Nothing says a writer cares more about their reader community than offering a reading time commitment and reading progress bar experience, especially when long form content is the norm.
Not every reader, especially new readers, will commit to staying the course and reading long form content from the first until the last word.
In fact, many readers often times scan content in an F-Shaped Pattern for a specific content and information as opposed to reading the content in its entirety.
To improve the overall user experience and reading engagement, there are two actions to implement:
- Adding Reading Time Commitment
- Adding Reading Progress Bar
Why Add Reading Time Commitment?
Not long ago, I shared with readers the importance of setting the reading expectation for whether or not they choose to click to read and consume content.
Not only will readers thank you, but they’ll spend more time reading your content, seeing and knowing that you value their precious time.
From lowering website bounce rates — which likely leads to increased search rankings — to increasing trust, average time spent on website and average number of pages viewed, you’ll make tremendous strides in your overall website experience and SEO health.
Why Add Reading Progress Bar?
For some of the same reasons as adding reading time commitment to content, especially long form content, adding a reading progress bar visually alerts readers about how much content they’ve consumed and what remains to be consumed.
I personally like websites, like Whizzbangsblog.com, that use unobtrusive reading progress bars and reading time commitment — see the blue bar in upper left screen and yellow bar indicating minutes read time.
Content Start Using Reading Progress Bar and Reading Time Commitment
Content End Using Reading Progress Bar
Reading progress bars can come in many shapes, sizes, colors, and orientation although most reading progress bars are landscape with a left (start) to right (end) status.
In addition, reading progress bars keep and alert the readers eye movement with each scroll of the mouse.
This could be seen as a negative, yet many readers are likely to be further engaged and encouraged to complete reading the content with each movement of the mouse and status update of the reading progress bar.
How to Add Reading Time Comment and Reading Progress Bar to Content
The good news is that WordPress has a few plugins worthy of mentioning when it comes to adding reading time commitment and reading progress bar to WordPress Pages and Posts.
Of course, there is the Reading Time WP plugin. Although it offers reading time commitment, it doesn’t offer reading progress bars.
If you would like to add both reading time commitment and reading progress bar to WordPress Pages and Posts, then you’ll want the Worth The Read plugin.
This plugin is quite unobtrusive in administration, configuration, and displaying on a website. It only takes a few minutes and clicks to setup and brand in coordination to a website’s existing experience.
I invite you watch this quick tutorial video below demonstrating step-by-step instructions for how to install and configure reading time commitment and reading progress bar to WordPress Pages and Posts via the Worth The Read plugin.