Don’t you just sometimes miss the old days when SEO was king and a few keywords on a page would get you the eyeballs you needed to find new clients? We get it. Way back when, you could crush the competition with the some basic on-page optimization on your five page business website and a couple of a meta tags doing their thing on the back end. Now, though, the over optimization of the Internet as a whole means that the old methods have gotten stale and marketers have to step up their games. You’ve heard the phrase “Content is king”? We think it should be changed to “A whole lot of quality content is king.”
That’s right, even business blogging is changing, causing firms doing their own marketing to wonder how long should blog posts be and whether a video or podcast can really propel a business blog into the public consciousness. To quickly answer the latter question: Yes. As for the former question, the answer is probably a lot longer than you think.
You see, there was a time when the prevailing wisdom said keep it short, stupid. Online readers only had so much attention to go around. If you wanted a customer or potential client to read your whole message and/or keep coming back to your business blog, you had to spoon feed them dribs and drabs of exciting, eye-catching content – often in bulleted list or jpg form. They were only going to glance at your content, anyway, and what you wanted was repeated readers. But today, in the age of social media, what you really want is shares that lead to conversions. What are the chances of someone sharing your industry-specific top ten list? Pretty low, but it might get you found by a new customer. That funny jpg of a cat in a tissue box has a better chance of making the rounds, but is it going to get you those precious conversions? Probably not.
The solution is to blog long – that means increasing the depth of your content, not the size of your font, FYI – so that you up your chances of not only getting found via the search engines, but also shared among those folks who actually matter.
How to Blog Long
First, think in terms of at least 600 words – and longer, if you can manage it. Hubspot, for example, a leader in teaching about business blogging says 600 and many others SEOs will tell you to make posts at least 700 words. Longer business blog posts get those links and shares because they’re perceived as being more valuable and more intelligent than the same idea summed up. Hitting this word count is especially important when your business blog is on the younger side and you’re in the process of trying to build a core audience.
Long story short, a longer post will always stand out from the crowd.
Second, think depth. A 100 word commentary on a notable current event has nothing on a well-researched social, cultural, or business analysis of that same event as told by a writer who understands its greater impact. Everyone and their mom is grabbing news headlines and rolling with them just for the keyword value. When you blog long, it’s clear that you are not only an expert in your field, but also staying on top of your industry like a boss.
Third, mix it up. Writing 600+ words five days per week is an exhausting exercise so use podcasts and videos to give yourself a break.Videos and podcasts are engagement gold – they’re at the heart of the new way of making sharable social content. Ideally, you and your staff will blog 5+ days each week, but don’t hesitate to get good writing, video, and podcasting help to fill the void of your own people. Our client Grom, for example, pays for a blog post per day.
Finally, don’t worry too much about optimization. Pick keywords before you write so you have some long tail targets – just don’t go overboard. Keywords absolutely still matter but when you’re writing strong and blogging long, you’re almost always going to hit the key ideas that comprise your industry’s main keywords. With all those new Google updates, search engines are starting to value writing quality over keyword quantity – which is yet another reason to blog long and write strong.
So to recap, the benefits of the long blog for your business are search engines rating your posts higher, people viewing you as an expert authority, better SEO, more social shares, and a longer lifespan of individual posts as a result of those shares. All with a few hours of effort. Have we convinced you to blog long yet?