Use Long-Form Content on Your Association Website to Boost SEO and More

06 Jan Use Long-Form Content on Your Association Website to Boost SEO and More

Your association website probably has the usual tabs about your mission, services, news, and contact information, as well as a blog. And if you’re like most associations, your blogs are made for quick reading – about 800 words or fewer. However, using long-form content on your site can increase your SEO (search engine optimization) rankings to help new people find your organization, as well as provide other benefits.

What Is Long-Form Content?

1200 words or more

The definition of long-form content varies depending on whom you ask, but it’s roughly anything that is more than 1,200 words. Even better, shoot for 1,500 or more to be sure.

Long-form content isn’t just limited to blog posts, although you can certainly intersperse long posts among your shorter ones to meet varying levels of attention spans. Long-form content can also include e-books, white papers, case studies, guides, tutorials, and resource compendiums.

How Does Long-Form Content Help with SEO?

Higher rankings for better quality content

Only Google knows exactly how its algorithm for search rankings works, but studies experimenting with search results for thousands of keywords (key search terms) consistently show that long-form content containing those keywords places higher in rankings than shorter works. Some elements Google likely looks for include:

  • Click-through rates (clicking on other parts of the site or making purchases)
  • Dwell time (how long people spend on your site)
  • Number of shares (via social media or backlinks)

Statistically, long-form content gets more backlinks. Those are posts from other organizations that link back to your association website in the content.

Longer-form content is more likely to be of higher quality and to bring value to those reading it than shorter pieces. So, the odds are good that, if you post long-form content on your site, that – when someone looks for keywords on Google that are present in your content – your association will rank closer to the top of the search results. This lets a host of new visitors find your organization, including potential members, conference attendees, and donors, all of which is good for your bottom line.

What Are Other Advantages of Using Long-Form Content?

Industry authority

Most associations seek to position themselves as authorities in their respective fields. Long-form content can help you do that. With longer blog posts, downloadables and other more sophisticated content, you can go into the kind of detail you need to get past superficial coverage of any topic.

Your audience will appreciate this. Most folks don’t want to spend days searching for deep information from numerous sources. When you put it all in one place for them, it saves them time and money.

Online sales

Especially in this time when so much business is being conducted online, it can pay – literally – to have more in-depth information on your site. While pieces that rank highly with Google are mostly going to be available for anyone to read, you can also require an email address to access them (“gated content”) or sell them through an e-commerce platform as revenue. A popular sales model for e-books is:

  • First e-book free to entice readers
  • Second book free to members but must be purchased by nonmembers
  • Third book must be purchased by everyone

There are solid data to support that other types of sales conversions also accompany long-form content. If your association is trying to sell services, certifications or merchandise, diving into longer content can assist.

Improved social media shares

Experts on content creation and SEO agree that long-form content is more likely to earn you those coveted social media shares. Not only will you have something worthwhile to post on your social media accounts, you’ll get more people disseminating it, either from your post or directly from your website. Hint: Make sure your content is social media optimized.

What Are Some Tips to Produce High-Quality, Long-Form Content?

Make longer content worthwhile

  • Survey your membership to see what topics they’d like to see addressed in more detail.
  • Make long-form pieces part of a larger content strategy that meets your organization’s goals.
  • Study keywords to see what readers are searching for in your area of expertise.
  • Invite an industry thought leader to guest post or co-author an ebook.
  • Hire a professional writer if you don’t have anyone in house.
  • Write something in conjunction with your industry’s accrediting organization.
  • Report on something where there is no existing information, such as a new study.
  • Make your content easy to read by breaking up narrative with images, charts, and buttons for social media sharing.

Not sure where to go with your website or content strategy? Jaffe Management is here to help your association. We offer a range of services that can help you achieve your organizational mission. Call us today at (212) 496-3155 or reach out online to get the conversation started.