Every business owner wants to believe his or her website is so visually appealing and teems with so much extraordinary content that people will absorb it thoroughly and progressively: starting at the upper-left corner, sweeping across the page and then proceeding in a similar manner – left to right -- to the bottom of the page.
Naturally, no reader would dare skip a single word along the way.
While a riveting website is indeed the gold standard, and one to aspire to, the reality is website visitors have formed their own ideas – and developed their own habits – about how to read a website. And the sooner a business owner embraces the realities and tweaks his or her website accordingly, the more effective the website will be.
This cool, pragmatic response can be difficult to muster, especially if the realities contradict a business owner’s preferences. But as an ice cream vendor might say, “When a customer says he wants vanilla, you give him vanilla. Just because you like chocolate, you don’t tell him to eat chocolate.”
Just as you thought, first impressions matter
Scooping up what a customer wants may cause you to gulp hard sometimes. After all, you prefer chocolate. But overall, you’ll probably find that today’s most common truths about website reading habits make logical sense against the backdrop of a generally harried reading public that is bombarded with thousands of messages on a daily basis. You may even share some of these reading habits yourself.
Begin your educational journey with a website fundamental: first impressions do indeed matter. In fact, researchers at Missouri University of Science and Technology found it takes website visitors less than two-tenths of a second to form a first impression. Researchers used eye-tracking software and an infrared camera to monitor eye movements as website visitors scanned the pages of 25 websites. They also found the following website sections captured the most attention:
Begin reading/scanning at the top left corner of a page.
Read in F-patterns, meaning they make two horizontal sweeps across the page before making a vertical move down it
Gravitate to the left side of a web page.
Definitely scroll below “the fold,” but focus more on what’s above the fold.
Carefully read headlines in a large font sizes, especially when they’re placed on the left side of a web page.
Are lured by large, high quality images. Many studies contain the interesting finding that pictures of “everyday" looking people are more likely to draw attention than those who resemble professional models.
To ensure your website is in tune with the habits of website visitors, turn to the experienced marketing professionals at ADTACK. Call 702-270-8772 for a consultation and, like that ice cream vendor, learn some sweet truths about online reading along the way.