When you look at it by the numbers, business blogging is always a good idea. According to marketing statistics shared by LinkedIn:
- 81 percent of businesses that blog say it’s useful or critical for B2B lead generation.
- Companies that blog 15 or more times per month get five times more traffic than companies that don’t blog.
- A company that has created 200 blog posts can expect to have five times as many total leads as a company with 10 posts or fewer.
Unfortunately, not every blog generates measurable business value. If you’re confident about your subject matter but your blog still isn’t attracting readers, take a look at the length of your posts. Many business bloggers assume readers can’t pay attention to a long post, so they write a large number of short posts instead. They build up many pages of content, but they don’t produce fully developed posts that offer lasting value to their readers.
It’s time for you to start diving more deeply into the topics that matter to your audience. Here are three reasons you should start writing longer, more comprehensive blog posts.
1. Long Posts Get More Engagement
Social blogging platform Medium.com, with 650,000 users and 23.5 million monthly visitors, did a data analysis to discover the idea length for one of its blog posts. Posts that required about three minutes to read got the most page views, but posts requiring seven minutes to read — about 1,600 words — got the most engagement. Engagement isn’t just measured by clicks or unique visitors. It’s measured by time spent reading your pages.
According to data from Microsoft Research, if you hook a reader within the first 10 seconds of visiting your page, they’re far more likely to finish your blog post. And if your blog post provides information they can refer to again and again, they’re going to keep coming back. According to Online Marketing Institute, it takes seven to 13 touches to transform a lead into a qualified, sales-ready lead. By boosting your percentage of return visitors, longer blog posts can increase your chances of making a sale.
2. Long Posts Can Improve Search Rankings
Your rankings on Google, Bing, and other search engines are influenced by both off-page and on-page search ranking factors. Off-page signals like inbound links from high-quality websites can boost your rankings, and so can positive signals around user behavior on the page.
Attracting Inbound Links
Because you’re creating more thorough and in-depth content, you’re creating posts of higher quality. If you pair quality with a strong promotion strategy, more people will naturally link back to your site. Most long blog posts are about evergreen topics, meaning they have value long after they’re published. Readers will search for those topics again and again, and, thanks to the number of inbound links you’ve earned, they’ll find you.
Better On-page Signals
Google has started using machine learning to deliver better search results to its users. Most SEO experts believe that certain user behaviors Google views as positive, like more time spent on a page, can provide a boost to search ranking. Also, when visitors read a blog post and don’t go back to the search results, Google assumes readers got all the information they needed. If your post is so in-depth that readers don’t need to search further, Google is more likely to improve your post’s rank.
3. Long Posts Are Good for You Professionally
Mark Schaefer, podcaster, speaker, and marketing consultant, says blogging is an important tool for truly mastering your subject. “Creating original content makes you smarter,” he says. “You will improve with every blog post you write.”
It’s not that you don’t know your business already, but writing about it forces you to clarify and sharpen your thoughts. It pulls you toward deeper insights, forces you to conduct research, and encourages critical thinking. It also creates a body of work online for all potential customers and business partners to see. Blogging does more than just attract leads; it promotes you as a true thought leader.
Giving readers everything they need to know about a topic will win their loyalty and trust. Longer posts can be the key to generating more traffic and leads — and finally closing the sale.