Previously, I asked the question of when it was appropriate to add within-page links to the top of a page and if there were any specifc guidelines concerning this.
The feedback from that post gave me food for thought and so I thought I’d take it one step further and actually come up with a calculation for when to add these lists of links to the top of your page.
This calculation takes into account the various factors that come into play in determining whether a web page is ‘long’ or not, such as screen resolution, word count, number of pages to scroll and so on.
Here’s the data you’ll need to make the calculation:
- The word count for your article.
- The screen resolution (height, not width) of your target audience.
- The number of screens your page takes up at this resolution.
- The percentage of your total audience that your target audience constitutes.
The calculation is as follows:
(Word count × No. of screens) ÷ Screen resolution × Percentage of total audience = Score
That’s it! Just as Pythagoras would have wanted.
Let’s take an imaginary article for this site as an example. Here’s my data:
- Word count = 750
- Screen resolution (height) = 768
- Number of screens = 3
- Percentage of total audience = 31%
Thus, the calculation will look like this:
(750 × 3) ÷ 768 × 31% = 0.9
How to Interpret
The score will likely be somewhere between 0.5 and 3. Here’s how to interpret that score:
- 0.0 – 1.0 : no need to add jump links
- 1.01 – 1.5 : probably don’t need jump links
- 1.51 – 2.0 : probably do need jump links
- 2.01 and up : add jump links
Thus, in the above example, a score of 0.9 means there would be no need to add jump links to the top of the page.
Try it For Yourself
Thanks to the ‘magic’ of -Google Spreadsheets- Zoho Sheet, I’ve created an an editable example for you to play around with.
I was going to add an additional variable based on the ratio of the number of characters to words in the title of the page, but then decided the formula was silly enough as it is.