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Clickz reports on the findings of a new eye tracking study carried out by the Nielsen/Norman Group. It concludes that text advertising is read more often than display ads. Not much surprise there but the research does contain some useful advice on making your advertising more appealing to users.

There’s still hope for online ads. Pernice Coyne said graphical ads with text and contrasting colors, like white text on red, is less likely to be disregarded. “They’re looking at them if they’re text,” she said. “I hate to sound boring, but [it is best] if you can make sure your ad is something simple, text or a recognized logo, and it needs to be relevant to the page.”

The study also looks at sponsored links on SERPs and rated the effectiveness of search in their user group.

“They really look for words that match what they are searching for. If you have a strange title to the page, people will skip over it…It’s so important what you call your links in search results. Users don’t give you a lot of chances,” Pernice Coyne said.

The study also covered the “F” movement patterns that the user’s eyes make across a web page, removing the obstacles to this and how to best place adverts on your pages (more here) Valuable information for us as marketers and well worth the time to understand.

I can’t seem to find a direct link to the report, only this page for the upcoming eyetracking seminars (correct me if I’m wrong!).

If you want to read more on this subject then I would suggest browsing through the the online report, “The Best of Eyetrack III: What We Saw When We Looked Through Their Eyes” by Steve Outing and Laura Ruel.

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Lead SEO, Group Optimisation at Vodafone. Founder at E3 Business Incubator, a consultancy group helping enterprises and start-ups. Digital strategist and veteran SEO/SEM. Views are my own and not representative of my employer (more).

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