There’s a lot of talk these days about grabbing peoples’ attention in order to get them on to your site. One of the claims is that modern attention spans are decreasing, but Matias is here to tell us why that isn’t necessarily true.

Attention spans aren’t decreasing, quality content is.

We see from our own research and analytics that when the quality of the content is good, the time spent on the site can be long, and even improves on long stories with really relevant and relatable subjects.

As an example, we publish regular blog posts on our site. We see fairly consistent times on the page and a decent bounce rate, showing that people are there to really read the content (we also track the page depth). But on a recent blog post about Stockmann, which, compared to many other posts, was quite long, we saw the amount of visits and people who read the whole post soar.

There were several reasons why the Stockmann article was a success:
The post was relevant. A lot of our audience is Finnish and Stockmann is a Finnish institution. Stockmann had also been in the news recently because their business is struggling.
People could relate to the post. A lot of the audience who saw the post have probably shopped in Stockmann, and some probably do on a regular basis, so they could relate to the subject and understand the points being made.
The post brought added value and had a positive tone. It wasn’t just a critique, but an analysis, with points on how things could be adapted and improved upon.
The post had a good format and structure. It counted down the points and led the reader through a story that they wanted to follow.

We got similar statistics also on our latest blog post on marketing automation. People have spent on average almost 10 minutes on the page and a vast majority of visitors on that page have read the whole article, even if it too is relatively long.

So instead of producing short content hoping that it won’t scare people off, step back and take some time to plan and produce some really great content – irrelevant of its length. Saying people won’t read long posts is an excuse for the lazy.”

[matias]