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  • Writer's pictureShelli Schilke

The Inside Scoop On How People View Websites

Ever wonder what people notice about your website when they’re looking at your pages? You should because people typically leave in 10–20 seconds and that’s a missed opportunity for you to get a lead or make a sale.

You only have one chance to make a good first impression and it only takes 50 milliseconds for people to form an opinion about your website.[2] No pressure there, right?

Also, first impressions of a website are 94% design-related.[3]. That's why it's critical to get it right.

So, what makes people stay on a web page and want to know more? And what drives them away faster than the speed of light?

I did some research on that and I’m happy to share some things that will make you go hmmm.

While people view websites in various ways, there are some common tendencies you should know when designing (or refining) your website.

Common Tendencies People Have

When Looking At Websites

  • 79 percent of Web users scan a website rather than read every word on the page. They scan the page for the information they’re looking for and that’s relevant to them. So, make sure your most important information is easy to scan and find.

  • People look at websites in an F-shaped pattern, starting at the top left corner and moving down and right in two horizontal stripes. The top left corner is the “primary optical area” and it’s where people’s eyes are first drawn. So, you’ll want to put your value proposition, important information, or whatever you want your customers to see first in that top left corner of the page.

  • Viewers spend 80% of their time looking at the left half of web pages.[4] Pro Tip: Using top or left-hand navigation bars and putting content of greatest importance in the center will likely improve user experience and profitability.

  • Users spend an average of 5.94 seconds looking at the main website image.[5] Therefore, it’s extremely important that this image (or any image on your website) is large, high-quality, professional, and relevant to your content. People facing forward in photos are more inviting and approachable. Also, “normal looking” people in photos garner more attention than those who look like models. Both images and videos are more likely to capture attention than text. They also help to break up text and make your web page more visually appealing.

  • Website colors can create a mood or evoke emotion. They can also be used to highlight important information. One of the biggest trends in color schemes is using dark dominant colors and backgrounds and shades of gold and bright red or pink hues for accents.

  • Fonts can make your website more readable, create a sense of hierarchy and engage readers. The best fonts for websites are clear and easy to read across different devices and screen sizes. In general, sans-serif fonts are best for websites because they’re easier to read compared to serif fonts.

By keeping these common tendencies in mind, you’ll be able to create a website (or improve the one you have) that viewers will be impressed with. And remember, you never get a second chance to make a good first impression.

Bonus Tips For Designing a Website That People Will Want to View, Learn More, and Take Action

  • Make it mobile-friendly. Over 50% of all website traffic comes from mobile devices.[6] Make sure you use a responsive design that will automatically adjust to the size of the mobile phone screen.

  • Use a consistent design throughout your site. This will help to create a sense of familiarity and make your website more appealing to visitors.

  • Use short and sweet language that people will be more likely to read and understand. Don’t use jargon or technical terms that people may not understand. 75 percent of U.S. adults read just above a 5th-grade reading level and 50 percent of U.S. adults read at an 8th-grade reading level.[7] So, keep your content at a 7th or 8th grade reading level. Also, keep it simple. Use short words and short sentences whenever possible. Use the Flesch-Kincaid Index, which is a test to rate how difficult your content would be to understand.

  • Use clear and concise calls to action (CTA) to tell your visitors what you want them to do. Do you want them to sign up for your email list? Download a report? Make a purchase? CTAs encourage users to take action which drives lead generation, conversions, and sales. Would you believe that 70% of small businesses don’t have a CTA on their website homepage?[8] Don’t be that guy.

By implementing some or all of the above tips, not only will your website look impressive, but it will also be easy to read and understand. It’s also more likely that it will engage your visitors, pique their interest, and get them to buy your product or service.

I hope you enjoyed reading this article and learned some new things. Comment below as I would love to know your thoughts.

If you’d like some help with a site audit and/or optimizing your webpages, sales, or landing pages, let’s talk.


[3] WebFX

[5] CXL

[7] Buffer

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