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How to Create Long-form Content with WordPress

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How to Create Long-form Content with WordPress

If your business has an online presence, you will likely find yourself in a highly competitive position to make your presence count amongst brands that have been building content and growing a substantial audience base for years. Especially if you are a new business, you might be intimidated by those brands with massive content libraries that are much ahead in the game.

But there are ways around it. You can quickly establish yourself online with the right internet marketing services and content marketing strategy. But the best way to your rescue is to use long-form content. Long-form content gives the audience an in-depth and detailed explanation of the topic you want to talk about. Plus, they make for more evergreen and shareworthy content.

In WordPress, “long form” articles refer to all those that contain at least 1,000 words and more. Long-form articles provide a fantastic chance to go deep into subjects your audience is curious to learn about. It might seem like a lot, but if done right, it can win your audience and make you stand out in the competition. With WordPress, it is even easier to create high-quality long-form content.

Long-form posts will engage your audience for a long time and truly educate them about the answers they are seeking. It requires substantial research and takes time to produce since it demands time and resources, but it positively impacts your audience. They will certainly come straight to your website the next time they search for an answer. Long-form content can be in the form of case studies, topic guides, detailed blog posts, data roundups and reviews, and much more.

In this article, we will try to understand how you can make long-form content that counts and why you need it in the first place.

The Importance Of Long Form Content

Even while many people find reading lengthy articles to be off-putting, this does not indicate that you should focus on small pieces of material. Content producers today favor lengthy, well-defined articles instead of short articles, and their justifications are sound. Here are a few reasons why you should choose long-form content.

  • It improves the user experience and lengthens their stay on a website.
  • Content with more than 1500 words performs well in search results.
  • Long-form content increases shareability and, consequently, increases visitors.
  • Long-form material that is simple to navigate allows visitors to quickly find the information they need while passing over the sections they don’t care to learn about.
  • These in-depth articles offer a means for readers to conveniently access all the information they need about a particular subject under a single link without having to waste time and effort looking for it in several places.
  • The extensive information assembled in a lengthy form article aids in producing high-quality content and will aid in building a devoted audience. People will regard you as an authority on that particular subject, which will produce positive results.
  • Because they are comprehensive and helpful, long-form articles are more likely to receive backlinks from reputable websites, raising page authority.
  • It will give you direction and purpose for future posts on your website.
  • The space for comments and discussion will encourage people to discuss the content.
  • Long-form articles allow you to partner and make more referral relationships by linking out more.
  • It can also facilitate conversions because it provides more room for adding CTAs.

Now that you have a fair idea about the importance of long-form content, only use it for some topics. In fact, choose on a topic-to-topic basis whether you want to go for long or short-form content. With that in mind, take a look at how you must create/format long-form content and the tips you should keep in mind while writing it.

How to Create Long-Form Content

We cannot tell you how long you should write your article or the process you should follow because you must define that as the writer. However, we suggest the following tips you can keep in mind when writing to create a high-quality long-form article.

Use a Popular Topic

It would help if you chose a popular topic that was of interest to your readers. Keep in mind that your post should be more than simply a fragment of a story; it should be a means to help others solve a problem or learn a new concept to improve. It is also better to choose topics that won’t lose their relevance over time, so they remain evergreen, and no matter when an individual searches for them, it will still help resolve their problems.

Knowing what topics in your sector are popular right now will help you attract more users to your material. You may use various keyword research tools, such as Google Keyword Planner, GrowthBar, etc., to select or get a suggestion for a topic. Create a content calendar to stay at the top of your posting and sharing schedule.

After choosing a subject, you must thoroughly research the topic. Your post will be a superb piece of content if you choose a certain niche-relevant topic that is well-researched and well-rounded.

Add Images And Optimize Them

Reading through long walls of text can be challenging, especially when reading an article on a small screen. Images help you add value to your material while also allowing you to make logical breaks. They make the content look more engaging and attractive to look at.

Each image you use in your article should be directly related to the text that follows it. For example, if the section gives instructions about making tea, add an infographic that mentions the steps in short or just feature someone making tea.

Try WordPress plugins like iList Infographic Maker that help you visualize data and information in a way that appeals to the eye and draws the reader in. Beautiful lists, infographics, charts, and graphs are simple to build and may significantly improve your content marketing strategy.

Some impressive photographs can significantly improve the quality of your post, but optimizing them is crucial so that your website loads quickly. The more individuals click away without reading your content, the longer it takes for your page to load. Try using various WordPress picture optimization plugins like Optimus Image Optimizer, WP Smush, and Imagify.

