the content. Try to keep your primary keywords in bold and under the main headings. Similarly, you should include secondary keywords in the subheadings.

Step 5- Organise your content

Before publishing your long-form content, make sure you organise all the elements in place to simplify the readability for users.

Look at your content carefully, and see if it has a smooth flow of context. Your content should have an understandable beginning, informative middle, and conclusive end.

Unorganised content can confuse readers, which might compel them to leave your content midway. Be careful of your formatting.

Step 6- Maintain a conversational tone

To keep the readers engaged, you should maintain a conversational tone rather than a formal tone.

Unless otherwise needed, excessive use of technical language can make your readers lose interest in the topic midway.

A conversational tone in the content will give the readers the feeling that the article is written for them.

Step 7- Add optimised images

In addition to maintaining a conversational tone and keeping paragraphs brief and concise, you should also try to add relevant and attention-seeking visuals to break the monotonous tone of long-form content.

Just make sure the images and videos you are using are well-optimised and are not slowing down the page speed. Optimised pictures enhance the readers’ experience.

Besides using images, you can also include block quotes and anchor texts in your content that direct your readers to the reference source. This helps to make your content authentic and trustworthy.

Step 8- Perform Content Optimization

Content optimization is the art of optimising your content for the search engines.

Your entire time and effort in creating long-form content will go to waste if you do not spend ample time performing content optimization. 

Therefore, content optimization is the most crucial part of long-form content creation.

Here are some of the top tips for performing content optimization:

  • Write unique title and description tags that properly explain what the content is about. Don’t forget to use your primary keywords in the title and description because it will help the search engines to measure the relevancy of your content for your target keywords.
  • Add proper canonical tags to avoid content duplicate issues.
  • Check your content for grammatical issues using tools like Grammarly. 
  • Analyse the keyword density using tools like Istio. A proper keyword density will help your content rank higher.
  • Add semantic variations of your main content to further improve the relevance score of your site.
  • Use your primary and secondary keywords in the subheadings and the first para of your content.
  • Measure the readability of your content using any of the top readability analysis tools like Readable.

Why is Long-Form Content Important for SEO?

Creating long-form content is often concealed with other SEO tactics that are glittery and easy to execute. 

Due to a lack of time and resources, people often pay more attention to flashy short-form headlines and content. 

However, there are plenty of reasons why you should pay attention to the importance of long-form content for your SEO strategy.

Here are the top reasons that prove the importance of long-form content for search engine optimization:

1- Improves the engagement rate

One of the top advantages of leveraging long-form content is that it helps to improve your engagement rate. 

Engagement rate metrics like bounce rate, exit rate, and time on site are crucial to improve user experience. Google and other search engines use these metrics to determine the level of user experience from the website.

Since long-form content provides exceptional value to the readers, they spend more time reading the content and also take action. 

Hence, longer content improves the overall engagement rate and leads to an improved user experience.

2- Helps you create evergreen content 

For instance, if you are writing on a particular topic that is relevant in the year 2021 in long-form content, you can easily update with the data of the year 2022 in the subsequent year.

Moreover, evergreen content has been helpful for readers for many years, making your website relevant for search engine users.  

The ultimate goal of search engines is to provide users with authentic and valuable information, and long-form content serves this purpose successfully.

3- Helps to improve organic traffic

One of the top benefits of long-form content is that it helps to generate organic traffic. 

7000+ word content drives almost 4X more traffic compared to articles between 900–1200 words.

With top rankings, you are able to drive more organic traffic to your site.

4- Lets you acquire valuable backlinks naturally

Long-form content is an excellent source of getting links from other websites. 

Bloggers, journalists, and writers might get your post link featured in their work if your content is valuable, informative, and ranking well.

When your long-form content includes facts and stats that can be used as a reference, the likelihood of acquiring natural links increases.

Other than getting backlinks from reputed writers and bloggers, your brand is exposed to a larger audience which gets you new customers.

5- Lets you include your product information naturally within the content

Long-form content not only serves the purpose of delivering information to users but also has the potential to promote your product and services to the readers by naturally including them in your articles.

You can explain your product features and help them understand what potential your product holds if your readers purchase your products and services.

Hence, long-form content can also be used as a tool to identify customer pain points without even sounding like a proper promotion if the CTA is placed naturally in the content.

6- Helps to improve your market credibility

As long-form content in any form allows readers to go into detail about the chosen topic and shows the efforts that a brand makes to deliver the best information to its readers, it builds a strong authority of your brand.

