Let’s say you start a business and it’s going well based on word of mouth referrals. You decide to have a website designed to help gain new customers seeking your product and service, in addition to providing added value info on what you offer. Six months later, you realize the company website has received almost no traffic, resulting in no leads or sales coming to your site.
Based on not seeing an immediate return of investment (ROI), you decide to pull down your website, cancel your web hosting, and not renew your domain name. No, wait, stop! Believe it or not, it doesn’t have to come to that. Our Omaha web design team at Big Red SEO is here to offer some guidance before you give up your company’s online presence.
The Purpose of a Website
Websites might look pretty, but this isn’t their only purpose. Websites need to have function to help their website visitors. It can be to sell products, explain a service you offer, tell people about your industry, or all three. The key to a website is getting people to not only find your website, but the valuable information (content or product) they’re looking for.
With the internet being so big and continuing to grow, information online can be overwhelming for users. Setting your company apart, using terms people can understand, and providing information via your web design that’s literally at the user’s fingertips is how to outdo your competition.
Today, our Omaha web design experts have two types of website designs to help you determine which layout would be the best for your website visitors. Remember, left brain and right brain see things completely differently. In the ideal website design you need to find a way to satisfy the needs of both types of users.
You may or may not have seen the pictures from eye tracking software of the F-layout. If you have, you’ve seen that some people tend to read certain online websites in an F-like pattern. As we all know, people read from left to right, but user’s attention span online is limited. Visitors to your website will not sit and read your whole website to find what they need, so they’ll scan your copy to find what’s relevant for them. In freelance writing, this type of user is often classified as a “bullet point” type of person. They want the message to “pop” out at them.
When the website visitor loads the page, their brain registers the information in an F-shape. The process of scanning content starts at the top left of the website. Essentially, scanning the navigation to find the quickest way to access the information they need. If they have not found the area they need, they’ll move down and scan the next section. This is often referred to as the “slider section” or the “body” of the website. If the website is created with multiple layers there might be a left sidebar offered with an expansive menu. The website users will continue scanning the rest of the page in a straight line until reaching the footer of the website. Can you envision it? It forms an F.
When delivering content it’s best to know your audience’s scanning habits. Next time you visit a website, test to see if you scan website copy in an F design. To effectively gain the attention of F design website visitors, you will want to ensure you place your “call to action” or vital information in one of the main areas listed above.
Note: Content below the fold (once they have to scroll) might be dismissed or overlooked by website scanners. When creating a website design, our team at Big Red SEO will often place vital information in the navigation, slider, and body of the text. Depending on how large the website design is or how much you have to scroll down, we include key areas located at the upper fold of the website and also in the footer section. This helps those who hate to scroll back up to the top of the page.
The Z layout suggests other users read in a Z-pattern—they’ll read the top navigation and first sentence, scan in between and read the last sentence. For this layout, it’s advised to put your pertinent information in the top and bottom line of your content. For example, place your logo to the top left of your website, a text image in the middle, such as a slogan, and a “call to action” to the right. You will want to add a few snippets of information in the center of the website in addition to the bottom of the page. The goal with this style of design is to keep it clean, simple, and effective, creating the natural shape of a Z.
It may be a simple concept, but you can also do a few extra ta-das for your users. First, your logo should catch peoples’ eye immediately as well as the image in the middle that separates the information at the top from the information at the bottom. This concept helps so that nothing gets lost when a reader is scanning. Add a few widget sections to the footer of your website that include certification logos or a map that can help the users’ eyes gravitate toward what they are looking for. Nine times out of 10 a website visitor will want your contact information at their fingertips. You can accomplish this by adding a “call to action” button or a contact us form to the left side of the footer section–this will finalize the Z shape.
Note: The Z shape layout should be simple as it has four main points of eye contact. This type of format is very popular with most Western readers as they read left to right. Be sure to have your logo in front of them, and begin and finish with a way for them to contact you to get more information regarding your product or services.
Contact our Omaha Web Design Company at (402) 522-6468
So, are you a F- or Z-layout reader? As you can see, knowing your target audience’s preference can help your website become easy to navigate. If you have any questions on which format style you should use, feel free to give us a call at (402) 522-6468. Our Omaha web design team’s job is to get your website noticed by users. If you think your website needs revamping, we can bring your website out of hiding!