Tip: Increase engagement by adding estimated read time to your content

Ever ditched an article because you figured it would take too long to read? Yeah, your readers have too. Keep them interested by stating exactly how much time it'll take. Btw, this is a 37-second read. 😉

When Brian Cray added estimated reading times to his articles, overall time on site increased by 13.8%. And he got more engagement to boot — subscribes, follows, and retweets increased by a total of 66.7%. If you're thinking that this might scare people away from longer posts, Dave Ross found that it actually decreased his bounce rate on articles over 1,000 words by 13%. And that adds up. Studies show that the more people know about something (including time investment), the more likely they are to commit to it. So either choose a platform that calculates ERT automatically or add it yourself by dividing the word count by an adult's average reading speed (~250 words per minute).

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  1. 2

    I built a tool for this specific purpose. Just enter a URL article in xminutestoread.xyz and get how long it will take you to read it. You can even change the reading speed.

  2. 2

    Cool little tip. Just implemented. Nothing fancy

    <script type="text/javascript">

    function getWordCounts(nodeList) {
    var wordCount = 0;
    for ( var i = 0; i < nodeList.length; i++ ) {
    wordCount += nodeList[i].textContent.trim().split(' ').length;
    return parseInt(wordCount);

    $(document).on("ready", function() {
    document.getElementById("read_time").innerHTML = "Reading time: " + String(Math.round(getWordCounts(document.querySelectorAll('p')) / 200)) + " minutes" ;


  3. 2

    Good tip. I'll give it a try on some of my more popular articles and see what happens!

    1. 1

      Thanks, hope it helps!

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