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Discover success with long-form content

by | Last updated Feb 7, 2024 | Published on Mar 6, 2023 | Content Marketing

The Guinness Book of World Records awarded Proust’s gargantuan Remembrance of Things Past, the superlative of longest novel ever, with its 9 million 609 thousand characters. That translates to roughly 1.5 million words. That’s some long-form content! 

As content experts, Savoir Faire creates long-form content for our clients’ websites – nowhere near millions of words, but we have seen long content perform spectacularly well. 

Google loves long-form content on pages and also rewards sites for updating old or stale content. Your prospects might also appreciate long-form content pages because deep, detailed and rich content answers their questions.

We’ve written about how to roll up existing content into e-books or other downloadable content that can be used to generate leads. For this post, we’ll focus on how that kind of long-form content can perform as a website page. 

You can go about this a couple ways: 

First, if you’ve got existing blog or email content that can be gathered into a treatise on a particular subject that your visitors and prospects are interested in, you can put it together on a single web page. Consider joining several posts on the same subject and create a comprehensive, “ultimate guide” to the subject. Make the page an “everything you wanted to know about <blank>.” We’ve seen impressive results with that tactic, and we used it for ourselves for pages on email marketing and website planning.

When you have a piece of long-form content with similar targeted keywords, Google pays attention and may reward you as a subject matter expert, meaning that page rises in rankings.

Or, if you’ve got an e-book that’s been behind a gated form for a while, and you want to shift the value of that content from lead generation to search engine optimization, you can publish that content on a single web page. 

Consider long-form content as 3,000-5,000 words – go for 10,000 if you’re feeling super ambitious. 

But, you can’t just slapdash existing content together and expect it to work miracles. You need a thoughtful approach when aggregating content. Yes, even when you’re developing a longer piece based on your existing writing. 

Long-form content success for a longtime client

We do monthly and quarterly reports for the customers we run ongoing marketing programs for, so we can see what’s working and what needs attention.

While analyzing content for a recent report, we noticed a popular blog post was losing steam over time. Keywords that post ranked for started to dip, too. We decided to take that blog post and similarly-themed blog posts and work them together into a single long-form content page to provide detailed answers to prospect’s queries.

We tripled the length of the original blog post, optimized it for the keywords we wanted to rank for, and added a table of contents to the top of the page, so visitors could jump to the sections that were most relevant to them. 

We launched the page toward the end of 2021. In 2022, it became the 10th-most-visited page on the site. Nearly a quarter of all visitors to that page went to the site’s contact us page next, meaning they’re probably ready to further engage with our client. 

And, a keyword associated with that long-form page is the #1 keyword for our client – even beating the name of the company at #2! 

Mind you, this page has fewer than 2,000 words. And seeing how well this worked, we’ll definitely be rolling up other content into long-form content pages for this client. 

If you’ve got some great content that you think might be good for a long-form page on your site and you don’t know where to start – contact us today!

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