I am an article skimmer. There are few articles that I will commit the time to read word for word. I will skim for key data to create a summary in my head, just the basics of what I need to know. It’s something I did in school. It was how I studied because I grew up at the start of the testing trend. Testing, testing, testing. My mad skimming skills have translated into adulthood.
I know I am not alone. Statistics show that most people who visit your site will only read a small percentage of your content. I won’t get into the finer details, however, you can read this report by Nielsen Norman Group, it is an in-depth report collected from a 25 user panel on the subject.
How Can You Keep Your Visitors’ Attention?
Your content should be concise. Don’t try to impress your visitors with flowery words and promises. Be direct, give them the facts and details. Use short sentences and limit the word count. You don’t need to be a member of the 1000+ word article, About Me, or page information club. Keeping content or articles between 250 – 500 words is completely okay to do. A lot of information can be shared with only a few words. If you really have that much information to relay, break it down. Make it into an article series. Save some of the information for a newsletter. Use the content to your advantage, don’t risk boring visitors.
Your format is a factor. The layout of your website or article is something to think about. Consider using lists or bullet points. You can break down a lot of information by using either option. Lists and bullet points require you to simplify your information. Don’t forget, you can do a series of posts to elaborate on each point. Go back and hyperlink articles that are relevant to each point. This is for the benefit of new visitors.
Part II – will be more about specific types of content you may need on your website.