3 Reasons Why Lists Perform Better Online
If you’ve spent any amount of time on the Internet, you have definitely come across articles that are written in the form of lists, otherwise known as listicles! Whether it’s articles and blog posts with titles like 5 Of Our Favorite TED Talks or 3 Ways To Improve Your PowerPoint Skills, articles with lists grab the attention of people online. Here are 3 reasons why:
Readers love having a good idea of what they’re about to read. Having a number in the headline signifies the length of the article and it allows them to skip over certain sub-headers if they wish. As The New Yorker says, is the way to go online “because it promises a definite ending: we think we know what we’re in for, and the certainty is both alluring and reassuring”.
2. Bite-Sized Information
Would you rather see a full-screen of text with no breaks, or short paragraphs all with headers? The majority of people would rather read short paragraphs. Attention spans are getting shorter as more content is available, so writing in lists make it easy for people to know how long of a read it will be before
3. Easy To Retain
Since our brains automatically remember information in groups of 3-5 things, lists make remembering the information more doable. If this whole blog was written in paragraph form, it may be harder to remember what the three main points were a few minutes after. Numbered titles double as sub-headers, which can be a quick way to retain the information from the article or blog!
How long should a listicle be? Well, in a study by Hubspot and Outbrain, 150,000 headlines were analyzed and articles with odd-numbered lists had a “20% better click-through rate than even-numbered headlines”. That said, don’t force an extra point just to make it an odd-number length or make the post too long.
Sources: https://www.forbes.com/sites/sujanpatel/2016/04/14/want-to-produce-viral-blog-posts-follow-these-steps/#602dcb34434c, http://www.newyorker.com/tech/elements/a-list-of-reasons-why-our-brains-love-lists, https://blog.hubspot.com/marketing/twitter-increase-clickthrough-rate#sm.001dngx9y15vd4t101y1c27xlqof4