The Pros and Cons of Shorter Content

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By Boris Dzhingarov

Posting engaging, relevant, and stellar content is something that any website can struggle with. It doesn’t matter if the website is new and just looking to build a following, or if it is an established site that has been around for years. That same challenge exists – creating content that visitors want to read and want to check out. The simple fact is that content drives traffic to your site, and if it’s not content they care about, you’re going to see your traffic drop.

But did you know there’s more to creating great content than just the topic itself? In the case of content, size can matter. You may be under the impression that the longer the post, the more benefits it will offer, but this isn’t necessarily the case. In fact, just the opposite can be true. To examine it closer, let’s take a look at the pros and cons of posting shorter content on your website.

There is a Very Real Time Factor

One of the most obvious pros in posting shorter content is the time factor from a reader’s point of view. We all know people are busy nowadays. There is a real thirst for quick news, quick facts, and quick knowledge. When a reader is greeted with what appears to be a giant wall of text, they’re going to write it off and not even bother if they are short on time. At the very most they may skim the content, but chances are, they’ll pass right over it.

Posting shorter content caters to those that don’t have a lot of time to spare and just want information in a hurry.

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Shorter Content Can Be More Mobile Friendly

Another factor to consider is that shorter content tends to be more mobile-friendly, meaning it appears cleaner on the screen and is easier to read. They won’t have to keep scrolling and scrolling just to get through one blog or posting.

When you consider how many people rely on their smartphones nowadays, you want to be sure you’re providing them with the best reading experience possible. Shorter content will also load faster on the screen, which means you don’t risk losing their attention while they wait.

Shorter Content Actually Gets More Backlinks

Here’s another interesting pro about posting shorter content. Did you know that in a recent study, it was found that shorter content has a connection to backlinks? The study found that content less than 700 words was able to earn more backlinks, on average. The study took a look at more than 5,000 articles in order to uncover the trend.

One of the other interesting statistics that were revealed in the study was articles that were less than 700 words were the most linked-to, the most shared, and the most timely. All of these points can be a huge benefit to websites looking to not only build a loyal following but also branch out and potentially reach a new audience.

Shorter Content is Often Associated with “Fun Content”

This particular pro isn’t based on any sort of factual information, but often people associate shorter content with fun, light, humorous, and engaging information. These can go far in attracting people to a posting, as they are intrigued rather than disinterested.

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Focus On Quality Rather than Quantity

With shorter content, you can make sure the focus is always on quality rather than quantity. How much fluff ends up going into those massive posts? Have they really been thoroughly researched, planned, and thought out? A long post isn’t probably one you’re going to throw together in a rush.

If you pump out shorter content, you can really focus on the top details and information, and truly make it about quality.

Let’s Not Forget the People Power

Then there is the fact that if you’re only writing big long posts, you can bet that is a huge time commitment. Unless you have a whole department that is focused strictly on the online content, it’s going to be hard to fit it in. Shorter posts mean fewer people power needed, fewer hours, and fewer resources directed at the task.

You Can’t Fit As Many Keywords In

When it comes to the cons, one can be the fact you simply can’t fit as many keywords in. Less content means less space. You don’t want to pack the content full of keywords, as this will end up hurting you in the Google search rankings and actually deter your efforts to bring in more traffic.

At the same time there are fewer opportunities to include backlinks. But remember, backlinks tend to do better overall in a shorter post. It’s a real trade-off that you need to weigh up.

It Can Be Hard to Fit Everything In

Just as short posts can be great from a time-saving standpoint, there is the fact that sometimes the topic is just too long to make it a short post. You may feel like you just aren’t given enough words.

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If that’s the case, a simple way to work around it is to look at creating a series on the same topic. You can still keep each post short and brief, and divide them into sub-topics instead. In the end, this can generate more interest as it will keep people coming back for more.

Readers May Be Left with Unanswered Questions

What you need to be really careful about is leaving readers with unanswered questions. The last thing you want to do is create content that doesn’t serve a specific purpose. Readers should understand the topic, get a complete feel for it, and finish the content with a full grasp of things.

Again, a good way to ensure this isn’t an issue is to give your visitors a way to connect with you and engage, so they can ask questions or post comments.

Shorter Content Can be the Best Solution

While each website is unique, just like the content, there are plenty of reasons to believe that posting shorter content can in fact be beneficial and at least giving a try.