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See the proof that people like to read online

Normally, people often tell you that people don't like to read online and they have a memory span of a hyperenergized 3-year old rocket. However, data collected over a period of time confirms that people do read what they are interested in.

What proof?

Since starting my blog, I have been watching the stats closely. Though it is interesting to see the sources of traffic and keywords people use to find my site, it is also interesting to see what people (or you) are doing on my site, too.

Long story short, here are the stats about experience of my blog visitors:

Previous full month stats:

  • 2.87 visits per visitor
  • 3.17 pages per visit
  • average time on site: 5min 8sec per visit
  • Total pages read per visitor: ~9.1 pages
  • Total time spent on site per visitor: 14min 45 sec

This month stats:

  • 2.46 visits per visitor
  • 2.33 pages per visit
  • average time on site: 4min 48sec per visit
  • Total pages read per visitor: 5.73 pages
  • Total time spent on site per visitor: 11min 48 sec

What does it all mean?

Considering that most of my posts are fairly long, the stats clearly show that on average, people are reading for about 4-5 minutes every visit. Also, they are reading a couple of pages every visit. Not only that, but they also return 2-3 times to spend some time reading the articles.

This all means that when people are clearly interested in the subject and want to learn something useful for them, they read a lot easily.

Of course, I don't have statistics on whether they read most of the articles on their first or last visits. Or whether they just scan articles in one minute and spend the rest 3-4 minutes finding where to go next. I only have the stats you have just read about.

Moreover, you need to remember the following: with more traffic, less people stick around. Or more people bounce in the first 30 seconds. That's natural.

Musings

Now, the key question is: why people read so much here, while everyone keeps saying that they hate reading? The answers are simple, really.

First of all, the blog seems to be interesting and useful. Otherwise, no one would be reading it - that's for sure.

Secondly, the posts are formatted in a way that they could be easily scanned - read quickly from point to point. This can be done by using subheadings, breaking paragraphs to 2-3 sentences and also trying writing in a simple language (which I hope I do, otherwise do let me know).

Considering that the bookmark rate of the blog is around 40% (62.7% in Jan, 41.8 in Feb, 37.2% this month), it is pretty obvious how people return to my site. Of course, I often see people returning to Google and using the same keyphrase to find me again.

Of course, to make it easier for people to return to the blog, I could have chosen a shorter domain name and also put a reminder to bookmark this site (should do so now, I guess?).

Rounding up

I am not sure whether writing shorter posts is more preferrable, really. In my opinion, how useful the article/post is matters most. Then formatting plays a large role, because I have frequently observed myself ignoring posts with very long paragraphs.

I am guessing a good recipe would be to write the posts, then trim them down to what you wanted to say and format them for the Web. Then you give your visitors a chance to stick around.

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