Lists Will Be Helpful

Lists can be used similarly to graphics in that they help break up long text passages and make them easier to read. They also give you a fantastic opportunity to clarify your arguments. They give a better structure to your article and look nice having a place in the article. Additionally, they offer a visual progression to your ideas and make scanning through the article easier for readers.

In WordPress, adding lists to long-form text is a relatively simple process. The format should provide you with lots of opportunities to do so, depending on the subject you’re covering. Think about adding benefits, key features, pros, cons, steps, types, etc., in the form of lists to your content.

Use Sub Headings

If you enjoy reading online, you’re undoubtedly already aware of how articles divided into subheadings make it much easier to comprehend information. Using these components in your own material has a lot of advantages. They are ideal for breaking up long articles into smaller pieces and are also better for SEO.

Here are three suggestions for crafting effective subheadings in your long-form content:

  • Put as much optimum detail as you can into each subheading to help your readers understand what to expect.
  • Use them to divide extremely difficult sections; for instance, roundups and step-by-step instructions. Thus, feel free to add more subheaders than you had initially planned.
  • The structure of your text should reflect in the subheadings.

Create SEO-Optimized Content

Of course, having high search engine rankings is necessary if you want to reach the largest audience. And to do that, your content must be SEO-optimized.

It would help if you began by conducting keyword research first. The Google Keyword Planner is one of the tools that most writers use for finding and researching keywords and analyzing their competition. But wait to pack your content with keywords after you’ve chosen one. The content will end up being awkward and artificial for readers and search engines if you endlessly stack it with keywords. Use plugins that check for keywords in your text and the text’s readability with them. This helps you improve your content for readers and SEO bots and makes sure nothing feels forced. Additionally, the plugins come in handy for putting crucial SEO tools like a sitemap and breadcrumbs on your website. It is a valuable asset for your WordPress SEO campaigns to rank your long-form posts.

Proofread Your Content Before Publishing

It can be complicated to write an article. It is especially tiring to edit and revise your work after you’ve finished writing for hours. Many spelling and punctuation errors are possible, which are never good for your brand’s reputation. Long-form content typically has a higher likelihood of mistakes than short form. But several tools are available to aid content writers in avoiding such errors.

These days, there are a plethora of tools that authors use to make good content that does not oversee such errors. One such program that is particularly well-liked by the general public is Grammarly. These tools must be able to check all of your spelling, punctuation, and grammatical errors and make suggestions for a better delivery style. It would be best also to verify your text for plagiarism to improve content analysis.

Make Shareable Content

People enjoy sharing information that they find fascinating and believe would be of interest to others. Make your material simple to share to increase your audience and the effect of your lengthy pieces. You can choose from a wide variety of social sharing plugins, as is the case with anything else related to WordPress.

You can use plugins like AddThis that lets you add floating share buttons, social profile follow buttons, and even related topics fast and easily. Such plugins allow you access stats for your most popular shared content, referral networks, pageviews, and more, which proves to be beneficial for evaluating your long-form content.

Get Promoting

You can start promoting your goods and services in your long-form articles once you have the reader’s interest and they believe you to be an informed and trustworthy source of information. After educating them on a subject, you can offer your assistance in coming up with a solution to the problem they came to you with initially.

Adding a call to action (or CTA) is one way of doing it. There are several call-to-action WordPress plugins available at your disposal. You can use these to point users to your pricing page, newsletter signup form, contact form, etc.

You can also have the option to use a shortcode to insert relevant products into your text if your website also features an online store.

Conclusion

Long-form content requires study and time to write, but the effort is worthwhile. You’ll establish yourself as an authority, your readers will stay on the site longer, user engagement will increase, and your site’s SEO will improve. Creating long-form content doesn’t have to be tough; you need to be willing to put in the time to make space for these few tips above, which will help you ace your content as a writer. Use plugins supported by WordPress to make your life simpler, and watch how the article performances shine.

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Why We Are Always ‘Clicking to Buy’, According to Psychologists

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Why We Are Always 'Clicking to Buy', According to Psychologists

Amazon pillows.

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A deeper dive into data, personalization and Copilots

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A deeper dive into data, personalization and Copilots

Salesforce launched a collection of new, generative AI-related products at Connections in Chicago this week. They included new Einstein Copilots for marketers and merchants and Einstein Personalization.

To better understand, not only the potential impact of the new products, but the evolving Salesforce architecture, we sat down with Bobby Jania, CMO, Marketing Cloud.

