Eye Tracking Studies - Where Are You Positioning Important Webpage Content?
Did-it, Enquiro, and Eyetools Uncover Google’s Golden Triangle
The Best of Eyetrack III:What We Saw When We Looked Through Their Eyes
Some Comments on My Design Strategies...
My personal recommendation is to place important brand information in this top-left side area - perhaps a logo, or an image that defines the page. Or as is often done, use this space for navigational elements.
The second most important area, in my experience, is the top-right side of the page. If more navigation features are required, this is a nice place for them. If not, perhaps an eye catching graphic which links off to an important content feature. The readers eyes will eventually pull back to the middle of the page, which is where most web designers will place the core text block.
But the biggest lesson in the above studies, and one that many web developers fail to heed, is to sell the page 'above the fold' - that is, that first presentation of the page the reader gets prior to scrolling. When a user links in, you have 3-5 seconds to persuade them to scroll down. It's a fine line between crowding the top of a webpage, and not placing enough content elements to capture them. And how can you tell if you've captured them? In terms of metrics, I use the ratio of page impressions to unique visitors. Above 3 pgs per visit, I'm doing ok. And below 2 pgs, I've got some real work to do. :-)