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26 March 2012

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Does your website’s layout encourage conversions?

What makes a great website? Is it the neat Flash animations or slick image carousels? Is it the fact that your website ranks so highly in the search engines? Is it the persuasive copy that sells your products and services to visitors? No! You can have the best content in the world hosted on your website, but if it’s not presented in a way that encourages visitors to interact with it, you may be driving people away before you’ve had the chance to sell yourself.

Eye tracking showing an effective "F" Layout
Studies by Jakob Nielson labelled "The Guru of Web Page Usability" (The New York Times) into the behaviour of website visitors provides evidence that the “F Design” or “Magic F Design” encourages the best results in terms of conversions. Depending on the purpose of your landing page, this layout is now considered a best practice, especially for websites which are reliant on generating leads online. Nielson goes on to explain how through his eye tracking studies he and his team were able to identify the way in which visitors view your website.

These eye tracking studies emphasise the importance of placing key page elements (branding, navigation, and call to action) on the top and left sides of the design. Jacob found that users follow an “F” shaped pattern when reading through a website with the top paragraph or horizontal line catching the visitor’s eyes first.
Eye tracking used by Google
The second horizontal line of the “F” consists of further smaller snippets of information with a call to action and the “F’s” long stem is formed when the user quickly scans through the website’s content.

So as web designers or site owners, do you think it’s about time you considered the layout of your site and how users view the content you provide? Try to visualise these 3 points and imagine how they would sit on the contours of the letter “F”.

1. Title and description
2. Call to action and snippets of information
3. Further information

Using this layout you are effectively guiding your visitors through the steps outlined above and statistics show that a call to action in the right place increase conversions by up to 48%. Unsurprisingly, Google has adapted its search results page to encourage users to click within the paid search results to generate higher revenues. Why not contact us to see how we can help you incorporate this eye tracking technology into your website so you can better understand the behaviour of your visitors and encourage better conversions online.

If you found this post to be interesting or would like to know more, feel free to contact me on any of the following Twitter, Linkedin or Google+

By Sunny Chana

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