“Authority content.” “Longform content.” “Skyscraper content.”
Years ago, the strategies that worked for small online businesses — due largely to how SEO worked at the time — revolved around quantity.
But tons of stuff has changed back then.
In the SEO world, early 2016 brought a new study from guru Brian Dean, with a sample size millions strong.
He found that longer content ranked better.
He then introduced a technique he'd used himself: the “skyscraper technique.”
Look at what's out there and top it.
Make it better — and “better” really meant “longer.”
Sometimes 2000 or even 3000.
Instead of doing tons of short individual posts about specific but small-scale topics (and keywords), the idea is to combine those ideas into longer, more comprehensive posts with multiple subsections.
This has been the norm in content marketing for a couple of years now.
You'll still find this advice on tons of blog posts, in online courses, at webinars, and in other content marketing materials selling you ways to make money online.
But the truth is, not every business is going to get a worthwhile ROI by investing in publishing longform content on a regular basis.
Sometimes a brand is more visual, and Youtube videos paired with Pinterest graphics make a lot more sense.
Not every type of product or service lends itself well to a constant stream of long content that has genuine depth to it.
So does long form content still work?
Unfortunately this is one of those times where we have to say a big old “that depends”.
If you take a look at all the different formats and platforms that are available to content producers now you will also notice that some of them lend themselves better to long form than others.
Similarly, we can look at Medium, a pretty new blogging site that is largely devoted to long form content, and see that it has grown 140% since 2016. It’s most popular article of the year has an estimated 10-minute reading time.
But then we can also see some signals pointing to the fact that long form style content is on the wane if you’re on a platform like YouTube.
But we should also take a look at things like how many subscribers long form content gets, and whether or not it performs better in terms of sales or conversions on things like landing pages.
You can read more about why long content isn't always the best choice in the full blog post at Blog Tyrant.