Only one out of every five people are reading your full online content. Yes, you read that correctly.
People always complain that today’s population has a low attention span. Now, we have some proof.
Recently, Dan Petrovic surveyed 500 people. Only 16% of those people read the entire article. That number is terrifying in an age of surplus. There are millions of working websites with millions more starting up every day. It begs the question — can you keep people interested in the current online environment?
It’s a Numbers Game
A Neilson study conducted in 1997 found exactly the same results as Petrovic’s experiment. Both studies found that only 16% of readers continue on until the bottom of an article. In the study conducted by Petrovic, he found that forty readers out of 500 only read the headlines and then move on. A scary thought.
Only 80 of the readers actually stayed until the end. Is that due to lackluster content, poor attention spans, or something else?
Pyramid Concept Revisited
Taking a page from traditional journalism, Petrovic explains the pyramid of writing. Using an introverted triangle, a writer traditionally puts the most primary information in the beginning. Then, the writer will discuss second information, and last ‘deeper’ information for those who wish to stay on longer.
This traditional structure is evidently failing the digital world. Petrovic wanted to find a better way. His goal was to insert “deep” content throughout the article while reducing the dropout rate of readers. In sum, he wanted to find a way to write engaging content without detracting from his storytelling.
But will using less content help creators engage their readers? Petrovic wanted to find out.
Checklist: A Guide to Better Writing
In his study, he found that his readers wanted quick answers from an article that was easy to read. Many people confessed to scanning the article, and he wanted to make sure to keep them engaged. He created a checklist for himself to remember what was needed.
All content creators have their own thought process when writing. By understanding your core audience, you will be able to tap into their thought process. It will enable your writing to be organized and easily scanned for the most basic points.
The first paragraph for web content should explain why the readers is here. That is nothing new — textbook, really. However, Petrovic suggests peppering in deeper content. It will intrigue the reader who is here to find out more about your topic.
The Content Creator’s Crisis
Here in lies the classic dilemma: do you write less involved content to keep the attention span of your readers or do you write longer, more informative quality content and risk not keeping your audience engaged the entire time?
Petrovic wanted to know, can you have it both ways — keep your readers engaged without sacrificing content? He conducted a study after changing how his content was displayed.
His subsequent study found out that only 60% of readers bounced, or did not read until the end. This is compared to his first study which had a staggering 90% of readers leaving the page.
How did he manage it?
Simple, he fought fire with fire. Instead of using traditional methods, he utilized SEO Phoenix technology. Using hypotext, he created links that opened for additional content. This method gave the reader the option to read deeper into the information if they chose.
He took his 5,000 word article and compressed it into an impressive 400 words. It took him roughly 500 drafts to cut it down. When he was done he tested his new methodology.
The full 5,000 word article took about 30 minutes to read, but people were only reading for six minutes before jumping ship.
The refined 400 word article kept readers on his article for twelve minutes. He was able to double the amount of time his readers stayed on the page simply by giving the reader the option. If they wanted more information, the readers had the option to click the links on the page to read more.
What does it mean?
It means that through Phoenix SEO agency creative technological methods, you can improve your articles. You can improve online content without relying too heavily on clickbait.
Click bait will bring them to the article, but quality, well-structured content will keep them there. It also increases the chance that they will return to your site for more quality content.
Understanding your audience and retooling your content is not as easy as it sounds. Professional internet marketing companies research and study the content that drives positive SEO results. We understand the importance of structure and quality. Quality begets quantity. Better content structuring = better results. Contact Internet Marketing Team today to learn more.