How to Make Long-Form Content That Google and Your Readers Will Love


No matter how cliche the “content is king” phrase eventually becomes, the maxim it is illustrating still holds true. Content production is one of the most important aspects of digital marketing, and failing to use it to your advantage can leave you struggling to keep up with your competitors. 

However, what this also means is that everyone and their grandmother is posting something. And with the sheer volume of content available at just a few mouse clicks, how can anything you write today hope to outdo everything that has already been written?

Our guide on writing long-form content for both Google and your readers is here to help. 

Let’s take a look. 

Choose Your Subject Carefully 

First of all, you need to choose a topic that will fill two key criteria: 

  • be of interest to your target audience
  • be in line with your brand and product or service

You don’t want to write about something just because it’s popular if you can’t demonstrate a certain expertise and relate it to your business.

As Tim Soulo of Ahrefs puts it, posts that don’t help you bring in leads or convert visitors are not the kinds of posts you want to have on your blog. They may be nice to read, but they serve no real purpose. 

Consider Search Intent 

Along the same lines, you should also carefully consider what it is a searcher wants to get from a post. Are they looking for information, or are they looking to make a purchase? If you get this bit wrong, you may end up wasting your resources on a post that targets the wrong search intent and thus has very small chances of converting.

Close-up of male hands typing on laptop keyboard indoors. Businessman working in office or student browsing information

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For instance, this best mattress post is likely to appeal to someone who is looking for a recommendation, as opposed to someone who is already in the purchasing stage. 

Settle on the Right Keywords 

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Keyword research should still be a huge part of your content production. Organic keyword targeting is more about writing quality posts than keyword stuffing, but you still need to have a target keyword in mind. 

That good old piece of advice about looking for keywords with plenty of traffic but with low competition still applies as well. Depending on your niche and industry, high traffic might be a number in the neighborhood of 500 visitors per month, or it might number several tens of thousands. 

As for the competition, consider your own resources first. You’ll want to answer three questions here:

  • How many links can you hope to build to your posts? 
  • How well can you promote them via your newsletter and your social media channels? 
  • Is there a realistic chance you can outperform other posts written on the topic?

If the answer to the latter is yes, you have selected just the right keyword(s).

If not, it doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be writing that particular post. It just means that you might have to curb your expectations and reconsider your promotion tactics. 

Define Your Goals 

Knowing what you want your long-form piece to achieve will help you write a better one and come up with a promotion strategy that really works. 

For instance, are you trying to collect more leads? Or is your goal more of a sales-oriented one? Do you want to provide in-depth information about a product? Or do you want to offer tips and tricks to long-time users of your services?

Once you have a goal in mind, you can better select the tone of voice and the information the post will feature.

Provide Genuine Value 

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The key to writing content that ranks and converts is providing real value to your readers (and Google, at the same time). This means doing your research, double-checking your information, and offering insight that answers the questions your topic naturally poses. 

For example, if you are doing a post about the most common injuries that occur on hikes, you need to explain what to do in each case rather than just provide a list of injuries. 

Writers often misunderstand the term value that is so often used in the world of digital marketing. It’s not just about saying something no one has ever said before. After all, that might be completely impossible. It’s about giving something to the readers – something they can take away with them. 

This can be a laugh, a piece of information, a fact, a solution. But it needs to be real, and it needs to be of value to your target audience. 

Rely on Visuals Too 

Your words aren’t the only thing you need to think about, as the visuals you choose to add to the post are just as important. They need to complement the writing and help illustrate your points better. They’re there to add more depth and reliability. 

Depending on the topic of the post and your target audience, you may need to look for images, add videos, or create relevant charts and graphs that will help convey any figures. 

Don’t think of the visuals as separate from the post. They are its integral part and need to be considered just as carefully. If you choose visuals that don’t match the post, they might end up completely distracting the reader from your point. 

Don’t Forget About the Formatting

Finally, you also want to ensure that your post is formatted well so that both search engine crawlers and humans can find their way around it easily.

This means: 

  • using h-tags for your headings and subheadings
  • using bullet points and numbered lists wherever it makes sense
  • writing shorter, skimmable paragraphs

You can also highlight certain elements of the post by using bold and italics or capitalization. 

Don’t forget about the backend either. Give your post an adequate SEO title and meta description so that it reflects its value and relevance when it pops up in search results. 

Final Thoughts 

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Give these tips a consideration when you next sit down to write a long-form piece. All of them sound straightforward and they’re rather simple, but you’ll still need some time and effort to execute them properly. 

With a bit of practice, you’ll soon find you are writing pieces that are ranking better and attracting a more engaged audience.