As content creators look to keep audiences interested and clicking on more assets, they would do well to consider audience composition, as research suggests demographics can have a substantial effect on how web users behave once they have found interesting content.
Research from content optimization firm nRelate shows that age is one major factor in how users engage with content online. An October 2012 survey found that younger US web users, especially younger males, had a high propensity to click on related articles and videos after reading online content. Older users tended to click on links to related content on a weekly basis, and women—especially older women—were more likely to be drawn to a story that featured a photo.
For all groups, stories about local news, followed closely by national news, were the most likely to generate interest in further content. And for both genders, but especially for men, this behavior was more common among older web users. Drilling down into specific demographic groups, young women most often clicked on related content when they were reading about entertainment, men were significantly more interested than women in related sports content, and web users ages 18 to 34 were least interested in related home improvement content.
The research found that users across every demographic group preferred to click on links in search results; these links were used for research by 43% of respondents. Links at the bottom of articles that web users were already reading were popular with 25%, and were most popular among older women and least popular among young men. Just 7% said they were most likely to click on links they found on Facebook, though among 18- to 34-year-olds the proportion rose to 13% of men and 10% of women.