Understanding the pattern people use when looking at a website is very important to anyone building and maintaining the content of a website. As I am sure you know just from your own surfing habits, people don’t click into a site and then read all of the content, nor do they typically spend a lot of time to find what it is they were looking for in the first place. What they do is a quick scan of the page and typically if they don’t find what they were looking for, or something else that peaks their interest, they are going to click that back button and move on to the next guy.
Studies using the “Eye Tracking Method” have shown that the dominant reading pattern that consistently appears when people are viewing websites is an “F” shape. People generally start in the upper left hand corner of your site and will scan straight across to the right, and then move down a bit and once again scan across to the right, and then finally will slowly trail down the left hand side until their interest is lost. What this information means is that you need to make sure that the most important information is highly visible and contained within this basic F pattern. There are no specific measurements for the F shape – it is just a general outline, so don’t worry about the spacing as much as the general layout.
If you have the site that offers them what they are looking for in all the right places you will unwittingly be guiding them deeper and deeper into your website – and statistics show that the longer you can keep someone on your website, and the deeper you can get them to dive – the more likely they will convert to a lead.
Another important thing to remember is that people expect your contact information to appear in the upper right hand corner, don’t make them go looking for you. Be quietly waiting where they are expecting you and you should see your website bring you more interested buyers and sellers!