UPDATE: The humbling reality of writing multi-page articles

Subject: UPDATE: The humbling reality of writing multi-page articles
From: "Darren Barefoot" <darren -at- darrenbarefoot -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Thu, 17 Apr 2003 13:19:51 -0700

About 6 months ago I posted the a message
l) to the list complaining about the sad click-through rate my
multi-page article was getting. Here's a relavent quote:

Through page views, the Web stats coldly illustrate how well I've
retained readers from page to page. For the three-page article
referenced above:

Page 1: 943 hits
Page 2: 362 hits
Page 3: 243 hits

This means that since the article went up on Sept. 1, only 26% of people
have read it to the end (well, they may have just opened the third page
and given up, but let me cling to the illusion). I made a quick
comparison with a few other multi-page articles on our site, and they
came in at 18% and 20% respectively, so maybe that's all I can expect.

We recently posted a 7 page article on our corporate site
(http://www.capeclear.com/products/tour/index.shtml --check out the fun
illustrations) and tried to incorporate some of the suggestions--such as
lots of graphics, next page button at top of page, shorter pages,
provide a printable version, etc--from the list. I had a look at the Web
stats for the past two weeks for this article:

Page 1 - 722
Page 2 - 323
Page 3 - 258
Page 4 - 210
Page 5 - 170
Page 6 - 148
Page 7 - 142
Page 8 - 129

In this case, 36% of readers made it to page 3, and 18% made it to the
end of the article. I think those are pretty good numbers for a 4000
word article. Interestingly, in the same period, we got 506 hits on the
PDF. So lots of people (including myself) apparently prefer to forgo the
HTML pages altogether.

Just thought I'd share this new data with the list, in case anybody else
is as stat-happy as I am. DB.

Darren Barefoot
Words. Words. Words.

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