Where do you put CTAs on landing pages? What belongs in a navigation bar? How should home pages be designed? Good questions. I have answers.
Common Site Layout Questions
Here are some common site layout questions — and answers.
Where does our company logo go? Site visitors expect to see your logo in the top, left-hand corner of the page.
Do I need a logo? Ideally, yes. However, I’ve seen some companies do just fine without one.
How many main menu items should the navigation bar contain? Include four to six main menu items. You can also include multiple submenu or dropdown menu items, as desired. If you include more than six main menu items, you’re going to confuse site visitors. Less is more.
Does menu item order matter in the navigation bar? Yes. Site visitors read from left to right, and they’re probably most interested in what you do, whether what you do aligns with what they need, and the value you offer. Don’t bury the lead; instead, give them instant clarity that they’ve landed in the right place.
Along those lines, it’s more important to highlight your services and high-value resources than it is to promote your about page. Always start with them and end with you.
Do I need a banner message or a tagline? It really, really helps if you do. Think of the message or tagline as a clear, succinct telegram of sorts. Essentially, you’re saying, dear site visitor, if you read nothing else, please know that I do [summarize your offering] for [identify your audience] in order to [describe the value you provide].
What are CTAs? CTAs are “calls to action.” Presumably, you want site visitors to do something when they arrive at your site. Don’t make them guess — give them clear options.
Does it matter where I put CTAs? Yes. Put them on each page above the fold. Also include them at the bottom of each page.
What does “above the fold” mean? In the newspaper world, “above the fold” is the area printed in the top half of the front page of a broadsheet newspaper (the part visible when the paper is folded). In the world of websites, “above the fold” is the part of a site page that you can see without scrolling.
This is prime real estate. As I mentioned before, don’t bury the lead — don’t save your best, clearest, most persuasive information for last in the hopes that people hang out on your site for a long time, scrolling and clicking from page to page.
My CTA is “call now,” but few people actually “call now” — what gives? CTAs like “call now” and “reach out” are fine so long as your audience is ready to talk. If they’re not ready to talk, meet them where they currently are in their product or service education, vetting, and selection process.
Consider giving site visitors two CTA options above the fold, a low-pressure CTA like an e-book or video where they can expand their knowledge base and a transactional CTA where they can start a discussion.
Where Do You Put CTAs and Other Site Questions
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