Dig deeper: Salesforce piles on the Einstein Copilots

Salesforce’s evolving architecture

It’s hard to deny that Salesforce likes coming up with new names for platforms and products (what happened to Customer 360?) and this can sometimes make the observer wonder if something is brand new, or old but with a brand new name. In particular, what exactly is Einstein 1 and how is it related to Salesforce Data Cloud?

“Data Cloud is built on the Einstein 1 platform,” Jania explained. “The Einstein 1 platform is our entire Salesforce platform and that includes products like Sales Cloud, Service Cloud — that it includes the original idea of Salesforce not just being in the cloud, but being multi-tenancy.”

Data Cloud — not an acquisition, of course — was built natively on that platform. It was the first product built on Hyperforce, Salesforce’s new cloud infrastructure architecture. “Since Data Cloud was on what we now call the Einstein 1 platform from Day One, it has always natively connected to, and been able to read anything in Sales Cloud, Service Cloud [and so on]. On top of that, we can now bring in, not only structured but unstructured data.”

That’s a significant progression from the position, several years ago, when Salesforce had stitched together a platform around various acquisitions (ExactTarget, for example) that didn’t necessarily talk to each other.

“At times, what we would do is have a kind of behind-the-scenes flow where data from one product could be moved into another product,” said Jania, “but in many of those cases the data would then be in both, whereas now the data is in Data Cloud. Tableau will run natively off Data Cloud; Commerce Cloud, Service Cloud, Marketing Cloud — they’re all going to the same operational customer profile.” They’re not copying the data from Data Cloud, Jania confirmed.

Another thing to know is tit’s possible for Salesforce customers to import their own datasets into Data Cloud. “We wanted to create a federated data model,” said Jania. “If you’re using Snowflake, for example, we more or less virtually sit on your data lake. The value we add is that we will look at all your data and help you form these operational customer profiles.”

Let’s learn more about Einstein Copilot

“Copilot means that I have an assistant with me in the tool where I need to be working that contextually knows what I am trying to do and helps me at every step of the process,” Jania said.

For marketers, this might begin with a campaign brief developed with Copilot’s assistance, the identification of an audience based on the brief, and then the development of email or other content. “What’s really cool is the idea of Einstein Studio where our customers will create actions [for Copilot] that we hadn’t even thought about.”

Here’s a key insight (back to nomenclature). We reported on Copilot for markets, Copilot for merchants, Copilot for shoppers. It turns out, however, that there is just one Copilot, Einstein Copilot, and these are use cases. “There’s just one Copilot, we just add these for a little clarity; we’re going to talk about marketing use cases, about shoppers’ use cases. These are actions for the marketing use cases we built out of the box; you can build your own.”

It’s surely going to take a little time for marketers to learn to work easily with Copilot. “There’s always time for adoption,” Jania agreed. “What is directly connected with this is, this is my ninth Connections and this one has the most hands-on training that I’ve seen since 2014 — and a lot of that is getting people using Data Cloud, using these tools rather than just being given a demo.”

What’s new about Einstein Personalization

Salesforce Einstein has been around since 2016 and many of the use cases seem to have involved personalization in various forms. What’s new?

“Einstein Personalization is a real-time decision engine and it’s going to choose next-best-action, next-best-offer. What is new is that it’s a service now that runs natively on top of Data Cloud.” A lot of real-time decision engines need their own set of data that might actually be a subset of data. “Einstein Personalization is going to look holistically at a customer and recommend a next-best-action that could be natively surfaced in Service Cloud, Sales Cloud or Marketing Cloud.”

Finally, trust

One feature of the presentations at Connections was the reassurance that, although public LLMs like ChatGPT could be selected for application to customer data, none of that data would be retained by the LLMs. Is this just a matter of written agreements? No, not just that, said Jania.

“In the Einstein Trust Layer, all of the data, when it connects to an LLM, runs through our gateway. If there was a prompt that had personally identifiable information — a credit card number, an email address — at a mimum, all that is stripped out. The LLMs do not store the output; we store the output for auditing back in Salesforce. Any output that comes back through our gateway is logged in our system; it runs through a toxicity model; and only at the end do we put PII data back into the answer. There are real pieces beyond a handshake that this data is safe.”

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Why The Sales Team Hates Your Leads (And How To Fix It)

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Why The Sales Team Hates Your Leads (And How To Fix It)

Why The Sales Team Hates Your Leads And How To

You ask the head of marketing how the team is doing and get a giant thumbs up. 👍

“Our MQLs are up!”

“Website conversion rates are at an all-time high!”

“Email click rates have never been this good!”

But when you ask the head of sales the same question, you get the response that echoes across sales desks worldwide — the leads from marketing suck. 

