How much of this blog will YOU read?

July 24, 2013

How much do you read online? The first half of an article, a paragraph, or just the first line? According to a recent Chartbeat study, a whopping 38 per cent of people who visit an online article click away before they have engaged with the content at all.

The study went on to show that the majority of users who do engage don’t scroll down to the second-half of an article. In fact, it revealed that when your peers share articles with you on Social Media it is unlikely that they have managed to finish the article themselves!

Furthermore, a separate study has demonstrated that when people visit an article online their eyes automatically trace an ‘F’ shape; they scan the length of the top paragraph, half of the second and then their eyes move vertically down the left. As demonstrated by the image below.

What do these findings mean for online publishers? Well, whilst online consumption usually makes it easier to get an article published it’s evidently even more important to ‘grab’ your reader’s notice from the outset. Boring content will only exacerbate already waning attention spans. Each headline, sub-heading and paragraph beginning should provide a nugget of information. Users will notice these while scanning their ‘F’ shape across the page and it will encourage them not to click away from your article.

The use of multimedia will help interest your reader. Photographs and video will support your argument and, as you can see from the graph below (see what I did there?), most visitors see all content where video and photo is concerned.

Congratulations, you have managed to get to the end of this article! If you would like people to do the same with yours, remember that your company’s content is just one in an ocean of blogs, articles and press releases, so always make sure what you’re writing is different, new and interesting to give it the edge.

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