People Don’t Read Online? Bull-crap!
If only I had a nickel for every time I’ve heard that statement, I’d make Bill Gates look like a pauper. Think about it. What’s the first thing most people do when they get online… read their email. What’s better yet, new research from the Poynter Institute’s Eyetrack study released at the American Society of Newspaper Editors (courtesy Editor and Publisher) shows that:
When readers chose to read an online story, they usually read an average of 77% of the story, compared to 62% in broadsheets and 57% in tabloids…
In addition, nearly two-thirds of online readers read all of the text of a particular story once they began to read it, the survey revealed. In print, 68% of tabloid readers continued reading a specific story through the jump to another page, while 59% did so in broadsheet reading.
The research also found that 75% of print readers are methodical in their reading, which means they start reading a page at a particular story and work their way through each story. Just 25% of print readers are scanners, who scan the entire page first, then choose a story to read.
Online, however, about half of readers are methodical, while the other half scan, the report found. The survey also revealed that large headlines and fewer, large photos attracted more eyes than smaller images in print. But online, readers were drawn more to navigation bars and teasers.
We knew it all along. We’ve been saying it for years since our clients’ web analytics proved it to us. Now you have the proof we can share. Give your readers something relevant to read and they will. Or are you still buying into that old wives tale that people don’t read online?