Layered Content for more Time on Page

People will read this at once.

And this.

But not this.

They may still
be with you here.

But after a while
they will start skipping ahead.

It’s called a Visual Hierarchy and if you want to increase time on page you can use it to your advantage.

I call it Layered Content.

 

Most people will start skipping through long articles, especially if they contain larger blocks of text like this one. It’s a well known fact and there’s quite a bit of research on the subject, a lot of it done during the newspaper era, when newspapers were actually on paper, but most of it applies to the web as well and with an increasing focus on Time on Page it may be a good idea to start paying attention to this again.

Why?

With layered content, people will stay longer.

How does layered content work?

  • You create a high level storyline
  • Mix it with more detailed information
  • Make your high level storyline stand out
  • Use graphics to further show your point

Make your high level storyline stand out, so that people can get the point by skimming through the text

If they get interested, and they will, if you have something interesting to say, they may start reading the larger text blocks, where you explain the details.

People will probably still not read your article from beginning to end, though, so it’s a good thing with the high level storyline that you made stand out.

Headings are good for SEO

You will still need headings, of course. They are a crucial tool for SEO.

But headings are not really necessary for your layered content.

This is a large block of text that very few people will bother to read. It’s quite far down on the page and hidden among other chunks of text that are much shorter and easier on the eyes and the poor brain that is so bored now. In fact I can probably write anything here and nobody will notice. I’m writing this in the middle of the night and I have no idea of where I’m going with this. I should probably go to sleep anyway. The kids will wake me up at 6 am, at the latest, but quite possibly at 5 am or even before that and I can assure you they have no interest whatsoever in whether I went to bed in time or not.

What you need to do is help your readers get to the crucial bits without reading it all.

Newspapers do this all the time:

  • Start with the most central message
  • Add more details throughout the text
  • Break out quotes and other central points
  • Add text boxes with facts or supplementary information

…and it worked while people still read them.

Technology may have changed everything for publishing but it hasn’t really changed people.

That is why working with layered content will work for you.

It’s not new. It’s just not what most people do for the moment.

Yet.

If you start now, you can get ahead of your competitors.

Call us about layered content at +356 99303936