How People Look at Web Pages
There was an interesting article in USA Today a few days back.
They quoted, among other points, the following from a study by the Nielsen Norman Group.
“Individuals read Web pages in an “F” pattern. They’re more inclined to read longer sentences at the top of a page and less and less as they scroll down.”
It’s an interesting visualization of how people read a web page, with the most attention being paid to the headline, and the level of attention diminishing the further down the page people read.
On the face of it, it makes sense. But I think we can take the thought a little further by optimizing the copy with a view to getting as close as possible to an “E” pattern.
Our own testing has underlined just how important the headline is when optimizing a page to deliver a high conversion rate.
The headline is the top line of the “F” pattern. And the better the headline, the closer you will get to an “E” pattern.
In other words, a page that converts well is succeeding in holding a high level of attention right the way down to the call to action.
Or, to play with the analogy a little more, an “F” pattern is a Failing grade for the page. An “E” pattern is a sign of an Excellent page.