Why You Should Write Longform Guides on Your Blog

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Part of the struggle of being a blogger is getting traffic to your site. Ideally, you want to drive traffic in the long term. Sharing a post on all your social media accounts might get you some traffic today and tomorrow, but it’s not going to send people to your blog a year from now.

One of the best strategies for generating traffic is longform content creation. Generally, the term longform refers to content that’s over 1,500 words, so we’re talking about really long, in-depth articles and guides.

Why You Should Write Longform Guides on Your Blog

For reference, this guide is the third result for the search term “how to take care of a frog.” It’s a bit over 1,500 words, which makes it longform content.

Why is longform content so good? Simply put, search engines prefer it. This graph displays the average length of the top 10 results on Google.

Average content length of top 10 results

Notice how all of the results are over 2,000 words. This means that on any given search, the results on the first page will likely be over 2,000 words.

Search engines prefer longer content because it provides more value and information to readers. Longer content can also answer several questions that readers may have, making it even more valuable. This is why search engines will almost always rank longer content higher than shorter content.

Longform content also typically keeps its search engine ranking. In other words, it doesn’t move too much in search engines. If your blog is on page one of Google as result five, it likely won’t move too far either way. This makes your blog visible over a long period of time, which will drive even more traffic.

As a pet blogger, you can benefit greatly from longform guides. By all means, you can make all of your blog posts over 1,500 words, but creating a few really long guides will give you a unique advantage because you’ll have longform evergreen content. It’s also an easier way to start if you’re intimidated by longform content. Read more: How to Make Your Blog More Evergreen.

These guides should answer your readers’ burning questions. Of course, they have to be extremely relevant. If your blog is all about dogs, your guides should cover some aspect of dog care or lifestyle.

There are a few things to keep in mind when writing longform guides.

First, length isn’t enough.

Your content also needs to be deep and comprehensive. Go into extreme detail about everything, and explore the nuances of your topic. If you write 3,000 words of filler, it’s not going to benefit you or your readers.

Second, make it readable.

No one wants to read huge blocks of text, so keep your paragraphs fairly short, about three to five lines or so. You should also use headings, subheadings, and images to break up the content. Read more: Formatting Your Blog Content for SEO.

Third, make sure your content has good on-page SEO.

You want it to be as search engine friendly as possible. Read more: SEO Should Not Make Your Fur Fall Out.

This is a great opportunity to drive tons of traffic to your blog, so if you’ve been struggling to get new readers, try this out. And, longform content is good for more than getting more traffic. It allows you to provide a ton of value to your readers and position yourself as an authority.

Your turn!

Have you published any longform content on your blog? If so, how was it received? And feel free to drop a link in the comments so we can all get inspired by your work! Conversely, if you haven’t, what’s holding you back? What questions do you still have? 

Ian Chandler is a freelance writer who’s been published on sites like The Penny Hoarder and SitePoint. You can view his portfolio here.

Image: ArthurStock/Shutterstock.com