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Longer Content and Articles are Better

     
5:31 pm on Apr 4, 2016 (gmt 0)

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A recent report has indicated that engagement on longer articles is better. Who'd have thought that!
According to the research, longer stories of 1200 words achieved as much as 23% more user engagement, and 45% more social referrals, and as much as 11% more pageviews.
[brookings.edu...]

Therefore, longer articles should do better than the short forms style accepted in social media sharing. The short form article is only an observation and achieves less engagement, whereas a full, 1,200 word article is likely to pull in a better result.

Bearing in mind Google's insatiable appetite for quality, links and originality, the 1,200 word article is likeley to do better on all counts.

What do you think?
6:01 pm on Apr 4, 2016 (gmt 0)

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Well... kind of obvious... It's kind of like saying, you can get more time in the car if you drive for longer distances. Or kind of like saying, more people will like what you're saying if you actually have something to say.
6:24 pm on Apr 4, 2016 (gmt 0)

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So 1,200 words of crap is better than 200 words of crap? Oh, maybe they mean quality content... :)
8:09 pm on Apr 4, 2016 (gmt 0)

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Well, obviously!

Crap is crap, but that's not the inference of the research, it's quality content. So if you're writing 200 words of quality content, the inference is that 1,200 words creates better engagement.

Take from it what you will.
3:17 pm on Apr 5, 2016 (gmt 0)

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Interesting how times have changed.

Ironically, when i was commissioning content to be written (usually write my own, but it was for topics i have no interest in) - I always instructed the writer "between 800 and 1,200 words".

Over the past couple of years, I have noticed that the "acceptable" amount of content has increased - what i mean by "acceptable", is that the length of the article does not seem to "dilute" the relevancy so much.

Also, the scrolling (associated with long articles) does not seem to "turn off" the visitor so much.
3:29 pm on Apr 5, 2016 (gmt 0)

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The "scroll problem" came about by "publishers" wanting more pages to put ads on.

Longer (or more realistically COMPLETE) articles will always ace the chopped up version ... even through there are "studies" which claim otherwise.

A few of my sites are lengthy in that the articles might run up to 250,000 words (average is 38,000) and these do well. My time on site is a bit longer than some.
3:36 pm on Apr 5, 2016 (gmt 0)

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The "scroll problem" came about by "publishers" wanting more pages to put ads on


Not in my case - these were loss-leaders, with no advertising

the articles might run up to 250,000 words (average is 38,000)


Niche specific, but even so, that is a long read! :o)
4:13 pm on Apr 5, 2016 (gmt 0)

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Niche specific, but even so, that is a long read! :o)


Too true. And that was after editing out all the chaff. (sigh)
5:08 pm on Apr 5, 2016 (gmt 0)

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the articles might run up to 250,000 words (average is 38,000)


I wouldn't describe that as an article, but a book!

Remember all those long copy promotional pages? As a page on its own it's probably not going to go far, but as a site, long copy could give the correct signals to google, especially in a niche sector.

I'm going to experiment with some unique, hand crafted, long copy articles and see how they do. I just need to find time to write them.
6:38 pm on Apr 5, 2016 (gmt 0)

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Long copy does work, but is, as noted, rather niche specific. Right niche and long copy will do well. Wrong niche (like widget navel fuzz) might not do so well.

When doing longer content one has to keep in mind the topic, the writer, and the reader. If any of the three can't run the course the article will fail. The worst thing one can do with a long article is have the topic rattle around like a bb in a box car, ie. too many words where repetition kills the presentation.