Digital Marketing for Engineers Blog

How long do engineers spend reading your marketing content? We did the math.
John Hayes posted on July 26, 2012 | 1576 views

More adventures in analytics from Matt our marketing intern.

For this project, we considered time on page as the measurement for how engaged the reader is.  Matt’s algorithm for measuring time reading an article achieved a 75% coefficient of correlation on a sample of 30 articles. 

In our previous post Matt calculated how an engineer decides what to read and found 6 insights for marketers.  Next he looked at whether great content or broad distribution is more important. 

The most important determinant for engagement was whether there was a hook in the first paragraph.  We looked at lots of other variables, like how long the first paragraph was, how long until the first image and whether the topic was trending high in searches.  None of those variable mattered as much as getting a hook set in the reader’s mind in the first paragraph.

Two other high impact variables included the length of the article since longer articles lead to a longer time on page.  Not a head-smackingly brilliant insight there.  And the other main impact variable was writing style, with more accessible writing holding people’s attention longer. 

The main take-away from this research is that if you are one of those writers who always starts a story with the background and context, you are selling your content short.  Be sure to use the first paragraph to give a preview of what’s coming and tell your audience why to keep reading.  It’s copywriting 101, but still worth remembering. 

In a later post we’ll look at the analytics of social media engagement and commenting. 


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