How People Read Content Online - Statistics and Trends

The following post was written by Asad Ali. Asad Asad Ali is a digital marketing expert having more than 8 years of experience. Currently he is working at GO-Gulf – a website development company based in Dubai, where he has worked on numerous eCommerce SEO projects & successfully run digital marketing campaigns.

Now people don’t read the online content in the way they do years before. Knowing about the behaviors and interests of your online readers is significant in order to optimize the digital content accordingly. Eventually you have put so much effort in generating top quality content but still, you are complaining about low user's engagement, the main reason is the changes that occur in the reading habits. Now, most of the people only emphasize scanning the content rather than reading through the whole web page.

After creating the content it is significant to share it on social media platforms, as without much exposure no one will get aware with the presence of the content.

Users communicate with the content in the form of skimming, scanning, and reading. People also get attracted to the content of their interest. A relevant and context-based content that resonates with the user's area of expertise appeals more, as people tend to read about the things they love the most.

From the year 2000 to 2018, it is estimated that the rate of reader’s attention towards the content has gradually decreased from 12 seconds to 8 seconds.

In the presence of huge information in the form of web pages, only 55% of the web pages get noticed for 15 seconds.

It is also observed that the left half of the web page gets more concentration by the users than the right half, as 69% of them get prompted towards left half and only 30% towards the right.

80% of the reader’s attention is towards the information present above the fold and only 20% get interested in the information present below the fold.

The readers who keep on reading the content from a web page for three minutes are likely to return back as compared to those who only bother to read it for just a minute.

For an individual post, a reader only conceive 20% of the whole information present on the web page, however, only 10% to 20% make it to the bottom of the page.

When it comes to the brand identity, 25% of the users who get engaged with a web page that is related to any brand for more than 15 seconds, the chances are they can remember its name for long, as compared to those who only spend 10 or less number of seconds.

The stories on the web pages that are more elaborate, having more than 1000 of word count; get more users’ retention than those with less number of words.

You can find more facts and statistics in the infographic below that is composed by Go-Gulf.

Marketing Myths – People Read

Welcome to the first edition of our brand new weekly blog series, Marketing Myths. Each week’s installment of Marketing Myths will aim to bust a commonly held belief about marketing. Last week, we busted the “Telemarketing Sucks” myth.

This week’s myth = People Read

If you look at examples of great advertising from bygone eras, one thing stands out. There is always a lot of words.

Good copywriters could make or break an ad. And they sure got to write a lot.

Judging from that, it seems like customers used to read. They don’t anymore.

The problem is, most companies still think that people want to read their marketing and promotional materials. They send big, bulky catalogs on the mail, and four page letters, and fill up every inch of free space on their website with more words.

They write and write and write some more, thinking that if they explain every detail of their product to me, I’ll be more likely to buy it. And not just me, because other people might be buying it for different reasons, so they need to include all that in their copy as well.


People don’t want to read your marketing materials. What they want is to know, “will your product solve my problem and how?” Companies that can answer that question in as few words as possible will win.

Say just enough to answer that question and no more. Even better – use videos and images, offer live chat or a sales line, or let people opt into more information if they want it.

Just because something is written out, doesn’t mean people will read it. The sooner marketers understand that, the better off we’ll be.

Stay tuned next week for another myth. If you have a marketing myth you’d like me to bust, add it in the comments below.

Is Black Friday Giving Marketing a Bad Name?

Yesterday was Black Friday. Traditionally, Black Friday is a day in the United States marked by steep discounts that kick start the holiday shopping season. In recent years, Black Friday was joined Cyber Monday, its online equivalent. And now, the two have merged and blended with the weeks leading up to and after Thanksgiving that now mark what seems like endless deals and offers from every company you can think of. Some retailers are even opening their doors on Thanksgiving night.

What is all this doing to consumers?

First, I think we’ve already hit the point of diminishing returns. That means that each new discount, each new offer, each new TV ad, email, or in store promotion is not adding the type of return that they used to.

In part, that’s because consumers are either fed up, or extremely overwhelmed. Perhaps and combination of both. It’s hard enough to keep up with the brands you’re interested in and offers they have going on all year round. When you add to that the “urgency” that comes with this time of year, and the mounting offers from brands you’re not interested in, it becomes too much.

We’re creating a generation of consumers that will learn to tune out all deals. It’s like a vaccine which exposes people to a virus so that they build up a tolerance. But that tolerance does not lead to success for marketers, it does not lead to a generation of consumers who welcome more offers. It leads to consumers who are so numb to the amount of offers they’ve seen that they don’t react anymore.

Further, it’s giving marketing a bad name. Consumers associate brands that go out of their way to notify you about discount after discount with spammers, desperate for the sale, and annoying.

As a marketer, even I can say that I’m annoyed with the culture of marketing at this time of year. It makes the rest of the year that much more difficult.

So what’s the solution?

I don’t think there is one. Because if your competitors are doing it, you’re going to do it. And if it has measureable results, the argument can be made to do more of it.

But I do know that there will come a point when we are so overly consumed with advertising for Black Friday that a movement will begin to push back. Consumers will begin to ignore your calls. And I can only hope that the best marketers and companies that provide real value to their consumers will prevail.

How Companies Can and Should Act Like People

This particular marketing blog was started to address new trends and offer advice to companies marketing in a new age of consumers, digitally savvy and connected consumers. And in the digital age, the rules for how companies “should” act are changing. And the companies that are beginning to act more like individuals, people with their own personalities, are winning.

The old school rules stated that companies had to be “formal” and “professional”. There was a distance between corporations and their consumers. And there was a clear hierarchy.

Today, consumers are on the same level as the companies they purchase from. There is a stronger sense of ownership and familiarity with the brands we encounter every day. And companies can take the lead in creating that bond by employing some common sense approaches to communication in the digital realm.

Companies can:

  • Interact directly with consumers on Facebook and Twitter
  • Use less formal language in all web copy
  • Personalize all emails with subscribers’ first names
  • Promote employees and use the real names of executives on the website and in letters and other online copy
  • Share stories and content from their fans and customers
  • Involve customers in new product discussions
  • Inform the public of updates and news from the company in a timely manner

Companies should:

  • Do all of the above

What Influences an Online Purchase?

It’s a common question when running a website designed to sell goods: What can we do to get more people to make a purchase?

What we’re trying to figure out is, what influences customer behavior? What makes one website visitor checkout when another leaves without doing so?

And based on a recent study, the chart below demonstrates the answer to that very question:

Price and discounts is an obvious one that most marketers would think about. But it’s important to think creatively about how price is displayed. You can compare to your competition and offer discounts to people for performing certain actions you find desirable to your business. Both will be a real win.

It’s important to note that a fast, easy checkout can have more to do with an online purchase than anything else. It’s much more important than access to service, customer reviews, and loyalty programs.

More and more, we’ve been catching onto this. And clearly, this survey hammers it home. Don’t make checking out difficult, or they won’t do it.

What else can we glean from these results? Share your thoughts with me in the comments below and we can keep the conversation going.