Short vs. Long-Form Content: Which One to Use and When

Short and long-form, which one is the best to use, and when must you use it? This is a question that most writers ask themselves. When you are working on your content strategy, this is something that you should take into consideration. You need to know what kind of content will answer the queries of your readers.

So, how do you choose the right one for the right context? We will answer in our article below. Keep reading to find out when you should use the short or long-form content.

short vs long form content

Know the Difference Between Short and Long Form Context

Before you can even start deciding which you should go for, you first need to know what makes these two different. You need to know what is considered long or short content.

Short-form content is considered short when it has less than 1000 words, but it can go up to 1200. The content is easy to digest, and the topic is very specific. Some form of short-form content includes emails, news articles, social content, short blogs, and infographics.

Long-form content is anywhere from 1000 going up. This content is more in-depth and detailed on a certain topic. It mostly aimed for information and education instead of quick consumption. Some examples of long-form content include evergreen pages, how-to guides, e-books, whitepapers, and detailed blogs.

Is the Length of the Copy Important?

Yes, the length of the content is important. However, this is informed by the intent and goal of the content. The user intent is what will guide you in choosing which form you should go with. Short and long-form should be looked at as tools that help you to meet your goal and intent. This means that the argument on which one is better is irrelevant from the reader’s perspective. The length of the content is depended on how the content is used.

How to Find the Best Length for Your Content

Since neither long and short content is the best, how do you find the best length for your content? Some principles can help you choose the best content length. Before you write any content, you should ask yourself the following questions.

How Much Does the Reader Know?

Knowing how much the readers know about the information you want to share will help determine how long your content needs to be. If the readers don’t know much, long-form content would serve them best because it will be informational and educate them. You will come across as more trustworthy and valuable when you offer an in-depth information guide.

If your readers already know about your topic, it is suitable to use the short-form copy. You will be writing the content to increase the conversion rate. For example, if customers already know about your product and they probably want the information to purchase, and long-form will be wasting their time. They will end up leaving without making any purchases.

Either way, you will need to optimize your content to convince your readers to take action for both goals.

What is the Level of Interest?

Knowing the level of interest your readers have on a certain topic can also help you decide which form to go with. If your reader already has a pre-existing interest in what you are offering, they will want to find out more before deciding to take action.

If readers have no interest in what you have to offer, they won’t be interested in reading a long blog. Short-form content will be easily digestible for this audience. So, this goes back to the user intent because the readers’ level of interest in a topic will give you an idea of how you should address it.

Are You Using Keywords to Mirror User Intent?

At this point, you would have already decided on the length of your content. The next step is to find keywords that will match the user intent. You will use these keywords in your content to indicate to the search engines what queries your content is for, and you will hopefully rank for them.

What is Your Goal for the Content?

Knowing the goals of your business will also help you in deciding on the length of your content. You will need to think about what the goals for making the content are. When you know these goals, you will also decide on which content form will best meet the goals. Should you choose, the form that does not meet the goals can hurt your business.

Did You Check on Your Competitors?

As much as you might be writing to meet user intent, you still need to check what your competitors are doing. They are already ranking on the first page on SERPs, and checking how they do things can give you a benchmark on what search engines deem as good content. SEMrush has a content template tool that can also help you develop your content, including word count, keywords, and more.

Short vs. Long-Form Content: What is Best for Your Business?

An important rule for creating content is that what works for another business maybe not work for yours. Even though you still need to check on your competitors, it does not mean that doing exactly what they are doing will guarantee results. That is why it is important to create content based on your business goals with the guidance of your competitors.

If you have created content that is not performing, analyze the content data and see how you can optimize or update the information. So, in the end, choosing whether to go with short or long content is based on your business goals and user intent.