Grab and Hold Visitor's Attention!
There is no shortage of studies that have been conducted on user behavior as it pertains to how people use the web. While they all have their merits it is critical to have a solid understanding about your website users behavior to know which study relates to you. However suffice to say that you have somewhere between 3 and 15 seconds to capture the attention of your visitors or they are going to go somewhere else and unless by chance they will likely never come back to your site again!
One thing all of these studies can agree on is people do not surf a website the way we think they do and it is this behavior that dictates how the website is built, what is displayed on the website and how the content is formatted. Each website is different with a different user type, each has different challenges and different goals and it is these differences that will rule on what can and cannot be done when building a website.
Understanding user behavior is critical to know how to best layout your information, how to capture your visitors attention and how to keep them on your site long enough to leave a lasting impression, or to get them to take some action that you have created for them. Be it to educate them, sell them some product or service or subscribe to your blog. No matter what the goal it is critical to have a solid understanding about your sites visitors and to know the best tactics to use in order to have them successfully use your site.