Do You Need Estimated Reading Times Part 2: What Is Ideal?

Anastasiia Lavrinenko
January 29, 2019
reading time

Do You Need Estimated Reading Times Part 2: What Is Ideal?

Anastasiia Lavrinenko
January 29, 2019

What is the ideal estimated reading time to keep a reader interested?

Most bloggers and corporate sites struggle to balance quantity versus quality when it comes to creating blog posts for their constituents. One of the measures used to generate an estimated reading time is the number of words in the blog post.

Recently, a lot of the data has been pointing toward a longer blog post being better from a search engine optimization perspective. However, from a readers perspective, readers have less and less time available and therefore, readers demand more value for the content that they’re reading in a shorter period of time. This divergence is creating an issue with time spent on site and what I’d call abandonment rates with people coming to the site and quickly bouncing away from it.

We recommend that the content pieces and blog posts should be somewhere between 500 and 1,000 words and should really focus on top of funnel visitors. Top of funnel visitors are are new visitors who are coming to your site. What you’re trying to do is generate awareness of your solution by generating some initial interest. Middle of the funnel content, which is content that should be between 1,000 and 2,500 words, should really focus on educating the customers and ultimately getting them to take a certain action for the purposes of this article.

How much time is the ideal reading time for a blog article?

We’re going to focus on blog posts that are at the top funnel. At that level, I consider it a win when a reader spends more than two minutes on your site reading a piece of content.

So if you’re trying to determine the estimated reading time, you really should focus on pieces being between 2 and 4 minutes in length to read for shorter blog posts. A reading time of 2 to 4 minutes with a strong introduction will have a much lower bounce rate. Anything less than a minute on the page itself is going to create a bounce in terms of Google Analytics and SEO, so it’ll actually work against you. We try to make sure that these posts are short, punchy, to the point and really geared toward the awareness level.

For us, we target two to four minutes in length for the mid funnel-based content. It’s quite common to see someone spend 5 to 15 minutes reading that. Those are great pieces for SEO improvements. While blog posts are excellent pieces to help drive awareness through social media and morality.

To have a successful campaign, you shouldn’t just focus on an absolute metric of reading time. You should balance that between what you’re trying to accomplish and where the content fits within your overall sales and customer acquisition funnel.

In short, blog post should be 2 to 4 minutes reading time, and longer informative articles should be between 5 and 15 minutes in reading time.

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