How Visitors Scan Your Website

The way you view a website and read its content is not the same as if you were reading a book or a newspaper? The reason for this difference is that people scan websites instead of reading every single word. There have been a number of studies conducted to determine the various patterns people use to scan website.

The good news is that you can utilize this information to your advantage in order to help improve your website’s usability and readability. Regardless of the purpose of your website, placing important content in the spots that get scanned the most can help to boost your conversion rates.

How most visitors scan your website:

  • Majority of website visitors scan instead of reading every word.
  • The scanning process is very fast, no more than a few seconds.
  • Predominantly, scanning is conducted in an F-Shape; top left corner across to the right and then top to bottom along the left side of your page.

How to use scanning patterns to your advantage:

  1. Make important information stand out – Most readers will not read every single word on your website. It is your job as the website creator to help visitors identify key areas you want them to focus on. This can be accomplished with the right use of typography. Using bullet points, headings and subheadings will help visitors to quickly identify key elements on your website.
  2. Put essential information first – Site visitors are more likely to scan the first paragraph (or two) of your website page. Put the most important information into those areas to ensure it gets viewed.
  3. Use short paragraphs or lists – Large blocks of content require additional concentration and tend to be skipped over completely. Using shorter paragraphs or lists to communicate with your visitors will further help to convey your intended message and improve usability.
  4. Images are imperative – Studies have demonstrated over and over again that images get higher levels of attention. Thus utilizing relevant imagery for the content of your website can also help to improve its readability and contributes to the overall aesthetics of your website design.

Take a look at your website today and see if there are any tweaks you can make to take advantage of how online visitors scan websites and boost your conversion rates.