If you’re in this boat, you’re not alone. The issue of “leads from marketing suck” is a common situation in most organizations. In a HubSpot survey, only 9.1% of salespeople said leads they received from marketing were of very high quality.

Why do sales teams hate marketing-generated leads? And how can marketers help their sales peers fall in love with their leads? 

Let’s dive into the answers to these questions. Then, I’ll give you my secret lead gen kung-fu to ensure your sales team loves their marketing leads. 

Marketers Must Take Ownership

“I’ve hit the lead goal. If sales can’t close them, it’s their problem.”

How many times have you heard one of your marketers say something like this? When your teams are heavily siloed, it’s not hard to see how they get to this mindset — after all, if your marketing metrics look strong, they’ve done their part, right?

Not necessarily. 

The job of a marketer is not to drive traffic or even leads. The job of the marketer is to create messaging and offers that lead to revenue. Marketing is not a 100-meter sprint — it’s a relay race. The marketing team runs the first leg and hands the baton to sales to sprint to the finish.

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via GIPHY

To make leads valuable beyond the vanity metric of watching your MQLs tick up, you need to segment and nurture them. Screen the leads to see if they meet the parameters of your ideal customer profile. If yes, nurture them to find out how close their intent is to a sale. Only then should you pass the leads to sales. 

Lead Quality Control is a Bitter Pill that Works

Tighter quality control might reduce your overall MQLs. Still, it will ensure only the relevant leads go to sales, which is a win for your team and your organization.

This shift will require a mindset shift for your marketing team: instead of living and dying by the sheer number of MQLs, you need to create a collaborative culture between sales and marketing. Reinforce that “strong” marketing metrics that result in poor leads going to sales aren’t really strong at all.  

When you foster this culture of collaboration and accountability, it will be easier for the marketing team to receive feedback from sales about lead quality without getting defensive. 

Remember, the sales team is only holding marketing accountable so the entire organization can achieve the right results. It’s not sales vs marketing — it’s sales and marketing working together to get a great result. Nothing more, nothing less. 

We’ve identified the problem and where we need to go. So, how you do you get there?

Fix #1: Focus On High ROI Marketing Activities First

What is more valuable to you:

  • One more blog post for a few more views? 
  • One great review that prospective buyers strongly relate to?

Hopefully, you’ll choose the latter. After all, talking to customers and getting a solid testimonial can help your sales team close leads today.  Current customers talking about their previous issues, the other solutions they tried, why they chose you, and the results you helped them achieve is marketing gold.

On the other hand, even the best blog content will take months to gain enough traction to impact your revenue.

Still, many marketers who say they want to prioritize customer reviews focus all their efforts on blog content and other “top of the funnel” (Awareness, Acquisition, and Activation) efforts. 

The bottom half of the growth marketing funnel (Retention, Reputation, and Revenue) often gets ignored, even though it’s where you’ll find some of the highest ROI activities.

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Most marketers know retaining a customer is easier than acquiring a new one. But knowing this and working with sales on retention and account expansion are two different things. 

When you start focusing on retention, upselling, and expansion, your entire organization will feel it, from sales to customer success. These happier customers will increase your average account value and drive awareness through strong word of mouth, giving you one heck of a win/win.

Winning the Retention, Reputation, and Referral game also helps feed your Awareness, Acquisition, and Activation activities:

  • Increasing customer retention means more dollars stay within your organization to help achieve revenue goals and fund lead gen initiatives.
  • A fully functioning referral system lowers your customer acquisition cost (CAC) because these leads are already warm coming in the door.
  • Case studies and reviews are powerful marketing assets for lead gen and nurture activities as they demonstrate how you’ve solved identical issues for other companies.

Remember that the bottom half of your marketing and sales funnel is just as important as the top half. After all, there’s no point pouring leads into a leaky funnel. Instead, you want to build a frictionless, powerful growth engine that brings in the right leads, nurtures them into customers, and then delights those customers to the point that they can’t help but rave about you.

So, build a strong foundation and start from the bottom up. You’ll find a better return on your investment. 

Fix #2: Join Sales Calls to Better Understand Your Target Audience

You can’t market well what you don’t know how to sell.

Your sales team speaks directly to customers, understands their pain points, and knows the language they use to talk about those pains. Your marketing team needs this information to craft the perfect marketing messaging your target audience will identify with.

When marketers join sales calls or speak to existing customers, they get firsthand introductions to these pain points. Often, marketers realize that customers’ pain points and reservations are very different from those they address in their messaging. 

Once you understand your ideal customers’ objections, anxieties, and pressing questions, you can create content and messaging to remove some of these reservations before the sales call. This effort removes a barrier for your sales team, resulting in more SQLs.

