This is an interesting question that I always wondered about. When people are searching online for answers, they come across pages that do their best to answer their questions. Some people think that it is best to just answer the questions directly and move on. Other people think that you should go into great detail and provide as much content as possible. In this article, I give my opinions and thoughts on this topic because it can really go either way depending on what you are trying to do. Again, it seems like there is no right or wrong way to properly approach this. Rather, we explore the difference between them and attempt to bring some light to the subject.
Why Is Being Succinct Good?
I will talk about the next section why being succinct is good. Even though I prefer to write more because I really like to exhaust a topic and provide as much as I know as possible. Although, I can see instances where being succinct is good. Let us take a look at it now.
Short and Straight to the Point
Some people do not like to waste time and just want to know the answer that they are looking for. Unfortunately, having too little content can be tough for SEO and ranking in the search engines. What is worse, is that unless your content and answers are completely exclusive to you and no one else has come up with the answers, you will be hard-pressed to rank. The reason why is because someone may have already answered the questions people are looking for before you had your chance to do so. This means that you will have to answer it better and in detail than the last guy. In order to do this, this means writing more content to out-content the competition. So you just end up writing more anyway and defeating the purpose of being succinct.
Being in a Super Specific Niche
If you are in a really specific niche that does not have many people in it yet, you might be able to rank with short succinct answers. The reason why is because there is currently no competition and therefore the world is your oyster and you can do whatever you want. As long as people are searching for what you are writing, they will find you. Be careful, eventually you will have competition entering your niche and you will have to up your game and write more to compete with them. Just because your niche is currently untapped does not mean that it will stay that way forever. If people are searching for your niche then that means that other people might want to compete with you, if you are the only player in town.
This is why you must use tools like Ahref and SEMRush to see what your competition is up to. The web moves fast and every day there are new websites coming out entering all sorts of niches. So you might want to consider writing more and getting that content out as soon as possible to solidify your position. This is no easy task as anyone can just enter your niche and start writing. So if you choose to be succinct, make sure that your content is good even if you do not plan on writing so much.
Users Do Not Have to Look Around
An advantage of being succinct is that your users can find what they are looking for quickly and easily. There is no need to scroll around the page looking for what they want. If your page is too long then people might not bother scrolling and just leave your page. This is undesirable but that is what happens when people not only expect pages to load in just a few seconds but they also expect to find their answers on your page just as fast. Just getting your pages to load fast is one part, getting your answers to your users is another.
Saving Content for Future Articles
The good part about just being succinct is that you will have content to share in future articles. This means that you are less likely to hit writer’s block because your article pipeline will last longer. This is great because being succinct usually means that you stick to a single topic and do not expand upon until your next article. However, I like combining topics together in a single article because it shows that you are capable of making connections and drawing conclusions between different topics. Yes, you will end up writing more which means that you will consume more article topics in a single article.
Is Being Succinct Bad?
There are some issues with being succinct. I will do my best to cover them.
You Do Not Have Enough Content
Being succinct sometimes means that you have not covered enough ground. Whether you have covered enough of a topic or not is really dependent on your audience. This is tricky because each of your readers come to your website expecting different things. Some want just enough and leave. Others want more and expect you to delve deeper into your topic. So this is why being succinct is bad because you can never really tell how much your readers expect from you since most just read and leave. Very few will actually engage with you in the comments to let you know.
Why Is Going Into Detail Good?
Now I will talk about going in detail.
You Can Answer Many Questions in a Single Article
You never know what exactly someone is looking for when they come to your article. Someone might be looking for this and someone else might be looking for that. This is the benefit of writing long and lengthy articles. Your article might be able to answer different questions because you have more content to go through. What I like about long articles is that people only read and take away the parts of your article that you need. This is why I highly recommend using a table of contents plugin if you are using WordPress. Users can look at your table of contents and know exactly what your article is about without having to read your entire article.
Organizing your article with a table of contents will help reduce the amount of scrolling people need to do on your page. Of course, if Google sends people to the wrong part of your article that does not give them what they need, it might be tricky for people to find their way around your article.
