May 12, 2021 | 8 min reading time

Web design isn’t just limited to the visual appearance of your website. It plays a significant role in conversion and A/B testing. 

Grabbing visitors’ attention is one of the key tasks that a designer has to focus on. Highlighting specific elements of interest on a landing page so that users see and notice them instantly as soon as they land is an essential design philosophy.

Focal point design is a technique in web designing used to identify the area of interest you want users to notice. It is used to direct user attention to critical elements on a Google Ads landing page such as the CTA button.

So, what is focal point design, and how to use it for optimizing landing pages for conversion? Let’s find out.

What is Focal Point Design?

A focal point is an area of interest, focus, or emphasis in a design that is used to capture user attention. These focal points must stand out from the rest of the elements on the design. Here is an example of a focal point:

focal point design

The blue circle is the focal point as it is prominent and instantly grabs attention. The dark-colored squares are also focal points but they aren’t as prominent as the blue circle. You could have multiple focal points in a design that must direct the user visual to the core focal point.

Focal point design is used to guide viewers to areas of interest where you want them to take a specific action (usually conversion).

Here is a practical example of focal point design where both the CTA buttons are focal points as they're prominent and stand out from the rest of the page:

focal point design CTA button

Why Use a Focal Point in Your Landing Page Design?

Focal points address the most critical aspect of a landing page: Conversions.

The whole point of using a landing page is to persuade people to take action. This is where a focal point can be of great help. You can direct viewer attention to the most important elements on your landing page with the help of focal points.

Research shows that you only have 8-seconds to grab a user’s attention. Another study found that human eyes move up to 5x per second when reading or looking at something. This means you have to grab a user’s attention in 5 seconds or less after he/she lands on the landing page.

If you fail to grab attention in 5-seconds, the viewer might leave your landing page or lose attention.

The best (and only) way to grab a user’s attention in a few seconds is with the help of design – not content. You can only read a headline in 5 seconds, not more than that, right?

When it comes to grabbing attention immediately, you have to use a focal point. The initial interaction with a landing page is mostly (if not always) design-related.

The focal point on your landing page is the first thing that a visitor must notice. If it grabs attention, the visitor will stick and continue his/her engagement.

Designers use a focal point above the fold to instantly grab attention. This doesn’t just boost conversion but it improves engagement and landing page interaction.

How to Use a Focal Point When You Design Google Ads Landing Pages?

The importance of using a focal point in landing pages increases when you are running Google Ads. You can’t afford to lose paid visitors for a poorly designed landing page. Using a focal point design in Google Ads landing pages should be an essential part of your PPC strategy.

There are different ways to use a focal point design in Google Ads landing pages:

  1. Buttons
  2. Typography
  3. Whitespace
  4. Images

1. Buttons

Nothing is more important than using a button as your focal point on a Google Ads landing page. Making a call to action button on a landing page the focal point means business. If your primary goal is to increase conversions, make the CTA button the most prominent element on the Google Ads landing page.

Here is an example:

Google Ads Landing Page Button

The only thing that grabs attention immediately on Netflix’s landing page is the CTA button. The two buttons are prominent, clearly visible, and stand out from the rest of the page.

Here are a few tips on how to use the button as a focal point on the Google Ads landing page:

  • Make button the most prominent element on the landing page
  • Use a contrasting color for emphasis
  • Add lots of whitespace around the button
  • Make sure the button is above the fold and instantly visible to the viewers.

2. Typography

The text on the landing page is one of the best ways to create a focal point design. This is ideal when you want to engage and interact with the viewers. When you want landing page visitors to read text, engage, and then take action, you need to use a typography focal point design.

Here is an example of how it looks:

Google Ads typography

The $5 discount grabs attention immediately. The buy button isn’t prominent and isn’t used as a focal point in this case. The emphasis is on the discount and benefits that the user will receive.

A study found that typography impacts our mood and reading absorption. Decent typography is known to improve readership and helps viewers read at least 3 minutes faster. It also improves comprehension.

This means if you want visitors to read, understand, and remember the content on your landing page, it will be best to use a typography focal point.

So how to use typography for focal point design?

You can use font type, color, size, and spacing to create emphasis. It isn’t always about the size rather you have to use a mix of different variables to make your desired text prominent. The most crucial part of a Google Ads landing page is the headline, so ideally, you must use it as your focal point.

3. Whitespace

Whitespace is a designer’s best friend. It can be used in so many ways including focal point design. When used right, you can use it to make certain elements prominent and guide visitor gaze throughout the landing page.

Here is an example of how whitespace can be used to distinguish an element from its surroundings and make it a focal point:

Google Ads whitespace

With all this whitespace, you have nothing to see but the images of the iPhone 12. This is a perfect use of white space to create a focal point.

White space improves readability and helps guide the user on the page. Visitors can easily identify the right element (that you want them to focus on) when the right amount of white space is used.

4. Images

One of the best ways to create a focal point on an ecommerce product page is to use high quality images. It isn’t just limited to ecommerce, a quality image will always grab user attention. The importance of using images and photos as focal points increases when you are using Google Ads for traffic generation. As much as 75% of online buyers rely on product photos when buying online and 33.16% prefer to see multiple product photos before finalizing a product.

If you are running a Shopping Ads campaign, use images as a focal point to grab attention instantly. Here is an example:

Google Ads images

There isn’t anything else on this page more prominent than the product image. This is how you use an image as a focal point design for the Google Ads landing page.

Should You A/B Test Your Focal Point Design for Google Ads Landing Pages?

Yes.

Ideally, you must create a focal point design for Google Ads landing pages based on data. You can’t create it based on your judgment. There has to be an underlying hypothesis to create a focal point design.

Here is how it should work:

  1. Create a Google Ads landing page
  2. Analyze its conversion and performance based on Google Ads data, Google Analytics data, and importantly, intent optimization
  3. Create a hypothesis for focal point design
  4. Run your A/B test and select the better variation
  5. Repeat.

You can’t just create a focal point and hope that it will start working someday. No, this isn’t how it works. You need to create A/B tests to measure the performance of different focal point designs. And identify the best focal point design.

You can also leverage post-click data (aka intent optimization) for data collection for your A/B tests. For example, you can analyze scroll depth and landing page engagement to identify the most suitable focal points.

Here is an example of how a heatmap tool can help with this:

Google Ads landing page focal point heatmap

The landing page analysis shows that the headline, CTA, and the woman’s face are the three most prominent focal points on the landing page. This type of post-click landing page analysis will help you create data-driven focal points. It also helps in A/B testing your focal point design for Google Ads landing pages.

There is no right or wrong focal point design on any landing page that you have for your Google Ads campaigns. Design can’t be wrong or right. It all comes down to regularly A/B testing design elements on your landing page.

Your CRO campaign must begin with testing focal points as they're the key to success. There isn’t anything more important on a Google Ads landing page than a focal point. If it is getting attention, everything else will move in the right direction.

Jason is the CMO @ ClickGUARD. He is passionate about all things PPC, SEO and has extensive customer acquisition experience. When not writing about SEM he can be found surfing the wildest ocean waves of the South American coast.