Articles need depth, not length

While long form content understandably seems to be the way to go for search engine ranking, it doesn’t mean there’s a minimum word count. Indeed, the consensus among experts seems to be that we need to look for depth, not length, and that can be answered relatively concisely. Your page will be targeting a particular concept, so ask yourself if it explains the who, what, when, where, why and how of the concept well, and if it performs the equally useful action of sending people on to more information (quite likely on your own website).

Someone asked me a few weeks ago what useful marketing task I would give to a summer placement student at their company office. I replied that if you had someone for a month, there’s no reason why they couldn’t write 20 good articles for the company website. Sit them down for half an hour each day with someone on the technical side, get a key concept explained and recorded, and give them the rest of the day to understand it and write it up. Subjects could include “Why is our blue widget the best?”, “How does our red widget technology work?”, “How do you maintain a green widget to maximise its service life?” and so on. The verbal source would mean the information would be original, and the nature of the author should ensure that basic concepts weren’t taken for granted.

Whether the eventual length was 200 words or 2000 wouldn’t be nearly as important as answering the question in depth.