Sharing Estimated Read Times Lures More People to Your Content

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With more digital content today confronting readers non-stop, any edge you can use to draw viewers into looking at yours is valuable intel.

With a barrage of digital platforms on laptops, cell phones, and tablets, a recent study shows the average person spends a whopping seven hours a day reading internet-related content on a screen of some type.

While this presents fertile ground for putting your digital message out there, the conundrum lies in that it’s already an overcrowded field.

The good news is, the simple trick of posting your article’s estimated read time can be a powerful tool in your arsenal. Why does this work?

When you show visitors to your site how long it will take to read your content, it often convinces the reader their time commitment will be less than they may have anticipated. One study from Simpleview Europe showed engagement rates increasing by 40% after merely adding reading times to posts.

Another benefit is estimated read times encourage viewers to stick with your content until the end. It has additional positive effects as well, including reducing bounce rates and increasing time spent overall on your site.

The science of psychology supports this strategy, too. The concept of “paradox of choice” says having too many choices can actually negatively impact one’s decision-making, by overwhelming the customer. Straightforward information, such as a reader having a ten-minute ride and knowing your article takes 5 minutes to read, helps to make their choice easy and clear-cut.

Since the average adult reads 200-250 words per minute, you can easily calculate what the estimated read time will be for your content.

If it all seems too simple to be true, the data is merely showing what Henry David Thoreau told us long ago – sometimes simplicity is best. Read more about this phenomenon, and how to make it work for you.