OK, so I’d chosen to buy Time Magazine because the title “Who really decides which flights get canceled?” had intrigued me and made me curious. But now, was I going to stay interested enough to read through the entire issue?
That’s precisely the sequence of events for businesses and practices that engage in blog marketing. Blog readers are “deposited” at your “doorstep” due to the fact that the keyword phrases you’ve used proved a good match for the words those readers had typed into their browser’s search bar. If they are intrigued with your blog post title, readers click on the link, where they gain access to the blog content itself.
In a way, online readers who arrive at your business blog have already “drunk the the Kool-Aid”. They already have an interest in your topic and are ready to receive the information, the services, and the products you have to offer. Your task is to keep them engaged with valuable, personal, and relevant information. You don’t have a very long “window” to accomplish that task, really just a couple of seconds.
The Neilsen Norman Group make it their business to measure that “window”. “Users often leave Web pages in 10-20 seconds, but pages with a clear value proposition can hold people's attention for much longer,” says Jakob Nielsen. Neilsen Norman uses a reliability engineering concept called a Weibull distribution which measures the probability that a component will fail. Applying that same concept to web readers, Nielsen found that “It’s rare for people to linger on Web pages, but when users do decide that a page is valuable, they may stay for a bit.”
“If you can convince users to stay on your page for half a minute, there’s a fair chance that they’ll stay much longer – often 2 minutes or more, which is an eternity on the Web.,” Neilson concludes.
As a corporate blogging trainer, what that “negative Weibull distribution” says to me is that we content writers should “give out the goodies” early in the post. (Interestingly, that very thought seems to trigger a certain degree of fear in many business owners – if they share too much information about their field, prospects won't need to pay them to provide expertise!).
Well, they won’t be paying if they aren’t staying, now will they?