Simpleview has added a new ‘time to read’ field on blogs and news articles to help our DMOs  (Destination Management Organisations) to boost engagement with their target markets.

Research findings suggest adding an estimated reading time helps to reassure readers that they won’t have to commit too much time to reading blogs and news articles, so they are more likely to open the content. After all, time-poor readers need to be able to digest your content as quickly and efficiently as possible.  

In fact, studies reveal that engagement rates have increased by up to 40% after the reading time was added, plus:

  • Bounce rates reduced
  • Time on site increased
  • Pageviews increased

All of which is great for SEO too.  

For Simpleview’s new reading time on blogs and news articles, a calculation is performed based on the number of words included.  The information is displayed within the post, either as minutes or short/medium/long.

So is there an optimum size for a blog?  Well that really depends on what you want to achieve, your audience and the type of information that you’re trying to convey.  For example:

  • Short posts (less than 300 words) – these are generally used to create a buzz prior to an event or make an announcement but they’re not great for SEO or generating shares
  • Standard (300 – 600 words) – this length is typical for providing an overview but won’t allow you to create a detailed informative post and won’t rank well for ‘Authority’ as far as SEO is concerned
  • Educational (600 – 100 words) – posts of this size are generally better for providing more depth to the subject matter for SEO and generating more traction on social media
  • Detailed (1000 – 1500 words) – these are great for driving organic traffic to your site and are better for establishing Authority for SEO
  • Long posts (1500 – 2500 words) – these are the best posts as far as SEO is concerned and sufficient to allow you to educate the reader but they should be made as easy to read as possible, eg. by using bold for key elements, breaking up the content with headings, using bullet points, keeping paragraphs short to avoid looking too daunting and including imagery, graphics and videos where possible

So to summarise:

  • Aim for quality rather than quantity – churning out short blogs just so you can achieve frequency may not be the best strategy
  • Think about the needs of your audience – is your blog content relevant, interesting, timely? 
  • Decide on your distribution strategy right at the start ie. think about whether you are writing blogs to boost your SEO or are you trying to increase engagement on social media as this will determine the post length
  • If you are writing longer 1500+ posts, think about incorporating relevant keywords
  • Always include relevant media where possible, eg. images and video for visual appeal
  • Don’t forget the call to action

The new feature will shortly be added to the Visit Birmingham site as they look to boost engagement ahead of the Commonwealth Games which they will be hosting from 28th July to 8th August.

If you’re interested in incorporating Simpleview’s new ‘time to read’ field on your blogs and news articles, contact your Account Manager to find out more.