Do Visitors Stop by to Read Lengthy Content?

Does length of content really have any role to play in holding the client to your site?

Forums are neck deep in debates about Content Length.

I don't know whether it takes all kinds to make the world, or we just have them. Well, there are people who go by the book and believe 700 words to be sufficient, then there are others, who are all for shorter, crisper, succinct posts, considering the short attention span of the online reader, and some advocate pillar posts (longer than 5000 words). People think differently and no one is wrong.

The fact that I earn my living writing for the web makes it important that I find my own truth. If I were to blindly believe what is being said on the web without verifying facts, my clients may have to pay the price for it, in more ways than one. It may also make me a poor writer. So I decided to figure out the truth for myself and find out what length works best, and why.

My Experiment with Content Length

I experimented with content on my own site. I shrunk some part of my web copy and stretched some. Since lengthy posts need longer to get noticed I published them at equal intervals and let them stay there for a few months to understand on the ongoing impact and visitor behaviour.

What Did It Reveal?

When I looked at the statistics I was surprised to see that the stretched content was earning me MORE of everything than the copy that I had shrunk. This was a clear indication that visitors had no problem reading lengthy posts.

Same Experiment with Blog Posts

Since I am an ardent believer of the power of Blogs and Social Media and if utilized well and what it can do for socially active sites, I simultaneously observed the same phenomenon on blog posts. I was studying my own posts that I had written here and elsewhere and also of the bloggers I often read.

And I Found.....

Here also I noticed that posts that were around 1600-2000 words got more thumbs ups and followers on social networking sites than posts that which lacked the power of words.

Experimented Some More, And What It Revealed, Relieved Me

Coming back to websites, when I saw lengthy posts doing an effective job, I decided to experiment some more. I increased content length for a few more pages. Some pages were crucial and designed to take visitors closer to sales - others were primarily still trying to make the visitors comfortable and feel settled on my site with prominently placed CTA buttons and all.

My next round of study contrary to my belief had nothing exciting to reveal as far as visitor behaviour was concerned. In spite of increasing the number of words the visitor's behaviour pattern did not change.

Quality Uppermost in Spider's Mind

However when I began to analyze why some pages did well while others didn't, I had a happy surprise waiting, which re-iterated my faith in quality. (I know you know what I am going to talk next, but I still will). Yes, I found that length could not merit on `pure length' grounds. Unless length accompanied substance and worthwhile information, it would not click with the audience.

Quality of Content Decides Quality of Visitors

Next thing that I noticed was, high quality long posts not only attracted more number, it also impacted the quality of visitors.

The new found visitors were more serious buyers. When guided well, they had better potential to get more readily converted.

What Supports Quality Content?

What enhances the impact of an informative post is the Call to Action Button. Place it above the fold, always, as a rule. It will make a positive difference in the way user behaves. It offers a worthwhile reason for a visitor to stay longer on your site. And this improves the chances of conversion.

Content Is the King & King Maker

Technologies and tools come and go but what has stood the test of time is Content. If at all its only evolved to keep pace with the end user. Robots don't like content for information's sake.

They like it because they know that visitors like it, readers like it, customers like it. Since you and I like content and depend on it for simplifying our lives, spiders take it all the more seriously and ensure that it offers us the best that it can. This is why content rich sites are sought after.

Quality Content Fetches More Inbound Links

Another thing with content rich sites is that they earn more inbound links. Inbound links improve visibility of your site. Word Limit & Advantages of 2000+ Words Post As far as content length is concerned around 2000 to 2500 words works great. If you will undertake a study of high ranking sites the most common feature you will notice is that most of these pages appearing on first page have more than 2000 words on text on them.

Chances of Being Found For Long Tail Key Phrases Improve:

When you create a lengthy post or article on a topic, you are also increasing your chances of being found in SE for the long tail keywords, which is the new normal search pattern of modern times.

Long Tail Key Phrases' Trend

According to a User Search Report more and more people are using more number of words and typing as many as 6 to 8 words in SE to search what they are looking for. The earlier trend was that of typing 2-3 words.

For those who came in late, they were called key phrases then, and earlier than that, i.e. when internet was at nascent stage people typed keywords, one word, can you imagine it today?

Typing one single word in search engines to looking for information? From this you can imagine the kind of changes that have taken place in the online environment at various levels. A long post makes a better option and more business sense.

I know this from my personal experience as well as from many of my bloggers and writer friends. Everyone noticed and physically saw proofs that long copy not only converted better, it also had a higher positive ROI than short copies.

For those of you are serious about doing business via their websites and blogs would like more and more of their visitors to convert into costumers, you must start writing long copies. Start writing informative, interesting copies that provides adequate visual relief.

YES, People Do Stop By To Read Long Post, and Carry a Good Impression Home:

To ensure that the Information you have collected finally reaches and gets read by the visitors, you should learn to publish them in an interesting and easy to read format. Use of info graphics is one such technique. It's easy on the eyes, since it facilitates the scan habit that your visitor is used to even further.

Trying To Hold Visitors With Crappy 2000 Words, Won't Work

To conclude the post I'd reiterate two important facts, that lengthy content sells, but if it's crappy it won't. The reader, however lazy that he might be, knows he has a choice, and he is an intelligent and an evolved fellow.

Your Reader Will Enjoy Reading Your Post If You Have Enjoyed Writing It!

I want to share with everyone today. They may sound out of a life management book, but believe me they are not. A post that leaves me tired while creating is going to tire my reader. A post that bores me is bound to bore my readers to death. If I have not enjoyed writing something, the readers are not going to enjoy reading it.

Capitalize on the Power of Social Media to Promote Your Posts

Another thing I would not like online entrepreneurs to take lightly is the power of social media. It's a very, very powerful tool and part of marketing strategy which helps websites and blogs conquer many tough challenges and competitions with ease.

When Does Long Content NOT Work?

Don't come up with lengthy content blindly, without considering the niche. For example, people seeking an answer to "why their LinkedIn account is sending invitations on its own" won't be interested in a 2000 words answer!

A short and concise answer may receive hundred visitors within a minute whereas the same question answered in detail may bounce off visitors.

This means if it works for your readers, it will work for your business.

With that said, I think long informative posts, formatted interestingly (with subhead lines and bullet points) do pretty well for the business and its conversion.

If you need more content related information: you can check out these posts:

Content Writing Guide: This post talks about various types of content to help you decide what will work best with your audience and how you can build a truly content rich site.

Content Blunders: Sometimes website owners don't realize that the hurdles that are coming in the way of their website success can be sorted out by taking a few simple steps...


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