There is plenty of advice online about how to drive traffic to one’s web page. However, without a good website layout, what traffic you do drive there may not stay long.
Today we will discuss how to design the perfect website layout for your business. We’ll review how to draw the eye, what sort of content site visitors pay attention to, and how our business can help you if you’re not confident you can meet customer expectations on your own.
Know Your Site’s Purpose
Running a website takes effort. You have to fill it with content, keep it updated, and might be paying fees to keep it afloat. This is all in addition to any marketing you’re doing to drive traffic to the site.
Unless you run a website just for the joy of it, most people want their website to be doing something for them in return. For a business website, the goal might be converting visitors into customers. For a blogging site, it may just be for visitors to read and share your content (and maybe make you some ad revenue on the side).
A site’s purpose will help determine how it should be laid out. You are going to want it to funnel visitors to the site’s primary purpose. Writers want the content to be read; companies have services to sell.
If your site has a secondary purpose (such as how many businesses also blog to attract more traffic), make sure that secondary content adds, not subtracts, from its primary purpose. For example, a company blog (ours included) should reference the company’s services and have links to help customers find those services more easily.
Your Visitors Always Care Less Than You’d Like
The second design tip we can offer is that you acknowledge visitors will almost always be fickle. As few as 16 percent of people read new pages word-for-word, according to one study. Your content is being scanned and, if that scan doesn’t interest the visitor, they will leave.
For newer businesses, this fact can be stressful. You’d be right to notice the imbalance of power; you need visitors to stay and engage but they rarely care much at all about the average page they’re visiting.
Luckily, the layout can help. Some common actionable steps to take include:
- Driving users to more engaging content, such as videos and easy-to-digest bulleted lists
- Using known, psychologically engaging colours like reds and blues
- Making sure your site is easy to navigate if the user wants either similar or different content to the sort found on the page they’ve landed on
You don’t need a visitor to engage with all your content 100% in order to convert them to a sale or otherwise get them to perform a particular action. Furthermore, psychological tricks such as putting important points in bulleted lists can make them much more likely to read and remember info you’d like them to have.
Your Navigation and Side Bars Matter a Lot
If we know customers tend to just skim, how do you encourage them to visit certain pages? Much of the key is in well-designed navigation and sidebar.
While you may not be familiar with the term, you’ve seen these bars before. The navigation bar is the bar used to get to the bulk of a website’s content. It is often located near the top of every page, with tabs linking to other important parts of the site.
A sidebar is just a bar showing you content, usually related to the current page you’re on, that you might also be interested in. While the navigation bar doesn’t change much, a sidebar (if the website is designed right) will tailor the page links it shows to match what you’re looking at. For example, a blog page about SEO content may have a sidebar showing other marketing blog content the company has put out.
You want both your navigation and sidebars to be easy to use and easy to navigate, without being annoying. A good website layout will use these tools to help a visitor navigate to any other part of the website they’d like to see, without feeling rushed off the page they are presently on.
The perfect website layout will do all that while guiding a visitor to the parts of your website you need them to interact with if you are to achieve your business/organisation goals.
Key Pages Need to Be Simple
There are some customers who may want a good or service but find it too difficult to make a given purchase. The more boxes a customer has to fill out, the more room for error and confusion.
Yes, some processes require certain fields to be filled out for security and clarity reasons. At the same time, make whatever page is key to your business model as simple as possible. Another good tip is to allow things like client accounts to auto-fill fields they’ve filled in before; if there is one thing people like less than filling out a bunch of mundane boxes, it is doing it multiple times.
If this is starting to sound complex, it can be. For example, you don’t want to design a system that saves secure information (like financial data) in an unsafe way. This where hiring on a website design service comes in handy.
A professional design service like YZ DESIGNS can make a website that looks and feels good, all while helping you avoid design and security blunders. If you don’t feel like becoming a master of web design on your own, services like ours help you get that professional look with far less expertise required on your end.
For More Content About Website Layout and More…
That covers some of the basics of website layout. You want things to be simple to navigate, encouraging customers to visit important parts of your site without getting obtrusive about it.
If you enjoyed this article and want to learn more about all manner of website design, we hope you’ll visit our blog! It has a ton of great content to help you become better at design, SEO, and more!