The Eyetrack III research released by The Poynter Institute, the Estlow Center for Journalism & New Media, and Eyetools reveals the importance of where and how you place information on your web pages.
The study observed the eye movement of readers on websites. Here is a summary of some of their findings and their implications for marketing and selling your services on your website:
- People tend to look at the top left corner of a webpage before going anywhere else. Obviously if you are selling services on the web, you will want to put your most important information in this location. If you have a newsletter –and if you don’t, I suggest you start one—this is an ideal location to put the subscribe box.
- Visitors to your site are more likely to read text that is in small font and they are more likely to scan information in larger font (i.e. headlines). When a headline preceded a ‘blurb’ of text, people tended to read the headlines and skip the text.
- Readers tend to read the first few words of text and then decide if they want to read further. This finding indicates you want to make sure that the first few words of any line of text is interesting and captures your readers attention.
- Short paragraphs were more often read than longer ones. This emphasizes the importance of having lots of white space on your web pages.
- People tend to read text first and then look at photos and graphics. If you are one of the many who think that having a pretty site with all kinds of bells and whistles is going to attract more clients, you better think again.
Many of results of this study support what most copywriters and skilled marketers already know—well written copy (text written from a marketing perspective) can either compel visitors to read the information on your site or turn them away.