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Designing the Best Page Layouts for Your Website

By Haydn Rowe

Successful websites understand that visitors have a primary purpose when viewing a page - to get information.

They also understand that different visitors have different requirements ... 

Some people will arrive at your website to investigate your products and services, some to buy now, others to research the credibility of your company, and some looking for free information offers.

Your visitors could fall into one of many categories and a successful page layout will cater for the needs of all the types of visitors that might be attracted to your site by offering all options so they can find their way easily to the content that they want.

That's why seemingly ‘busy’ sites with many links and options on the landing page can be the most successful, and why a ‘clean’ website is unlikely to deliver the best results for your business.

Every website will need a layout tailored to suit the needs of the types of visitor they are targeting, however by beginning with a template of a successful layout you will be more likely to end up with a website that delivers the results you want.

Here are some example page layouts that work really well for most websites.

Great Home Page Layout

This Home Page format and layout includes some really important features that will improve the performance of your website.

Home Page Layout

They include...

  • Conventional Top Level Navigation - whatever you do, don't make it hard for visitors to figure out how to get around your site and make sure that your most important content is listed. You can get up to 12 navigation buttons on the top line.

  • Directional Banners - these small Image Banners are great for highlighting the most important content on your site or content that is relevant to different types of visitors. 

    Remember, you usually want people to find and then leave your Home Page as rapidly as possible by directing them to the information that they want right away.

  • Right Hand Side Bar Banners - this is also a great place to highlight important content or your main Call to Action offers such as a Free Report or Guide.

  • Main Body Copy - an often overlooked area of a Home Page. This is crucial for visitors who have "banner blindness" - they ignore the marketing hype and flashy images and just want the information.

    The copy here too should be "directional" (pushing visitors deeper into the site) and should include your main call to actions.

    In addition, this is crucial for Search Engine Optimisation. You should aim to have at least 250 words here with the three keywords that you have selected for the Home Page used at least three times.

Real World Example

Real World Example of Home Page Layout

 

Landing Page Layout

For your Landing Pages it is usually best to move to a three column format by introducing a left hand side bar for your second and third level navigation.

Once again this is conventional and avoids the risk of losing visitors by displaying the deeper levels of content that are available whatever page they are on within that section of the website.

Landing Page Layout


Real World Example

Real World Landing Page Example

 

Once you have your Home Page and Landing Page format clear, you can take this to your graphic designer (along with your objectives, target market, strategy and website content map) to brief them.

We need great graphic designers to make our websites work, to make them fit for purpose and to turn our briefing into reality, like this one here...

Initial Working Design

Initial Design

Final Design

Final Design


It is of course important to remember that you should use a combination of images and text to direct the traffic around your website as different visitors respond differently to each medium - some are very attracted to images and graphics, others to hard content and copy and others to a combination of both.

When you structure your website pages this way you maximise your chances of lower bounce rates, higher pages per visit, longer time on site and most importantly more leads, enquiries, database contacts and sales!

What Next?

If you’re thinking of developing a new website and wish to learn more, then give us a ring on 01536 747 310 or send us an email.

Download a FREE copy of our new report How to Create a Highly Profitable Website for your Business.



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