Fix #3: Create Collateral That Closes Deals

One-pagers, landing pages, PDFs, decks — sales collateral could be anything that helps increase the chance of closing a deal. Let me share an example from Lean Labs. 

Our webinar page has a CTA form that allows visitors to talk to our team. Instead of a simple “get in touch” form, we created a drop-down segmentation based on the user’s challenge and need. This step helps the reader feel seen, gives them hope that they’ll receive real value from the interaction, and provides unique content to users based on their selection.

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So, if they select I need help with crushing it on HubSpot, they’ll get a landing page with HubSpot-specific content (including a video) and a meeting scheduler. 

Speaking directly to your audience’s needs and pain points through these steps dramatically increases the chances of them booking a call. Why? Because instead of trusting that a generic “expert” will be able to help them with their highly specific problem, they can see through our content and our form design that Lean Labs can solve their most pressing pain point. 

Fix #4: Focus On Reviews and Create an Impact Loop

A lot of people think good marketing is expensive. You know what’s even more expensive? Bad marketing

To get the best ROI on your marketing efforts, you need to create a marketing machine that pays for itself. When you create this machine, you need to think about two loops: the growth loop and the impact loop.

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  • Growth loop — Awareness ➡ Acquisition ➡ Activation ➡ Revenue ➡ Awareness: This is where most marketers start. 
  • Impact loop — Results ➡ Reviews ➡ Retention ➡ Referrals ➡ Results: This is where great marketers start. 

Most marketers start with their growth loop and then hope that traction feeds into their impact loop. However, the reality is that starting with your impact loop is going to be far more likely to set your marketing engine up for success

Let me share a client story to show you what this looks like in real life.

Client Story: 4X Website Leads In A Single Quarter

We partnered with a health tech startup looking to grow their website leads. One way to grow website leads is to boost organic traffic, of course, but any organic play is going to take time. If you’re playing the SEO game alone, quadrupling conversions can take up to a year or longer.

But we did it in a single quarter. Here’s how.

We realized that the startup’s demos were converting lower than industry standards. A little more digging showed us why: our client was new enough to the market that the average person didn’t trust them enough yet to want to invest in checking out a demo. So, what did we do?

We prioritized the last part of the funnel: reputation.

We ran a 5-star reputation campaign to collect reviews. Once we had the reviews we needed, we showcased them at critical parts of the website and then made sure those same reviews were posted and shown on other third-party review platforms. 

Remember that reputation plays are vital, and they’re one of the plays startups often neglect at best and ignore at worst. What others say about your business is ten times more important than what you say about yourself

By providing customer validation at critical points in the buyer journey, we were able to 4X the website leads in a single quarter!

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So, when you talk to customers, always look for opportunities to drive review/referral conversations and use them in marketing collateral throughout the buyer journey. 

Fix #5: Launch Phantom Offers for Higher Quality Leads 

You may be reading this post thinking, okay, my lead magnets and offers might be way off the mark, but how will I get the budget to create a new one that might not even work?

It’s an age-old issue: marketing teams invest way too much time and resources into creating lead magnets that fail to generate quality leads

One way to improve your chances of success, remain nimble, and stay aligned with your audience without breaking the bank is to create phantom offers, i.e., gauge the audience interest in your lead magnet before you create them.

For example, if you want to create a “World Security Report” for Chief Security Officers, don’t do all the research and complete the report as Step One. Instead, tease the offer to your audience before you spend time making it. Put an offer on your site asking visitors to join the waitlist for this report. Then wait and see how that phantom offer converts. 

This is precisely what we did for a report by Allied Universal that ended up generating 80 conversions before its release.

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The best thing about a phantom offer is that it’s a win/win scenario: 

  • Best case: You get conversions even before you create your lead magnet.
  • Worst case: You save resources by not creating a lead magnet no one wants.  

Remember, You’re On The Same Team 

We’ve talked a lot about the reasons your marketing leads might suck. However, remember that it’s not all on marketers, either. At the end of the day, marketing and sales professionals are on the same team. They are not in competition with each other. They are allies working together toward a common goal. 

Smaller companies — or anyone under $10M in net new revenue — shouldn’t even separate sales and marketing into different departments. These teams need to be so in sync with one another that your best bet is to align them into a single growth team, one cohesive front with a single goal: profitable customer acquisition.

Interested in learning more about the growth marketing mindset? Check out the Lean Labs Growth Playbook that’s helped 25+ B2B SaaS marketing teams plan, budget, and accelerate growth.


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