Long-form content is a great way to build credibility among readers while showing them that you are a trustworthy resource.

Types of Long-form Content 

Here are the top types of long-form content:

1- How-To Guides and Tutorials

One of the commonest forms of content you can find on the internet is “how-to” guides and “tutorials”. 

Under “how-to” guides, you create a long content piece on question-based searches that begins with a how-to.

Tutorials are another epic form of long content that explains in detail about a process. 

You can easily find all the how-to-based searches using keyword research tools like SEMrush and Ahrefs.

2- Reviews

Reviews are another form of a longer content article that explains the pros and cons of a particular service or product to the audience. 

Reviews help the readers to form an opinion about a product or service. These are written to aid the consumer decision-making process.

3- Listicles

Listicles are another popular form of long content that cover a list of tips, products, services, or companies. 

People love reading listicles because they break complex topics down into digestible chunks.

Moreover, listicles are easier to plan and write. Preparing an outline takes less time because you already know you need to include a certain number of items in the list. 

You should always plan your listicles after researching the best keywords. An excellent way is to target keywords that have high search volume and low competition. 

4- Case Studies

A case study is an in-depth research on a particular topic, person, or life event. A case study emphasises more than one real-life observation. The goal of a case study is to display an actual problem along with its solution.

Case studies are one of the basic styles of long-form content that can help you achieve high organic traffic and build credibility among users as it works with the ‘proof is in the pudding’ tactic.

It’s important to note the elements of a case study, how to deliver it to the audience and what format to follow to maximise your reach.

Ideally, your case study should be around 3000 words. 

A case study can also involve your work with clients and its successful results in attracting prospective customers. If writing about your success stories, focus on creating a study that works for you and the client involved in the study.

You can create practical and eye-catching case studies with the help of online tools like Adobe InDesign, Paperity, Mind Mapple, and more.  

Here are the steps to create a perfect case study:

  • Start by writing a customer bio that explains the customer’s description and company.
  • Explain the company’s problems and what they need your help with.
  • Also, explain the customer’s unsuccessful attempt to solve the problem.
  • Describe how your brand helped the customer to overcome their weaknesses and problems and what measures you took.
  • Get a short testimonial from your customer stating how they are collaborating with your brand.
  • Finally, write the results that helped your product and services help the company to yield measurable results.

5- White Papers

A white paper is an informational document about a particular topic, the problems revolving around it, and solutions to the problem. 

The whole purpose of writing white papers is to educate your readers and help them solve a particular problem.

It is informative long-form content that brings value to the readers. The white paper shows both the positive and negative perspectives of a particular topic and provides an unbiased opinion to the users.

Here are the steps to create a valuable white paper:

  • Before writing a white paper, begin with your research work and acquire questions that your prospective customers might be interested in. Even keyword analysing tools can help you out in checking how the questions are ranking on search engines. 
  • Write your content highlighting the problems and solutions with the help of historical data, citations, and references. 
  • Conclude your article with both sides of a coin.
  • Make sure to edit the article before sharing and publishing it for the general audience.

An example of a successful white paper that generated valuable leads is of the famous brand ‘Cisco,’ which explains the complexities of networking hardware, telecommunications equipment, data securities service, and more in a more straightforward way to its B2B customers.

Their white paper includes a well-balanced user of text and graphics. It had well-extracted quotes, essential statistics, and critical pointers for hasty readers. 

6- Ebooks

Ebooks are one of the most popular kinds of long-form content. They are a form of a book that can be read on electronic devices like computers, tablets, and mobiles.

The purpose of an ebook is to serve educational content to fiction. An effective ebook can serve as an element to incorporate your brand’s CTA that attracts organic traffic to your site.

Since an ebook is a comprehensive guide full of research that may take up to several weeks to be completed and published, you can add informative facts, online tools, or tutorials to provide readers with extra elements and answers.

Here are the steps to follow while writing an ebook and speed up the whole process:

  • Edit your ebook with a table of contents.
  • Provide insightful, educational, and unbiased content in your ebook.
  • Incorporate a call to action (CTA).
  • Get your ebook proofread by experts or editors.
  • Keep track of how many times it’s downloaded.

7- Annual Year Reviews

As a business, you must conduct an annual review of your actions to know where your company is positioned.

This serves as long-form content published at the end of the fiscal or financial year. It displays the growth, success, and failures of your brand. The whole purpose of generating this type of long content is to build transparency among the readers and the brand.

