How a customer reads your website’s content directly affects your sales.
Let’s face it — Your website is your 24x7 salesperson.
It is vital that your salesperson is equipped with the best tools to help you make a sale at all times.
But is only the right content, visuals, animations etc. sufficient to make that sale?
No, it isn’t.
It is also important how these elements are presented to the customer when they first visit your website.
Have you ever wondered how people actually read the content on a website?
Is it how we usually read a sentence in a book? From left to right and then the next sentence.
If you thought so too, you’re mistaken.
After years of research and investigations, psychologists have found that there are 3 specific patterns in which people read website content:
The colours in the heat map indicate the following:
a) Red — Most views
b) Yellow — Fewer views
c) Blue & Grey — Least number of views
In this pattern, the audience read the first line and then read the first word of the remaining sentences to scan for bullet points and important keywords that grab their attention.
b) Layered Cake pattern
In the layered cake pattern, the audience scans through different sections of the content.
This is a very useful method if they’re trying to look for a particular piece of information that is present in the website content.
c) Spotted pattern
In the spotted pattern, the audience will fixate on a bunch of words or a particular word because they stand out. This can be because that word has a different font colour, is highlighted or because it’s a hyperlink.
If your website has a lot of content, then following the F-pattern would be a good practice to increase conversions and views on the website.
Let’s look at an example of how a website successfully implements the F-pattern to provide a user-friendly and effective experience to all their website visitors:
Dovico offers an online employee time sheet managing software that can be used by teams across the globe. The main objective of this landing page by Dovico is to encourage more customers to sign up for a free trial.
All the elements placed on this page of the Dovico website ensures that it follows the reading pattern adopted by users.
Point 1 — Top left corner
The top left corner is the most important spot on a website. When a user visits the website, the first place their eyes go to, is the top left corner.
In this page, the top left corner of the page has the company’s logo.
Point 2 — Smiling Face
Once they see the logo, their eyes will trail to the right to see the woman’s smiling face.
Emotions play a significant role in decision-making and a pleasant expression creates a pleasant impression with the customers.
Point 3 — Headline & Sub-headline
There is a clear distinction between the headline and sub-headline copy. The headline is larger and easily readable.
The plus point is that there are no complex terms used here, the entire communication is in simple terms that the audience can understand easily.
Point 4 — CTA button
Continuing with the F pattern, the CTA button is placed on the extreme left position.
The CTA button is the most important element in this landing page as the primary objective is to get more conversions.
It has been strategically placed at the bottom-left of the page — this ensures that users read the main content and then click on the CTA to proceed further.
Tips to Improve your Website’s Content Placement:
Now that you’re aware of the reading patterns and how audience perceive content on the website, here are a few quick tips that you can implement on your website to improve the readability of the content:
- Bolded Words
To emphasise on a particular feature or characteristic, bold the particular word/feature.
Sample — Taj Mahal is one of the seven wonders of the world.
2. Underlined Text
The particular word or feature can also be underlined to show an emphasis.
3. Capital letters
Capital letters can also be used in the middle of a sentence to emphasis on the word
Sample — We should NOT ride in the rain.
4. Quotation Marks
Quotation marks are another excellent way to highlight a feature of a sentence or to include someone’s words.
Sample — The king shouted, “Let the battle begin!”
5. Font colour
Change the font colour to grab the audience’s attention in certain situations.
As per the grammatical rules, numbers should always be written as eight (words) instead of 8 (numeral). But, in the website content, we can bend the rules slightly to grab the audience’s attention.
a) There are eight pages in the contract.
b) There are 8 pages in the contract.
Which option do you think is more effective?
Symbols such as trademark (™) and copyright (©) also helps grab the audience’s attention.
This was a quick overview on how people read the content on a website and how paying attention to them can affect your business positively.
Mastering these patterns and successfully implementing them on your website ensures that you can control what your audience reads and then divert their attention to the most important aspect of your website.
Always do an A/B Test for a fixed period of time and track all the changes to actually notice the difference these changes have on your conversions.
Have you tried any of these in the past? Let me know in the comments below.
These lessons are explained in detail in CXL Institute’s Digital Psychology & Persuasion Minidegree. The lessons are crafted nicely with tons of additional reading material that enabled me to understand the concepts in depth.