Eye Tracking: What Are People Reading

eyeball-peaking-watching-a4whoEye tracking is a technique used to analyze the effectiveness of your marketing information. Web analytics tells you where people came from when visiting your web site, how long someone stayed on your site and the average number of pages visited. Eye tracking gives you insight into the content on a page that people actually read … well with today’s information overload, we really scan rather than read most content.

There are companies like Eyetools.com that are experts in eye tracking analysis. They actually use hardware to track how someone reads the content on a computer screen whether it’s an email newsletter, a website home page, the layout of your blog … or how people using search engines view results.

Heat Mapping Technology

Thermal imaging technology was first developed for military use in the 1950s. Today’s home energy audits use thermal imaging technology (photo from Imaging1.com who sells thermal infrared products) to identify areas of the house envelope where conditioned air (heated or cooled) is leaking through gaps, i.e. where insulation wasn’t installed properly. thermal-imaging-photo-a4who
Eyetools.com presents their data using heatmaps that look very similar to what a homeowner gets from a home energy audit. They use the colors to show which content was seen by a group of participants they monitored, tracking their eye movement. According to Eyetools, heat maps tell us where users looked or didn’t look. They can tell us how effective the layout or design of your email or website are but only the layout, not the actual content.Here are examples of what we can learn using eye tracking tools (examples from eyetools.com). Some of the key messages we can take away from these heat maps:

  • Pay Per Click (PPC) might deliver quick results but SEO drives more than 75% of search traffic (read The Disconnect in PPC vs. SEO Spending)
  • Website design can be improved using heat maps (read Eyetools Case Study on Web Redesign)
  • Everyone reads the title and the beginning of the first paragraph … but the content needs to be really compelling with large, bold sub-titles to pull them down the page.
Google Search Results

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Email Newsletter Heatmap

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Heatmap of Eyetools Blog

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Washington Post Home Page

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About Tina Gleisner

Tina Gleisner learned marketing to build her handyman business. She was so successful branding herself that other home pros started asking for help and Tina started 4 Walls 1 Roof to get everyone online via a shared website. From this start came HomeTipsforWomen.com, HomeDirectoryforYou.com and MarketingForHomePros.com. We invite you to join our community building successful businesses and empowering women homeowners to create their dream homes.

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