You can spend a lot of time creating content so that your readers stay informed. There are lots of search engine optimization reasons as well. But what if there were evidence that many of your website visitors were not finishing the articles you published on your website? Would you still take the time to create really long blog content and if so, would you feel bad about dedicating large amounts of resources to content that you knew wasn’t being read?
We take a look at some findings from a Chartbeat and Slate.com research piece that analyzed how much people actually read through entire articles as well as some of the other actions they take before leaving your site.
1. 10 Percent of Readers Won’t Scroll at all
While data shows that most readers scroll through about 60 percent of articles, as much as 10 percent aren’t scrolling at all. This data does not include people who bounce (get to the page and immediately leave), just people who look at an article a first glance and then spend a very small amount of time on the page without scrolling.
2. Only 60 Percent of Articles are Read by most People
There is a good chance that only 60 percent of your articles are getting read to about the median scroll depth. This indicates our readers are not staying interested in articles long enough to get the meat and potatoes or the conclusion. Today’s readers are consciously missing out on a lot of information but not before they do something that is actually good for website owners.
3. Even People who Don’t Finish Articles are Sharing Them Socially
The Chartbeat data examined the percentage of people who scrolled through the article against the overall amount of tweets to those articles and found that people are sharing articles even before they finish reading them. Chartbeat’s data cannot tell the relationship between when the articles were shared (retweeted) compared to where exactly on the page visitors were but was able to show evidence that many people were sharing before they got close to the end of articles. This is promising news for content marketers because it shows that regardless of the engagement levels reader’s exhibit they are still contributing to the reach of content.
4. 65.7 Percent of Readers Spend Time Below-the-Fold
The percentage of people that spend time below-the-fold is also a promising metric for content marketers. Chartbeat says that higher quality content causes people to scroll further, indicating that all is not lost for quality content producers.
Takeaways from Reader Interaction
The data above shows some very sad and very promising information on how users engage with our content. We lose 10 percent of visitors before they have any time to interact with our content and the majority of readers, 60 percent, only have the capacity to make it to the median length of our content. The first two graphs reveal that a lot of readers see the majority of content on photo and video indicating that these visual elements are helpful content pieces and should be used aggressively. The correlation between social sharing and lack of article completion is both saddening and pleasing at the same time. Although visitors don’t care enough to read all of our content they do care enough to pass it along to other readers (who are likely to do the same).
All this data reveals the importance of creating really good content that incorporates visuals to provide your brand the best opportunity to capture and engage your audience. It is challenging enough to keep readers on the page; let’s not disappoint them with thin content that doesn’t help or improve their lives.