As a food business, you can do this with the right placement of photos.
The Science of Web Design
Eye tracking research has found that people view websites in the same way – in the shape of an F down the page. The top left corner gets the most attention. The gaze then moves parallel to the right (reading the navigation bar or headline), then it returns to the left to scan down, with a second parallel move to the right partway down the page.
Viewers spend approximately 69% of their time on the left half of the page, and only 30% on the right half. Based on this knowledge, there are several conclusions to draw in how you design your site:
· Photos or no photos, it’s imperative that you keep to convention when designing your layout. Place your main content – especially your call-to-action – on the left side, between one-third and halfway across the page. Reserve the right-hand side of the page for secondary content.
Is your image the most important element on your page? No. Your call-to-action is. The photos you use need to help direct the viewer to your CTA so that they can make a purchase, fill out a form, etc. If their gaze lands on your photo and stays there, then it won’t reach your CTA. If their gaze lands on your photo and then goes somewhere else on the page that isn’t your CTA, your viewer won’t make a conversion.
· Don’t try to disrupt the way viewers look at your site – that F-shaped pattern – because it will only cause confusion, not conversions.
· Place your CTA on the left side of the page where it is most visible to viewers. Your photos should be on the right, and should work to refocus the viewer back to your CTA on the left.
While it seems as though the easiest way for an image to direct attention to your CTA is to use the image of a large, brightly-colored arrow, obnoxious arrows don’t often coincide with good web design. What does? Images of people.
Studies have found that images of people draw and hold the viewer’s attention. There is also a strong tendency in which the human face creates a line of sight that viewers automatically follow. A photo of a person whose gaze is pointed towards your CTA can be just as, or even more, effective than an arrow in directing the viewer’s sight to your CTA.
· In an experiment from Think Eye Tracking, researchers found that by redirecting the model’s gaze from pointing straight out of the frame to pointing at the product (food, special dish, etc), the viewer’s gaze automatically followed. As a result, the percent of viewers who looked at the product rose from 6% to 84%.
The Nielsen Norman Group’s eye tracking and website usability studies emphasize the best practices for image choice in order to have the most visual impact: use crisp, high-quality pictures as opposed to uninviting, small or fuzzy images.
When using photos of people, avoid stock photos. Photos of people who look like people – instead of models – will draw far more attention and, as such, will perform better at directing the viewer’s gaze effectively.
Using properly placed photos on your website that direct your audience’s gaze to your CTA can result in an increase in your site’s conversion rates. Be sure to follow any change with A/B (split) testing to ensure the efficacy of your changes.
Megan Webb-Morgan is a small business writer; she currently creates business content for B2B lead generation resource, Resource Nation. While she covers a variety of topics, she especially enjoys writing about web design. Please follow Resource Nation on Facebook for even more great information!