Those who say web users don’t spend time reading web pages haven’t met readers like you folks. According to Google Analytics, zeldman.com fans spent five minutes, fifty-five seconds reading the relatively short post, “My Love/Hate Affair With Typekit.” If Jakob Nielsen is right, and readers take in no more than 20% of the words on a page, y’all took a hella long time to read 190 words.
But generalized findings like Jakob’s are merely one data point in a universe of possibilities. Every site is a special snowflake, with stats and usage patterns all its own. Faced with an unfamiliar shopping site, we may indeed give it little more than a cursory scan before closing the window and returning to Google to fine-tune the search that led us there. But when we visit a familiar site to read, then read we do—as anyone with a good blog and a decent set of analytics tools can tell you.
Here are a few recent average times readers spent poring over various zeldman.com posts:
|Post Title||Average Time Spent|
|My Love/Hate Affair With Typekit||5:55|
|20 Signs You Don’t Want That Web Design Project||7:52|
|Ed Bott’s Lament||4:22|
|Gowalla My Dreams||4:41|
Morals of the story:
- Don’t use Peter’s stats to paint Paul.
- If you want people to spend time reading your site, give them better content.