Posted March 7, 2012 by Dave Lauretti.
I know discussing the subject of eye-tracking user movements in relation to Internet marketing or SEO is like beating a dead horse but I feel the subject has to be brought up again. I can’t say that everywhere I look there are marketing companies claiming to be Internet marketing experts who are taking their clients for a ride but they do exist and so I’m touching base on this subject again – maybe as a refresher or maybe just as an eye-opener.
So what am I talking about exactly? I’m talking about the placement of important elements on your website.
Let’s say one of the most primary functions of your website is to obtain users’ email addresses through a sign up form. It’s common sense that you wouldn’t want to place that form only on one page and nor would you place it in some obscure area of the page like in the footer. Doing so would surely result in very few signups if at all any.
Another example would be a registration button. If you want your users to register at your website you need to make the registration link or image predominant and not placed in the footer of your website.
According to a recent study that was done by the User Centric group they found that almost 100% of the users clicked or look at the left hand side of the search results for Google and BING and that a mere 28% even bothered with content on the right hand side of the page. Now of course this study was done for Google and BING but it still reflects the general behaviour of users on a regular website, like yours.
The image below was taken from the study that was done at UserCentric regarding eye tracking statics for Google and BING and it’s clear and obvious that the left hand side of the page receives the most attention.
Good question. Where are you directing your users? Below is another and more larger example image displaying where users are looking when they are using search engines and obviously general web pages on the Internet – care of Eyetools.
Can you see the enormous difference between the engagement of the user on the left side compared to the right side? Of course you can.
The next best thing to do is to get your marketing and development team together and have a discussion regarding your goals and options. Are you satisfied with the current placement of your important page elements? Are your subscribers signing up? If not take some initiative and make some changes. The above information is probably enough to convince the higher ups that a change is in order and remember, it’s not all about SEO or Internet Marketing, it’s also about user experience. If you’re forcing your users to the right hand side of the page to discover what you consider important page elements, there’s a good chance that you’ll eventually lose them.