What Are You Looking At? – Conversion Wednesday

By Dan G


So here’s an another question for you: “What are you looking at?” According to some “eye tracking” testing done by BlobFisk.com, “faces are a huge draw for the eyes”. The results from their testing comes in the form of heat maps and scan path overlays, of which you can see a couple examples here. The red and yellow colors indicate a higher concentration of views on that portion of the page. Images of people or anything with eyes are the first things that people generally look at on a page, and in particular, their faces. On top of that, the majority of people viewing this “individual’s” eyes generally also concentrate on whatever the “person” is looking at. You’ll notice in the right picture where the baby is looking at the text, a lot more concentration is focused on the text where the baby is looking and if the baby is looking ahead and out at the user, the user will generally look back at them and not really anywhere else on the page. So, presumably, faces can be used to guide a person’s attention to key elements on your web pages.

In another study by Jakob Nielsen, another finding you could have probably guessed was revealed, “Most Users Are Blind to Advertising”. As you can see in these heatmaps there are almost no fixations within advertisements. All viewership is on the actual content of the pages. This, of course, implies that not only will users avoid ads but that they’ll avoid anything that looks like an ad, even if its not one. So if your placing promotions like the ones seen here and stacking them in your left and/or right columns you may want to rethink your strategy. The flip-side, of course, is that ads that don’t look like ads, and look more like content are more likely to get views. Be careful not to be too tricky making your ads look like content, however, make sure you wage carefully your short-term revenue with your user’s long-term trust.

So what changes can we now make in light of these two studys?

  1. If you have faces on any of your webpages, direct their eyes in the direction of the content that you want to get the most appeal.
  2. On top of that you may want to consider adding faces to pages where you want to ensure that content is being viewed.
  3. Try limiting or restricting the use of promotions in the left and right columns and moving them to other locations such as the middle or top of the page.
  4. Try using some unconventional methods for your ads and banners to make them look less like ads and banners more like attractive content or a native site component without misleading the user too much.

But there is only one way to be certain that your choice is the right one for improving conversion rates, and that is testing. Testing a couple variations of ad locations or face images in an AB test or Multivariate test is the only sure-fire way of finding your best change to make. That’s where we can help.

Exclusive Concepts offers a full service testing option for our clients called Conversion Booster. Through the program, we will do the work for you in analyzing your site’s data, coming up with solutions that reflect that data, and testing those solutions with AB and/or multivariate tests to maximize your increase in conversion rates. One or several of which could be by simply changing the look or location of your banner ads or adding an image of a face or two to draw the user into your site. Every idea will be conceived by thorough analysis and every hypothesis will be tested to statistical significance. Give us a call at 1-800-504-4324 if you’re interested in learning more.

We would be honored to perform a free conversion audit on your qualified website today.