Customers want to find what they’re looking for, and they want to find it quickly. That idea extends to the content on your website and influences more than you might think. How do you ensure that the content your web visitors are looking for is in their line of sight?
Start by stepping into your customer’s shoes. When visiting a site, where do you look to find what you need? Chances are you’re scanning the page quickly in an “F” shaped patterned. Readers have learned that the most important elements of a website are often along the top of the page and down the left side. Within the page, readers read the first few sentences of the first paragraph and then scan the first words of each paragraph.
You can use that knowledge to your advantage by positioning important information along the top line of that F shape. That could include your logo, slogan and/or contact information so it will be the first thing that a customer’s eyes will land on. If your site is equipped with a rotational banner along the top of the page, be sure to update the images regularly to include featured brands, services or promotions. This content will likely be the first that they scan and could encourage a longer stay on your site.
When visitors start to move down the left side of your home page, what do they see? The key here is to position featured content above the fold of your website. That means, it can be seen without scrolling down the page. Once your content is in the right place, be sure to include key phrases, services or brands that customers may be looking for within the first two and three lines of the intro paragraph.
Additional paragraphs of content should have separate topics (example: services, brands, history, etc.). Include the topic in the first few words of the new paragraph to ensure you don’t lose anyone along the way.
Other key elements to include in an F patterned layout:
- Trust factors: Top 100 Dealer, Norton Secure, McAfee Secure or BBB Accredited logos
- Upcoming Events: Add an image to the rotational banner or link to the event page
- Product Videos: Feature a product with a video along the left column to encourage more views
Does your website pass the “F pattern” test? Visit your homepage and give it a quick scan. Will the information along the top of your website keep customers engaged or lead them to reach out? Do you have visual cues or interesting content within the mid-center of your homepage?
If you’re not confident that the F pattern is applied to your site, consider rearranging content to ensure you’re getting the most out of your website.