The importance of scannable content
You have 15 seconds to convey your message on a small smartphone screen on which you’re competing with 25 other apps.
In our previous post, we showed you how eye-tracking technology has proved that content is not so much read as it is scanned. No matter how much effort you put into your content, your readers only take in about 20 percent of it. Today, we’ll dive deeper into people’s reading habits and the importance of accommodating these with scannable content.
The number of clicks on a link is less valuable as a key performance indicator (KPI) than previously assumed. Thanks to improved methods for analytics, we now know that a click doesn’t necessarily mean the following page will actually be read. In fact, according to a study based on two billion page visits, 55% of visitors leave the page within fifteen seconds.
Mobile beats desktop
These short visits are taking place on a small screen with increasing frequency. In 2014, internet traffic on mobile devices exceeded desktop usage for the first time. On this mobile device, we spend 90 percent of our time on apps and 10 percent using the mobile browser. Reading the news has also become more popular using apps than it is using the browser.
According to a study based on two billion page visits, 55% of visitors leave the page within fifteen seconds.
Content gets a lot less attention on a mobile device than it does on a desktop computer. The average visit to the New York Times website lasts 17 minutes on a desktop and only one minute and 43 seconds on a mobile device. Furthermore, smart phone users have an average of 26 apps they use on a regular basis.
So the competition is fierce, and our attention span is now officially shorter than that of a goldfish. We do spend a rapidly increasing amount of time on apps each day, but the number of times we open them is growing at an equal or even faster rate. The individual sessions aren’t getting any longer.
If your content gets 15 seconds on a small screen on which 25 other apps are fighting for attention, how much of your message will your readers take in? That’s the importance of scannable content.
Next time: concrete tips to make your content as scannable as possible.
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