Don’t give an ‘F’ where your web content goes so long as you can cram all the info in somewhere? Bad strategy if you want people to actually read it.

Now of course you want people to know as much as possible about your business. You’ve got to let them know how fantastic it is, right? But here’s the thing – you don’t have time on your side. People don’t hang around on websites. You’ve got a matter of seconds to hook them in and get them to stick around to read more. So you’ve got to get your words in the right place to grab people’s attention. And that place is in an ‘F’ shape.
Eye-tracking studies have shown that people read web content in an F-pattern. Starting off, they’ll read horizontally across text at the top part of the page. Then their eyes will drop down a bit and they’ll read horizontally across again, though probably not to the end of the line. Lastly, people scan down the left-hand side of the page.

So forget about people reading your content like a book, line by line, word by word. That’s not how it’s going to go down. This is how it’s going to go down...
1 Topload your content
In other words, get all the important stuff you want to say in the first couple of paragraphs. Think carefully, now. You’ve got a limited amount of space to really get your message across so don’t mess things up with unnecessary details. You need to give the reader the sort of information that will get them interested in your product or service. That will obviously depend on your business, but the key is to be clear and concise about what you’re offering and how you can help.

Once the reader is interested, they might hang around a little longer. They might scroll down to get more info. They might click to another one of your site pages. Heck, they might even hit the Contact button. They might do a lot of things – but only if you grab them quick. If you lose them at the early stage, chances are you’ll have lost them for good.

2 Put important words on the left
With the F-pattern, people scan down the left side of the page. This means you need to get important words in early, at the beginning of the sentence. So if you’ve got something to say, get to the point. Likewise, write sub-heads and bullet points wisely.

Here’s a quick example:-

* Book before the end of June to get 50% off
* 50% off when you book before the end of June

The first sentence? The first few words didn’t jump out at me so I stopped reading. The second sentence? Pow! Straight to the discount – I’m sold!

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again. Everyone can write. But not everyone can write web content. If you’re really serious about your business, shouldn’t you be hiring someone who knows what the ‘F’ they’re doing? 

PHOTO: Flickr