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The Importance of a Well Planned Layout

When creating a website, the layout can have a tremendous impact on how visitors interact with your site and, in turn, how it is ranked with search engines.  A website may be full of great content, but if a user cannot figure out how to navigate through it all, then it becomes less useful.  The layout should be clean and easy to navigate – now what exactly does that all mean?  Let’s compare website layout to a well-designed store, to really see what a user-friendly layout entails.

As you walk into a store, you notice immediately that products are grouped together into sections or aisles, in a sort of obvious manner (men/women, frozen/fresh). These areas contain large, easy to read signs labeling what that section of the store contains.  The instant a visitor to a website loads the page, they should see the different areas or “aisles” they can navigate to in order to find the products they need.  Imagine walking into a store without clear section markers, would you walk the entire store to find the few items you need, or would you just leave and go somewhere else?

Now you’ve found the aisle you need to be in, but the items you want are located on shelves higher than you can reach, or the aisle is so unorganized that you just can’t find anything.  You may get so frustrated that you decide to just leave the store.  This may seem drastic, but relate it back to the ease of just clicking a button and being able to pick a new “store” or website to find what you need. It is important for content pages to maintain the same easy-to-use organization of the homepage, to keep people from bouncing to a different website.

At this point, you have what you came for and you are ready to leave.  Can you find the registers?  Are there too many steps to take in order to checkout?  Just like being a customer in a store, a visitor to a website wants to be able to purchase their products with ease, or if they aren’t buying anything but want to contact the company, it should all be an effortless process.  We have all had those moments of sitting in a long checkout line and having too much time to second-guess our purchases, or think maybe we should look somewhere else for a better deal.  You don’t want your potential customers doing this, you want them to rest assured that they have chosen the right place to do business with.

Are you wondering if your website is like a well-designed store or an unorganized collection of stuff? Call i3 today and let us review your website and help you find ways to improve its functionality.

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