Employing search engine optimisation techniques is all about getting potential customers to visit your online business space. If you are achieving this already that’s great, but the customer still has a long way to go before they hand over any of their money for your product or service. In this blog I am going to touch on a few points from a design perspective that are worth considering when planning the visual layout of your landing pages.
When a new customer reaches your page, they will begin to decide if they are in the right place to find what they are looking for. They are going to be making a “journey”, which could lead them down one of either two routes. One path is that they reach your page, don’t like what they see, leave the page quickly and you end up with an undesirable bounce rate. The other path (what you should be aiming for) is to grab and retain their attention and lead them to the position where they are presented with that all-important call-to-action.
This phrase originally applied to the visible top halves of newspapers when they were folded and stacked, ready to be sold. In a digital context, the phrase applies to the visible content on a webpage that fits into the space of the browser window before having to scroll down. This is where you are going to make your first impression of what your website has to offer. Getting this right will help you to stop any passer by and encourage them to browse further.
When the customer lands on your page you will want to reassure them of the following:
Using the content of the page (especially above the fold) to answer these questions is important. Any element of indecisiveness at this stage can be a total turn-off for customers and send them running in the opposite direction. Use this space efficiently by making sure your page header and sub-titles are easy to read and inform the customer that they will find what they are looking for on your site.
Be careful and considerate of using images above the fold. Using visuals are a great way to catch the reader’s eye, but they need to be relevant and reinforce the message. A point to remember when using images, include an alt=”” attribute in order to translate to search engine bots crawling your page what the contents of the images is.
Ever looked at a painting and been drawn to a specific person or element within the frame? Chances are this wasn’t by accident and the artist has employed visual clues to direct your vision around the space. Now, we are not quite putting together a renaissance masterpiece here, but we can utilise the same design principles to achieve the same goal. We are just using a different medium to get the message across. Focus on making the visual path to your call-to-action as short and sweet as you can. Break up large amounts of information into multiple sections, and space them relative to the importance of those sections.
There is no one single perfect design for websites, but these principles are a good foundation to build upon. Work on finding a medium, which presents your business in a unique way but also provides information to customers with clarity and certainty.
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