This first paragraph is a snappy little emcee, breezily providing the briefest of background on the problem of all those people out there on the internet not clicking through to your little backwater of a blog, or to your huge content farm with ads flashing like carnival barkers, but you already think you know what I’ve written here anyway and have skipped right over this text to skim the neat list of 9 reasons below.
Numerals stop the eye. Eyetracking studies done in the early days of the internet showed that numbers “attract fixations, even when they’re embedded within a mass of words that users otherwise ignore”, such as search results or their Twitter timeline.
Numbering establishes you as an expert. You must have done your research, or at least sat around brainstorming and repeatedly ticking off the list on your fingers, in order to come up with enough reasons to justify numbering them.
Numbering creates a list. Lists are easily scanned for highlights. An old but surprisingly still-cited study found that users don’t read on the web – they scan. No one has time to actually read your content; help them pretend that they did.
Numbers = bullet points. Bullet points = succinct. Succinct = good.
Numbering promises easy answers. Answers to the burning question that your numerically Pavlovian readers didn’t even realize Continue reading