Here are the top ways to generate an annual year review report:

  • Share your goals and milestones that you have achieved for the particular year. This does not necessarily involve big goals but can also include small goals that your team has achieved. If required, you can be specific about the numbers, but the numbers should be authentic.
  • Freely share your failures and growth. Each time you fail, there will be a growth curve at the end where you should share what you have learned from your failures and how much you have grown.
  • Evaluate the current status of your brand. This may involve your starting point, your process, and where you have reached. Explain team growth, expanded services, and your partnerships so far. Also, mention how these elements have helped you gain growth in your business.
  • Not to mention, you must list your future goals. Also, drop a personal thank you and gratitude to those actively or inactively involved in your success.

8- Brochures and Datasheets

Brochures instantly draw customers’ attention and help in attractively promoting your product and services. Though it is used in the marketing and sales department, it can also be used as a datasheet.

Typically, brochures are physical pamphlets that provide information about your product, services, and company. However, a brochure can be converted into a data sheet that summarises your brand’s performance, characteristics of a product, software and machinery you are using, and other sufficient details.

It is essential to keep your brochures and datasheets interesting and eye-pleasing with creative graphics and data visualisation. 

Long-Form Content FAQs

1. What is long-form content?

Long-form content is a piece of content that is between 2000-8000 words long or more. The ultimate purpose of longer content articles is to acquire more organic traffic and engagement.

2. Why use long-form content?

Here are the top advantages of long-form content:

  • Long-form content improves your search engine rankings.
  • It increases the engagement rate and generates more social shares.
  • It generates more links to your websites, which further helps in improving your site authority.
  • It helps to build trust among your target audience.
  • The content offers more room to add engaging CTA and product page links naturally.
  • It has a high reading time that leads to less bounce rate and positively impacts the search experience.
  • It improves your website’s credibility due to the insights and deeply researched facts your long-form content provides.

3- Is long-form content better for SEO?

Yes, long-form content is better for search engine optimization because it provides an outstanding ROI. The post continues to generate organic traffic for a long period of time and ranks higher in the search results.

4- What are the mistakes to avoid while writing long-form content?

Here are the mistakes to avoid when you write long-form content for your brand:

  • Avoid stuffing your content with your main keyword too many times. An ideal keyword density will help the content rank higher. On the other hand, a high keyword density will make your content look over-optimized in the eyes of search engines.
  • Avoid using repetitive language and phrases as it brings readers to a saturation point. Repeated sentences do not engage the readers; instead, they woo your readers away. Since customer retention is the key to a successful business, you can’t afford to lose out on readers for the same reason.
  • It’s not necessary that the length of all the parts of your content must be the same and long, especially the introduction part. Avoid keeping your content introduction too long, as it can take away the interest of your readers. The introduction must be hooking and concise. It shouldn’t be wasting readers’ time. The same goes for the conclusion of your content.
  • Since every long-form content needs an outline, you must recognize the importance of detailed headings and subheadings. You need to define what your headings and subheadings will cover clearly. The readers should have clarity about what they are about to dive into. It also helps in improving the readability of your content.
  • Long-form content does include a high word count, but it doesn’t imply that you can forget to be succinct. Be sure to deliver what you promised in the outline and introduction of the content, and don’t deviate from the main topic just to fulfil the word count. Running far from the topic can label your post as clickbait. 

5- Do people read long-form content?

Yes, people love to read long-form content. Research suggests that readers spend more than twice as much time with articles over 1,000 words compared to short articles.

6- What are the different forms of long-form content?

Here are the top examples of long-form content:

  • Guides and Tutorials: It is a comprehensive content piece that explains a particular concept in detail. 
  • Reviews: These generally cover in-depth reviews of a particular product or a service. They help readers in their decision-making.
  • Listicles: These are numbered articles that provide a list of x best things. They are a highly popular style of long-form content on the internet. 
  • Case study: It is a professional write-up of your clients stating their problems and solutions you offered for their success.
  • White paper: It is a long-post article that delivers in-depth information and solutions on a particular topic.
  • Ebook: It is a downloadable piece of content that offers various solutions to a problem, a step-by-step guide, or in-depth information on a particular topic.
  • Definitive guide: It is a downloadable online resource that provides a tutorial or product walkthrough solution.
  • Brochures: These are infographics or decks that describe your products and services in interactive and eye–catching ways.
  • Annual review: It is a newsletter or press release explaining your company’s progress report in detail that includes the challenges and growth.


The research and efforts you put into creating long-form content build your credibility and increase your trustworthiness among the audience.

Use the different forms of long content discussed in this article and leverage them to maximise your traffic and conversions.