Eye Tracking and Heat Maps

Eye tracking has become a hot topic in the last few years. Eye tracking devices are used to create heat maps showing where attention is focused on display pages. A sample heat map of a Google search results is shown below:

A dominant pattern for search engine results is the "F" pattern showing the eye being drawn to the upper left and then moving down and across from there. There are, however, factors (such as the inclusion of images, graphics, and additional columns) that can significantly alter this pattern. This is shown in the sample YouTube pages below:

You can do a Google Images search of "eye tracking" to see sample heat maps. Having a basic understanding of how people focus their attention on internet sites is important for improving traffic and conversions. Heat maps of specific sites can help to further improve results.