Last Updated on November 25, 2021
Generating more online sales (or at least leads) via a website is typically on the top of our client’s to-do list. Believe it or not, web design plays a key role in lead generation performance. Without realizing it, many businesses place calls-to-action where visitors will never see them.
Web Design Using F-Layout
Website visitors read web pages in what’s known as an F-pattern. Imagine a large capital “F” and overlay it onto your website. Visitors naturally read in patterns, quickly scanning to figure out what’s important. Here are 5 web design tips that take advantage of the way visitors naturally read a page:
1. Left to Right, Top to Bottom
The F-pattern suggests that visitors read from left to right and top to bottom. The upper left-hand corner is where a visitor’s eye first goes. Then the visitor scans to the right, then moves down to the next level and scans to the right again, but this time the eye doesn’t scan as far to the right as before. If the visitor is still interested after scanning the first two lines of a website, eyes will travel further down the page to see if there’s anything else worth reading.
2. Right Sidebar Gets Little Attention
The F-pattern means that a right-hand sidebar will not get much attention. If a website’s most important call to action, such as “join our email list,” is located in a sidebar on the right-hand side, it had better be at the very top of the page. Other than the top right corner of the page, not much on the right-hand side is read by the visitor. There’s a web usability phenomenon called banner or ad blindness where visitors ignore banner-like information.
3. Knowing When to Break The Rules
Before you can break the rules effectively means understanding them first. The reader’s pattern of scanning downward without much attention to detail can work in your favor. Throw something visually different or unexpected halfway down the page to stop the reader’s automated scan and regain his attention.
4. Top Left for Branding
Reserving the top left corner for branding makes sense. It’s where visitors naturally go to figure out if they’ve landed in the right place. Because a reader begins in the upper left-hand corner of a page, this is the best place to put the company logo and other branding information like a tagline.
5. The Right Social Media Links
If your business is emphasizing social media, you’d best served by placing links in the upper right-hand corner – the top part of the “F”. Again, if links are placed in the sidebar they will get little attention. Check your Google Analytics to see if these icons are getting clicked. If you find that your prospective customers best engage via a particular social media network, put those links at the top right of the page.
Bonus Web Design Tip: Test Placement in Google Analytics
Not sure where the best placement for your call to action buttons should be? Then try some Web Optimization experiments using A/B Testing and tracking the click-through data in analytics. There is no “one size fits all” when it comes to online marketing. These five web design tips should get you started in designing a more usable and online sales friendly site.
Already using the F-layout for your site? We’d love to hear how its performing and other usability insights you’ve uncovered.