How Writing Long-Form Content Can Benefit Your eCommerce Store
Modern customers have a short attention span so that eCommerce business owners tend to believe that short-form content always works better. But it’s not quite so. Long-form content like 1,500+ words articles, detailed how-to guides, and whitepapers are also essential for online stores. Do you wonder whether it’s worth investing in long-form content in 2020? Keep reading to know the answer.
Table of contents
- What is long-form content?
- What are the key benefits of writing long-form content?
- What are the main challenges for creating long-form content?
- How to create long-form content?
- The bottom line
What is long-form content?
Ecommerce stores can create two types of content: short-form content and long-form content.
Short-form content includes page descriptions and blog posts under 1,500 words, as well as social media posts and other fast-to-consume content. It’s used to provide users with basic information related to a specific issue.
Long-form content includes all the content that doesn’t fit in the category of short-form content: articles and guest posts longer than 1,500 words, case studies, guides, whitepapers, etc. It provides users with in-depth information and adds more value.
What are the key benefits of writing long-form content?
Get your website to the top of Google search results
Google loves long-form content because it contains more useful and detailed information and adds more value to the users. So if you focus on writing in-depth articles and case studies, your website will be more likely to get to the first page of Google.
Let’s consider an example (from the user’s perspective) to understand why Google more favors long-reads. Imagine you want to start blogging. You create a search query “how to start a blog”. What type of articles will you find on the first page of Google search results? Mostly 2,000+ words articles.
Why doesn’t Google display short articles on the first page? Because it’s obvious for both you and Google that a 500-words-long post will not teach you to start a blog. If you are a newbie in blogging, you need to read a detailed 5,000-words-long guide to figure out how it works.
Increase time on site
Naturally, it takes people more time to read a long article than to read a short article. So if you publish genuinely helpful long-form content, you can expect that visitors will spend more time on your website and that the bounce rate will decrease.
How will it influence your eCommerce store? Firstly, the longer the users will stay on your website, the more they will trust your product. Secondly, the lower the bounce rate will be, the higher your website will be ranked. Yep, long-form content is truly beneficial for your online store.
Build authority in your niche
Long-form content is all about building authority and gaining customer loyalty.
Imagine yourself as a customer who is looking for an exotic plant called Tacca. You have never seen this plant in real life, but it looks great in the pictures, and you want to buy it online.
You have found two websites that sell Tacca. The first website provides 1,500+ words guide that explains how to care about the exotic plant. The other website provides only a brief description of the plant.
In your opinion, which website has more authority? On which website will you place an order? The website that offers long-form content seems to be a better option, isn’t it?
If you want to build authority, consider updating your current content marketing strategy. Find out what kind of educational content your target audience is looking for and create relevant long reads.
Get more backlinks and social media shares
Have you been looking for a solution that will help you acquire backlinks and boost your domain authority? Create long-form content, and you will achieve the goal set.
Backlinko found out that long-form content gets an average of 77.2% more links than short articles. The rule of success is simple: the more the long articles you will write, the higher your website will be ranked.
Besides, the study reveals that longer content gets more social media shares than short blog posts. If you keep your articles within 1,500-2,000 words limit, you will achieve the highest results possible and get your eCommerce store noticed.
What are the main challenges for creating long-form content?
In contrast to short-form content, the creation of long-form content requires more time, money, and effort. Writing a social media post takes around 15 minutes. Crafting a compelling 2,000-words article requires in-depth research and about eight hours of writing, proofreading, and editing.
It explains why eCommerce stores choose to create short-form content. They simply don’t have enough resources to put them in long-form content production.
But the thing is that we should consider long-form content as a long-term investment that brings high returns in the long run. Yes, we need to spend more resources on it right now, but it all is worth it.
How to create long-form content?
Do you want to use long-form content to stay one step ahead of the competition? Here are a few handy tips for you.
Pick evergreen topics
When you are creating short-form content, you are free to cover any topics that are currently relevant to your eCommerce business.
When you are working on long-form content, the situation is different. You should focus on “evergreen” topics, which will stay relevant for the years to come.
Imagine you run a pet clothing store. You are going to create a piece of long-form content and have two topics to consider:
- 5 Ways to Care for Your Pet during Lockdown
- How to Potty Train a Rescue Dog
Which topic will you choose? Since we understand that lockdown will not last forever, we can’t consider the first topic as an “evergreen” one. At the same time, we know that the second topic will stay relevant for decades. So it will be a wise idea to choose it for writing a long and detailed how-to guide.
Don’t repeat the same idea twice
Don’t make your articles long just for the sake of it. If you have written a fabulous 1,100-words blog post and have nothing to add on the topic, publish the post the way it is. Don’t add an extra paragraph just to increase the word count.
Your customers are looking for relevant, in-depth content. They don’t really care how many words you have written 1,100 or 1,500 if these words provide a value. So please, don’t repeat the same ideas twice or paraphrase the same statement multiple times to make the text longer. Express your ideas clearly and focus on providing more useful information rather than increasing word count.
Get writing help
Even though you create short blog posts like a pro, it still might be challenging for you to write super long articles. So please, don’t hesitate to get professional help. Visit writing websites like TrustMyPaper and collaborate with freelancers who know how to create long-form content that works.
When it comes to long-form content, visuals are a must. If you create a 6,000+ words document but use no images, it’s highly unlikely that users will want to read it. For making a piece of textual content look more visually appealing, it’s important to use pictures, graphs, charts, elements of infographics, etc. Since humans process visual data better, long-form content that includes images has more chances to go viral online.
Format the text
“Text walls” scare off readers. For this reason, you should format your long-form content the right way. Break down your articles into short paragraphs with no more than 100 words each to improve the readability and engage the audience into reading. Also, consider using extra headings and subheadings as well as bullet lists to make the text skimmable.
Watch your competitors
If you don’t have a clear understanding of what type of content to create, analyze the content marketing strategies of your competitors. What type of long-form content do they use? What type of content does generate more shares across social media platforms? Try to figure out what typical mistakes your competitors make and boost your marketing efforts. Learn from the best practices and update your current content marketing strategy.
Collaborate with experts in your niche
To create long-form content, many companies choose to collaborate with other companies and experts in the field. For instance, sellers of orthopaedic mattresses collaborate with doctors and scientists to write comprehensive guides like “How to choose the best perfect mattress for low back pain” and cover other important topics. When experts create long-form content in the niche, it provides maximum value to the customers and works effectively for marketing purposes. Therefore, if you want to boost your content marketing efforts, think about the professionals who might help you to craft share-worthy long-form content and invite them to collaborate.
The bottom line
Whatever niche you work in, long-form content is essential for your business growth. Consider writing in-depth articles, case studies, how-to guides, and other long reads to attract more traffic to your website, add more value to your customers, and gain authority in your field. Make your eCommerce store stand out to achieve your ambitious goals.
Author Bio Kristin Savage is an expert copywriter at BestEssayEducation. She is passionate about writing, digital marketing, and emerging technologies. She strives to share her knowledge to help small eCommerce businesses grow big.