Could Changing Your Landing Page Design Double Your Conversion Rate?
A 1997 report by web expert Jakob Neilsen PH.D. says that people rarely read Web pages word by word. Instead, they scan the page, picking out individual words and sentences. In research on how people read websites Neilsen and his colleagues found that 79% of their test users always scanned any new page they came across - only 16 percent read word-by-word.
As a result, Web pages have to employ scannable text, using
- highlighted keywords (hypertext links serve as one form of highlighting; typeface variations and color are others)
- meaningful sub-headings (not "clever" ones)
- bulleted lists
- one idea per paragraph (users will skip over any additional ideas if they are not caught by the first few words in the paragraph)
- the inverted pyramid style, starting with the conclusion
- half the word count (or less) than conventional writing.
Users detested "marketese" - the promotional writing style with boastful subjective claims ("hottest ever") that currently is prevalent on the Web. Web users are busy: they want to get the straight facts. Also, credibility suffers when users clearly see that the site exaggerates.
Perhaps the most important thing about the inverted pyramid style landing page template is that readers will get the gist of the story from the beginning if 'who,' 'when', 'where', 'what' and 'how' are addressed in the first paragraph.
| Readers Often Scan Your page in an "F" Pattern - Eyetracking visualizations show that users often read Web pages in an F-shaped pattern: two horizontal stripes followed by a vertical stripe. |
F for fast. That's how users read your precious content. In a few seconds, their eyes move at amazing speeds across your website's words in a pattern that's very different from what you learned in school.
In our new eyetracking study, we recorded how 232 users looked at thousands of Web pages. We found that users' main reading behavior was fairly consistent across many different sites and tasks. This dominant reading pattern looks somewhat like an F and has the following three components: