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Effective Website Home Page Structure

Effective Website Structure helps Google Ranking and Users

Structuring your website is crucial for both its usability and findability. Many sites lack a sound structure to guide visitors to the information they’re looking for. Having a clear site structure also leads to a better understanding of your site by Google, so it’s incredibly important for your SEO.

The structure of your website also has a significant impact for your visitor’s user experience (UX). If your visitors can’t find the products and information they’re looking for, it’s not very likely they’ll become regular visitors or customers. In other words, you should help them navigate your site. A good site structure will help with this.

It starts with your Home Page Design and Structure

The Home page is where most of your visitors will go first. It will likely have the most visitors or traffic, so it makes sense to spend time looking at properly designing how your Home page is structured, it’s content, it’s call to action buttons (CTAs) and where visitors can go to from your home page everywhere.

That way your website visitors will have a better experience, stay on your website longer visiting your key pages like services and/or products and the contact page. Google will also like your Home Page because they will see visitors can find the information they want and that its easy to navigate around your website.

All of which means more traffic, enquiries and sales. Here are the four key tips for an effective Home page design and structure:

Tip #1. Have a Clear Headline in your Banner

You need to have strong image or banner that grabs attention and then use a big headline to place the most important information front and centre. Why do you need to do that? Because you need to make it very clear to the website visitor what they will find and why they should stay as soon as they get to the website.  Here’s an example:

We have a driving school with a clear benefit statement of “Helping To Make Yourself An Expert Driver” and a subheading “Learn how to develop into a safe, competent prepared driver with Red Car Driving School” with a simple call to action (CTA) button to “Learn More”.

So if you are in the market for a Driving School you know what they can offer and what to do next.

By ensuring you have a large, clear headline in the middle of the Banner you will grab the visitor’s attention and start to engage them. You need to make it obvious where the user is supposed to go and what they are supposed to do next.

Tip #2. Create a Clear Website “Flow”

The next thing is you need is to provide flow. You need to make it obvious where the user is supposed to go and what they are supposed to do next.

As an example here is a tree service company website. Their website has a large banner image with a clear headline that lets the visitor know what they offer (as per Tip #1), they “specialise in removal of hard or access trees”. But they also a contact or quote form showing immediately. It’s obvious upfront, that they want people to get a quote.That’s the next step.

Because when people are looking for a tree service, they’re not browsing the website trying to find out more about how to remove trees, they really want someone to come and look at their tree. So having a quote form upfront is important. So that tells me straight away, as a visitor, “Oh, I can fill in this and get a quote straight away.”

In the second example, we have Marine & Off-Grid Electrical Contracting company website. We have broken down the key sections of the Home Page so its easier to understand them. We can see from the large headline they are Marine & Off-Grid Electrical Contractors. The banner image also has two clear call to action buttons to Learn More or Contact.

There is then a clear flow from the main banner down to “What they Provide” which visually and in words shows their four key services which allows the visitors to go immediately to what type of service they require. This then leads down to a section “Areas We Cover” that has three location options and internally can link to Location pages that will help both the Visitor and Google ranking.

Finally they list some of the Brands they supply and install to add credibility. This simple flow allows the user (and Google) to easily get to where they want to go on the website quickly.

Tip #3. Make sure that navigation menu is very clear

This is critical as visitors will most often use this navigation when they land on the Home Page, plus when they go backwards and forwards browsing different pages.

Here is a great example of what not to do a website home page We have blacked out the identifying names.

There is a navigation panel down the left side which is OK (though a little out of date as not very mobile friendly. However there is a second navigation menu in the middle of the page on the right side. That makes it very confusing for knowing where to go next.

Additionally when you visit a new page, you cant see the navigation bar at the top where you expect it in case you want to visit another section of the website. or go back to the previous page. This creates distraction and makes the visitor  leave the website. 

Contrast that with our South Coast Digital Website main navigation menu. It clearly sets out the links – Home, About, Projects, Services, News, Resources and Contact with a phone number.

All of which our research and analytics tell us are the most important areas visitors want to look at before engaging with a website or digital marketing company. The main navigation menu is also “sticky”. Which means the navigation menu stays at the top of the page when you scroll down or visit a new page.  This makes it easier for the visitor to navigate around the website.

Tip #4. Understand and Follow Conventions

Often, we meet people who from the right intention want to make their website look different, move elements into a different place.

But website visitors are conditioned to look in certain areas for information. If you deviate from those or add annoying features, you will lose them.

Here are two contrasting examples from the same industry that offer the same services.

When you visit the first website looking for a property to but or rent or someone to sell your property, you are confronted with a confusing popup “Work with Us, We’re looking for Class 1 Agent with a creative and ambitious outlook”.

The popup is annoying, firstly because the visitor don’t even know them yet, and asking the visitor to hire them with no information.

Secondly the cookie policy is important, but you don’t have to have that upfront, before the visitor even get to the information.

Contrast that with the other property website, where their logo is on the left. The navigation menu is where I expect it to be – at the top of the page and in the order I expect it to be.

The Home is on the left, with About (because that’s the second most visited page), then the key services of Buy, Sell or Rent with “Contact” is on the right-hand side. The phone number is on the top right because people generally read left to right.

So, follow the conventions because people psychologically are conditioned to go to look for specific information in particular locations – like the logo in top left, menu at the top, home on the left, phone number top right etc.

Can We Help?

Need help building an effective website for your business? Catch our Website Wednesday episodes to learn more about the key elements in effective website design. We hope those tips can help you. If we can help you in any way, we’d love to. Just contact us at South Coast Digital Marketing or email help@scdigital.com.au.

 

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