When you get a visitor to come to your website, you have a brief window of opportunity in which to grab their attention and get them to stay on your page. The internet is highly fast moving and has trained us to be used to getting precisely what we want served up on a plate immediately – we have limited attention spans and long chunks of text or poorly laid out websites just won’t work.
Knowing where your visitors are going to look first is a huge benefit here and something you can work to your advantage in a number of ways. By knowing the ‘hot spots’ on your site, you can choose more logically where you are going to put the most eye catching and important parts of your web design and you can hopefully become more effective when it comes to keeping people interested and getting them to click where you want them to (think ‘buy’).
Fortunately this has been made a lot easier thanks to the research carried out by many other bloggers and webmasters and thanks to the consistency of human psychology. Here we will look at some of the places your visitors are likely to look at first when they land on your site, as well as how we know that and how you can make the most of it.
The F Zone
When someone lands on your website, they will tend to scan their eyes across it first in accordance with the ‘F Zone’. In other words, they will scan their eyes in an F shape, looking across the top, then across the top-middle and then down the left hand side. This is partly due to the way that websites are generally designed – which has taught us to look at the top for the banner then the side for the menu and the middle-top for the article headlines. Make the most of it by putting your important elements in these places (those three items are as good as any).
The Way People Read
When reading, the behaviour of our eyes tends to be a little different. Here we will tend to read in one of three ways. ‘Readers’ will read the whole text exactly in the order it is written in, while ‘scanners’ will scan across it quickly, and ‘bottom readers’ will scan the majority of the text and read just the top and bottom lines. Make sure that these are the best written parts of your website to hold the attention of all three types of visitor.
Of course where people look when they visit your site will also depend somewhat on your site design. If you include elements that are in a bright colour, that include human faces, or that involve movement, then the human brain is trained to turn our attention to those items first as they historically might have significance for us. If you want to direct attention in any particular way (towards a ‘buy now’ button for instance), then use these elements to do so.
Photo License: algogenius