Providing History and Background
The best part about long articles is that you can read as much of it as you want. You are not obligated to read everything and the writer knows that the goal is to give you more than what you ask for so that you have choices and options when reading. This is why some people like to give some history and background to the topic that they are covering. This is nice because it makes it looks like you put more effort into your writing then just addressing only the topic itself. People can tell when you do some extra research because you have so much more to say about the subject than your competition does. This is all about going that extra mile, but then it becomes tricky because you want to make sure that you write something with substance and not fluff.
Setting the Stage
Some readers just want their answer already and some writers want to prepare everything and have everything set just right before giving the answer. An example would be all of the things that happen before you give the answer and then all of the things that happen after your answer. Let us say that you. The reason why you would want to do this is because your readers are at different levels of experience. Some of your readers will know more about your article than others.
Introducing Your Topic to Beginners
Just to be safe, we want to write assuming that someone is learning something for the first time. This means that you need to get people up to speed and perhaps do an introduction to your topic. This is very hard to balance because newcomers will appreciate the extra time that you spend writing more for them. However, experienced readers might find this boring and will want to skip all of the basic introductory material. Setting the stage for beginners is a good way to slowly introduce them to your blog and it gives you more content to write about.
If you are writing about more technical topics that require previous experience and knowledge in the subject at hand, then you will more than likely have to preface your article with an introduction. Remember that we all started from somewhere. Along the way in our life, people taught and helped us learn the things that we know today. Just think of adding beginner material in your article as a way of paying it forward.
Exhibiting Your Engaging Personality
Writing should be fun and not just spitting facts. This is why people have opted to generate content via video than writing because their personality shows better in a video. Writing can have personality too but that often requires you to write a little bit more to show your writing style to people. If you are too succinct, you answer questions before people even have a chance to get to know you. If you are the type of person who naturally likes to share, then you will probably end up writing more than most other people would.
Why Is Going Into Detail Bad?
Droning On and On
The problem with going into too much detail is when you actually run out of something of substance to say. Then you have a tendency to prattle on about nothing just to hit a word count. So be careful to make sure that you are writing something that will mean to someone. Do not just write words out for the sake of trying to get your article to look thorough and detailed. People will know when you are just trying to stretch your article out and they will not like it at all. So make sure each word that you type has some significance to it and actually contributes to the overall meaning or goal of your article.
Which One Is Better? I Personally Prefer Being Detailed
Even though being succinct and detailed have their merits, I personally prefer detail. I just feel like when you are in the mood to write, the words just flow out of you. You cannot stop writing even if you have already answered the question. There is always something more to say and as humans, writing is a form of communication. We learn from each other. So when I write something, I hope that you learn something from it. Just like when I read something from someone, I learn something from it. This is how knowledge is passed between people. We require constant communication and relaying information among us. This is how we progress and grow as a society, through the sharing of information. Strangely enough, that is pretty much what the web is.
Writing articles for your blogs can be tough because you have to decide if you want to be succinct or detailed. Succinct is great because you get straight to the point without making your users scroll around looking for the answer. If you are in a really specific niche, you have the benefit of little competition so you do have to be overly detailed to rank in search engines. You will also have more content saved to write about later as you slowly drip your content to your readers.
Being detailed is good also as you can answer a lot of questions in a single article. If you think that your readers come from different levels of experience and knowledge, you should provide some beginner introductory material so that newcomers can be eased into your article before you go deep into details. A table of contents is great so that people can skim through your section headings and decide exactly where they want to go in your article.
I do prefer detailed articles, especially when you are in a very competitive niche that already has a lot of people in it. You have to work even harder to make a name for yourself and carve out a slice of that pie. This is why being succinct might be good later on when you are established and can get away with articles that lack details. Early on, I feel that I need to write more just to get my articles to rank on Google. I am not even that concerned about how far they end up away from page one. Just get on Google first and then worry about the ranking later.