People are predictable in the sense that their eyes follow a particular pattern when exploring a website. Eye-tracking studies from ConversionXL have identified some predictable patterns that you can use to your advantage when determining your legal site’s design and how you structure your content. Here’s what you need to know about how visitors view websites.
Eyes First Gravitate to the Top Left Corner
What’s the first thing that visitors see after landing on your site? It’s typically whatever is located in the top left corner. According to a specific eye-tracking study, their eyes first gravitate to this area. After that, eyes shift from left to right. Here’s what this looks like visually.
So what does this mean for your law firm? It means that it’s smart to place your value proposition in the top left hand corner. This is where you want to place the content that you’re most wanting visitors to see. ConversionXL points out that there are always exceptions, but this is the best starting point.
Visitors Follow an “F-Pattern”
This finding is actually based off fairly old research from The Nielsen Norman Group back in 2008. Studies have found that there’s a predictable “F-pattern” that visitors follow when browsing through content. This suggests that the vast majority of people do not read through text in its entirety. In fact, “On the average web page, users have time to read at most 28 percent of the words during an average visit; 20 percent is more likely.”
It’s important to keep this in mind when creating content. You need to write for scanners and not for people who will read through your text word-for-word. The best way to do this is to:
- Use short paragraphs (a max of four sentences)
- Use plenty of white space
- Use H2 and H3 headers
- Break up lists with bullets (like this)
For more information on the formula for scannable content, I highly recommend reading this post from Quick Sprout. Neil Patel is one of the best at writing in this style.
Large, Sharp Images are Best
Most content creators understand the value of incorporating visuals. According to HubSpot, “37 percent of marketers said visual marketing was the most important form of content for their business, second only to blogging (38 percent).” But you don’t want to use just any images. ConversionXL explains that high-quality, large images are ideal.
Just think about it. Would you prefer to look at a small, grainy image or a crisp, professional looking image? I would bet the latter.
And here’s another interesting tidbit. “Nielsen said the eye-tracking study also surfaced a counter-intuitive finding–people who look like models are less likely to draw attention than ‘normal’ people.” So try to stay away from those over-the-top, “corporate looking” stock photos.
When you get right down to it, visitors view websites in a very predictable way. Understanding their tendencies and preferences is key to optimizing your web design and delivering the type of content that people are seeking. When you do it just right, you should be able to improve conversions and reel in more clients.
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