long-form content impacting SERP
Sara Sargent
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Does Long-Form Content Mean a Higher SERP Ranking?

Google and its fellows emphasize content length as a SERP ranking element. However, search engines don’t rank your work based on word count alone.

What is long-form content? Search engines categorize content into long-form when it not only exceeds 2,000 words but also provides readers with a level of value that’s comprehensive and accessible.

What determines these factors, and what separates successful these lengthy pieces from standard content?

Can producing long-form content boost your SERP ranking?

1. Comprehension Is Key

Search engines, as well as most online users, seek out comprehensive content.

So… what makes your content comprehensive?

Google considers content more valuable when it addresses all elements of a particular issue. Users will be more likely to engage with content that addresses all their concerns about a product, as opposed to just a few. This is where length and value come together as one.

Comprehensive content is going to be long. But the good news is that Google’s crawlers, along with the crawlers on other search engines, believe that long-form content provides users with more comprehensive information.

Lengthy pieces with strong keyword relevancy are deemed more valuable and likely to rank higher on a SERP. Word count alone will contribute to your overall SERP ranking—but the actual content of your piece is what builds your SERP credibility.

2. Longer Content Sees Greater Sharing

Backlinks also contribute to SERP rankings. As such, you want to promote the growth of a strong backlink network when you produce a solid piece.

Audiences give more weight to longer pieces—and it doesn’t matter whether those audiences are peers or clients. A 1,500-word piece will get more shares, more often on social media and other platforms, all thanks to its perceived credibility.

3. The Impact of Click-Through Rate

Longer content also generates a higher click-through rate and dwell time for your site. Why do these factors matter? Both contribute to the overall data generated by Google’s RankBrain. RankBrain, as used by Google, takes advantage of this data to determine how useful your content is to your consumer audience.

Longer content that’s more comprehensive and well-sourced will likely generate a higher click-through rate. Google will consider that content higher in quality than other pieces like it. As such, length contributes to more than just a piece’s perceived authority; it directly impacts a search engine’s perception of the piece’s relationship with its audience.

The Benefits of Long-Form Content

None of this is to say that creating long-form content is easy—but the benefits are hard to deny. If you find that your shorter content isn’t drawing the CTR or social media shares you want, experiment with long-form content.

The more comprehensive sources you can provide for your audience, the more likely it is that search engine crawlers will categorize you as an authority in your field. As a result, you’ll gain the confidence of both Google and your client community—and that’s the goal, right?

Image attribution: WDnet Studio – stock.adobe.com

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