Long-Form Content for Financial Services – What does it mean and how can it improve SEO?

Long-Form Content

In many aspects of our lives and business, we are taught to keep things short and sweet. 

In the infancy of social media the social media giants even tried to emphasise conciseness by limiting the number of words and characters that were allowed in posts. 

Although recent updates on many platforms include changes that allow more characters and words to be added. 

Should all other content adhere to these same rules of conciseness?

No way! 

Long-form content is firmly in the spotlight for many reasons.

Financial Content

What is Long-Form Content? 

Long-form content is a piece of content that contains between around 1,200 and 7,500 words (although this length is debated quite a bit).

It should be used as a useful way to delve deeper into complex topics as a reliable source of writing. 

Long-form content’s main purpose is to deliver consumers valuable value-added information.

It can also drive your SEO efforts. 

As financial marketers, ensuring that our clients see SEO improvements while adding value to their audience is always our main goal.

How Can Long-Form Content Help To Boost SEO?

Visitors spend more time on your site if there is more content and content that takes longer to read.

Longer content can also help you to establish yourself as an authority in your financial field.

Other SEO benefits of long-form content include: 

  • Content ranking higher in SERPs
  • More opportunities to use keywords in your content and a higher ranking
  • Higher chances of getting back-links to your content

What is classed as ‘Long-Form Content’?

There is an ongoing debate about what word count determines the beginning of a long-form content piece.

According to some marketing professionals, 700 words is enough.

Others suggest you aim for between 1200-1800.

You will often find agreement in the industry that a piece of content exceeding 1500 words can comfortably under the umbrella. We agree. 

There is no real rule about how long a piece of long-form content should be. 

Although the purpose of the content will ultimately determine the length.

For a brief overview of a subject, short form content can be effective. Whereas long-form provides in-depth coverage of a particular financial topic.

It requires extensive research and analysis.

It is also not enough to have just one type of long-form content.

There are many forms of long-form content that should be used within financial marketing. Some of which include:

  • Blogs
  • Guides
  • White papers
  • Case Study
  • E-Book
  • Annual Year in Review
  • Round Ups and Reviews 
  • Brochures and Data Sheets

Why Use Long-Form Content in the Financial Industry?

Long-form content should be incorporated into your content strategy for many reasons.

Firstly, Google prefers longer content in its search algorithm.

You should take every step possible to increase your visibility on Google and other search engines. 

They harvest results. 

There are many ways to generate paid traffic to your website, although organic traffic is invaluable. 

We have compiled 7 ways long-form content can boost your SEO rankings with Google and other search engines. Ultimately aiding your organic traffic:

1. Visitors spend more time on your site if there is longer content

You want visitors to spend as much time on your site as possible.

You have a better chance that a visitor will take action if they stay longer.

Long-form content takes longer to read and contains more links to other pages.

This strategy will allow you to achieve your goal of getting your visitors to interact with your content and take the desired actions. 

After all, long-form content can double the time users spend on your website.

2. It will cement you as an authority on a subject

You are cemented as an authority in financial services if you can consistently produce and develop high-quality long-form content.

A shorter piece of content does not require as much research or attention to detail as a longer more informative piece. 

3. Increased social media engagement

High-quality long-form content will receive more engagement on social media

Engagement is naturally higher if your content is relevant and value-adding to your audience. 

The use of long-form content types as lead magnets on social media showcases great results.

4. It stands the test of time

Longer content has the advantage of a longer life span and is usually relevant for a longer period of time than a short piece of content.

Depending on the topic and subject matter, usually the details and data that make up long-form content does not change much.

This type of content is also known as “evergreen content”.

It is important to create long-form content that is relevant, compliant, and precise for many years to come.

Evergreen Content will help you to establish a strong authority in financial services.

5. Rank higher in SERP features

The SERPs (search engine result page) are results that appear at the top Google results page.

More than 67% of searchers never go beyond the first page of search results.

So not only do you want to be on the first page of Google, you want your SERP right at the top! 

This position strength will not only get you more organic visitors and leads, but will also provide more opportunity for back-links to your website. 

Searchers naturally assume that if your content is at the top of Google, you must be a financial expert.

6. The ability to utilise the power of keywords

Another great thing about long-form content is the ability to use keywords on a larger scale.

There is also more room to include secondary and long-term keywords. 

This will help you get more search engine recognition for your content.

As already mentioned, the higher the search engines rank your content, the more people visit your site.

7. Increased chances of gaining backlinks to your content

Long-form content is more informative than short-form content, simply by nature.

More details and information mean there are more reasons for someone to link to your content.

Back-links are a valuable part of any SEO strategy.

The more long-form content on your website, the higher your chances of being chosen as a back-link for other content. 

Long-Form Content

When is The Best Time To Use Long-Form Content?

Although long-form content is great, it may not work in all situations. Before you begin writing, there are a few things you should contemplate:

What are your goals?

Your content should have objectives. 

If your goal is to raise awareness of a particular financial service, consider what kind of content you need to achieve this goal. 

Would a shorter blog about your service cut it? Or does it need a detailed guide or brochure? These discussions should take place before you start writing and creating. 

Are you clear about the goals for your content? 

Would you like to inform people about a topic? Long-form content is the best option in the majority of these cases.

What is competition doing?

First of all, you want to outrank competition in the SERPs. You need to know what their content is and how to outrank them. You can fill the gaps they have by creating long-form content with relevant keywords. 

Who is your audience?

Certain target markets will not appreciate long-form content. Don’t waste time and set yourself up for failure with your marketing efforts. Sometimes an infographic or short-form blog will be more effective.

How do you create long-form content?

Many marketers find it easy to write a blog. Although even the most skilled marketer can find it difficult to write longer posts containing 1500+ words.

As a guide, use the content goals you have set to help you craft it. 

Before you start the writing and design process, it is important to understand what you want to achieve.

Find a topic that interests you, tie it to your goals, and understand why you want to write about it and carry out in-depth research.

Without knowing why you create content, it is impossible to write it.

Great graphic design is also a key aspect of content design. 

Although this is not something that most content authors consider, it is an important point to consider before writing long-form content. 

If your content is just a lengthy block of text, a reader may lose interest. 

Decide how to break it up so that a reader remains interested. 

Photos, embedded video and infographics can enhance long-form content and keep people engaged and increase their dwell time. 

It takes time to write and design the perfect long-form content. 

You should consider hiring an agency or freelancer if you don’t have the time or resources in house. 

Don’t write content half heartedly. 

Do your research and pay attention to the details. 

Your long-form content should contain as much industry information and facts as possible. 

Its main focus should be to add value.

Do not forget your keyword research before you start writing!

Get Started Writing

Long-form content is firmly in the spotlight as an important SEO driver after years of not getting the recognition it deserves.

The implementation of such content can increase visitor engagement and back links to your website.

It doesn’t have to be difficult – set goals and research to create data-driven, detail-oriented content and sprinkle it with high-performing keywords. 

Contact our team if you are interested in our long-form content writing services.

For more guidance on Content Writing why not read our Guide to Financial Content. 

Happy writing!