If you set it up correctly, your website can work for you while you sleep.
It can generate sign ups to an email list, and sales of your services and products all while you live your life and pay no attention to it.
But it’s not a matter of simply plopping an opt-in form or an ad onto your pages.
For best results, you need to pay close attention to where you position things on your website to take advantage of the natural resting places your site visitors use when reading.
Let’s start with a proven reading pattern that’s important to understand.
Get to know the F-shaped reading pattern
I’m going to let you in on a little secret.
I’ve been directing your eyes around this site for years. And it’s worked.
Take a look at the diagram on the right.
On this website example, I’m taking full advantage of the tested and proven F-shaped reading pattern site visitors use when they land on a new page.
The first thing my site visitors see is the name of the site. This is important because it answers the first question in their minds, which is:
“Am I in the right place?”
The second thing they see is the headline for the main article.
After that? They go straight across to the ad that asks them to sign up for a monthly webinar.
Directly below that, I’ve placed an ad for a series of ebooks that help people develop their brands.
After absorbing this information, site visitor return to the left column and make their way down the page, where they’ll hit the first text in the blog post.
This F-shaped reading pattern has been studied extensively. Positioning your opt-in forms and ads in the natural resting places of the F-shaped reading pattern will give you the best chance to create engagement.
Identify your website’s hotspots
Imagine your website is a store, and your opt-in forms and ads are sales people. You want to position your sales professionals in specific spots where your visitor is most likely to look.
Certain spots on your website are viewed more often, and others are practically invisible.
If you position offers in the areas that are viewed the most, you have a better chance of getting a response.
When you look at the diagram above, the hotspots are:
- The upper left corner. This is where people start. It’s important to use this space to answer their most-pressing question: Am I in the right place?
- The upper right corner. In this spot, your website visitor pauses before returning to the beginning of the next line.
- The beginning of the second “bar” of the F. This is a great place to position a main headline.
- Across from the second “bar” of the F. Often the top of a sidebar, this is a good place for an opt-in form or an ad.
As the reader dives into the main text on your page, you don’t want to interrupt the flow of their reading. So use the hotspots mentioned above to place important items you want to be sure they see and act upon.
Don’t use all hotspots for promotion: choose one
If you’re standing in the middle of a party and everyone is shouting, you won’t hear a thing.
And if your website visitor hits your pages and there are too many graphics calling for their attention, they don’t see a thing.
That’s why it’s important to choose one hotspot — only one — to highlight an offer you’d like to make.
Doing this will ensure that your website visitors’ attention is focused on the offer you want to make. And you’ll end up with a page that isn’t so distracting your readers can’t focus on your words.