What Visual Engagement Analysis Tells Us About Web Users

When creating a website – 100% optimisation is always the end goal.

The user experience needs to be exceptional to ensure high conversion rates and great engagement. In order to measure its optimisation, many processes will take place, including A/B testing, digital analytics, user testing, heat mapping and click mapping.

However, a very important measurement of optimization is the data collected from “eye-tracking,” or “visual engagement analytics.” Not all your competition takes advantage of this form of analytics, and you will be one step ahead of them if you decide to use it.

This article breaks down visual engagement analysis so that you fully understand it and learn what it reveals about web users. 

Source: medium.com


What is Visual Engagement Analysis?

Visual engagement analysis is a tool which visually displays the user experience in a way that indicates both trends and insights. Eye-tracking is actually the most accurate way to discover how your visitors interact with your website.

How Does Visual Engagement Analysis Work?

When implementing visual engagement analysis, you can measure where people look when navigating your website, and how they actually “feel” when gazing at each part of your website. In essence, your users’ emotions are being measured. This is one of the main ways it differs from the majority of heat mapping tools.

Everything Visual Engagement Analysis Reveals About Web Users

1. What Kind of Images Are the Most Appealing

There are four things you need to keep in mind when using images on your website:

  • Images must be large to grab attention
  • They need to be crystal clear
  • People in images need to face forward (as this is more inviting)
  • Images should reflect regular looking people, not models

The above recommendations are all based on eye-tracking studies found in the book “Eyetracking Web Usability” by Jakob Nielsen and Kara Pernice.

We use this on our Local SEO page, as you can see here: 

Image source: Local & national SEO

2. Which Part of the Page Gets the Most Attention

Web users give attention to the top-left corner of your web page first. Their eyes will then move down and right from that point. Make sure your value proposition is firmly planted in this area. Furthermore, your CTA should be placed in the bottom right area of your page for the most effective results.

Image source: Flikr

3. People’s Reading Patterns

Visual engagement analysis shows that people most often read content on a web page in an “F” shaped pattern. In other words, they will read horizontally from left to right, and then left to right again, and finally vertically on the left-hand side of the page. 

Therefore, your menu must lie either on top horizontally or towards the left in a vertical column. The only time this reading pattern is not applicable, is with regards to how people look at search results.

Source: webdesign.tutsplus.com

4. How Font Size Affects Attention

It’s important to use a large font size for the title of the introductory paragraph on your page, as this will attract a lot of attention, and most users will read the majority of the content. 

Source: material.io

5. How People Engage with Search Results

Google conducted an eye-tracking study showing that most users click on the first three results on their SERP. Google doesn’t want you to scroll down their SERP – they want to be completely optimized to the point that what you search for pops up immediately as your first search result. That’s why Google maintains its status as the number one search engine in the world

Source: googleblog.blogspot.com

6. Where People Scroll

Users will always scroll above the fold the most. This is the part in the upper half of web page that is so clearly visible, that scrolling down is not entirely necessary to get the point across. In order to get people to scroll down your webpage, you need to guide them there

7. Which Side of the Page Gets the Most Attention

In most parts of the Western world, people read from left to right. The only languages that read right to left are Persian/Farsi, Aramaic, Urdu, Hebrew, Arabic, Dhivehi/Maldivian, Azeri, and Kurdish (Sorani). 

Therefore, in places like the United States, Australia, the UK, Ireland, South Africa and other Westernized countries, the left side of the webpage gets most of the attention. In fact, according to Nielsen Norman Group, visitors will spend 80% of their viewing time on the left half of the page. 

For this reason, you should always place vertical menus on the left side of the page, although keep important content mostly above the fold.  

Image source: www.nngroup.com

8. Which Smartphones Are the Best to Showcase

Visual engagement analysis also shows that people spend more time gazing upon Apple products than Android devices. In fact, iPhones get around 2.3 seconds of visual engagement, while iPads and Amazon Kindles get 2.4 seconds each. 

Editorial credit: mama_mia / Shutterstock.com

9. Best Practices Regarding Headlines

Keep the following in mind with regards to headlines:

  • Create bold and big headlines
  • Keep headlines in the upper-left corner
  • Present complete value propositions within headlines
Image source: material.io

10. How Long It Takes to Form a First Impression

When you want to make a first impression, visual engagement analysis tells us that first impressions are made less than two-tenths of a second! Here’s a breakdown of web user’s attention:

  • Website’s bottom area: 5.25 seconds
  • Written copy: 5.59 seconds
  • Webpage’s biggest image: 5.94 seconds
  • Links to social networks: 5.95 seconds
  • Website’s search box: 6+ seconds
  • Navigation menu: 6.44 seconds
  • Logo: 6.48 seconds

You can conclude from the above data that your logo is really important, and you should focus on this as well as your main navigation menu to make a lasting impression!


Visual engagement analysis is a vital part of analytics that reveals necessary information to help you modify your site, so that it becomes optimized at its highest level! 

Of course, International SEO optimization is also a highly important part of your online presence, as well as your Facebook Ads or other social media efforts! If you want to push your business forward to where it needs to be, contact one of our expert Digital Strategists today, and they’ll be happy to help you!