If you're looking to create a high-performing website, you'll need to understand what makes people come back to the same site over and over. The first and main reason is the content they find on the site. If they consider that the content brings value to their life or helps them achieve their goals, whatever those may be, they will return to the site and use it actively.
The second factor you should consider is the website layout. This is essentially about how you present and deliver your content, and it greatly influences the perception visitors will have of your site.
What Exactly Is a Website Layout?
In the simplest of terms, a website layout is a pattern that defines the look and structure of a website. Depending on the website's purpose and specific goals, a layout is used to structure the information and present it in the most appropriate way.
Suppose you want your visitors to get to the point of conversion quickly and easily, and you do. In that case, you need to structure your website to facilitate their journey and make it straightforward and interesting. That's where a good layout comes in.
What Makes a Website Layout Good?
A good website layout should have several benefits, transforming a mediocre website into an outstanding one. For example, if you own an ecommerce store, the right website layout could boost your sales significantly, even if your products remain the same. Here are a few things that make for a good website layout. That’s why it’s important for you to choose a good web design company, like nyc web design, which is reputable and reliable.
Ease of Use
Even though you may think that a website layout is all about aesthetics, its most important feature is ease of use. This is where many online stores and websites make the mistake of trying to be too original and quirky.
A good website layout should be familiar, and users should know how to work with it intuitively. If they can't find what they are looking for in a matter of seconds, they are more than likely to leave and never come back.
High-Quality User Experience
In this day and age, user experience is everything to a website. As we explained above, finding a website layout design that gives users a sense of familiarity makes everything smoother. Seeing something they already know how to use makes the user much more comfortable.
Being able to update and reshuffle your layout without having to rebuild everything from scratch saves a lot of money in the long run, not to mention time. This is not only because you can put up new products or blog posts without a hassle but also because your designers won't have to constantly come up with new ideas and keep experimenting with new graphic design elements.
With a well-made website layout, all you need to do is adjust it to your new visual identity, make a few tweaks, and you're good to go.
In 2021, responsiveness is the name of the game. As more and more users access the internet from mobile devices, search engines have changed their criteria for indexing and ranking websites.
This means that if your site is unable to accommodate mobile users, it will be at a significant disadvantage when it comes to Google searches, not to mention the poor user experience which will most certainly affect conversions.
A responsive layout allows you to offer your users the same experience no matter which platform they use to access the site.
What Does a Good Website Layout Look Like?
Before you can choose a layout to improve user experience and boost conversions, you need to know some basic principles behind web layout design. We've outlined a few ideas below to help you on your way.
Keep Things Streamlined and Straightforward
This ties into the ease-of-use property we mentioned above. A streamlined website makes navigation easier and the entire experience more manageable by removing unnecessary elements and clutter.
The best way to help visitors navigate your site and getting them to reach the end of their buyer's journey is by using lots of negative space and maintaining a clean look. You'll also want to make the call-to-action buttons stand out by using contrasting colors and compelling headlines.
Understand the Goal of the Site
Once you start looking at examples of website layouts, you'll quickly understand that each is based on the goal of the website it is to be used on. Choose your configuration depending on what elements need to be emphasized according to your overall objectives.
Again, negative space is a huge asset. Use it to balance out the content and make the calls to action pop out even more. If the goal is to increase conversions, and I assume that is the case if you're reading this post, you can find lots of success this way.
Think Skimming not Reading
As you probably know, if you've ever observed your own online behavior, people tend to skim content rather than read it thoroughly. Nowadays, internet users are looking to get their information as quickly as possible and either get on with their buyer's journey or get out and look elsewhere.
Making the content jumbled and difficult to consume will not keep users on your site longer, so your best bet is to create a layout that presents all the information clearly and concisely. That way, you're at least giving your website a chance to convert.
The best-designed website layouts:
- are F-shaped, guiding the user's eye to relevant info;
- always allow access to the navigation bar and the pages linked within it;
- have well-made call-to-action buttons that stand out from the background;
- have lots of white space, making it easy to find the important content.
Best Types of Website Layouts
Now that you know what a high-quality website layout needs in 2021, it's time to look at a few examples of structures you can use on your website. The following paragraphs will explain the possible patterns of website layouts, but each can be modified to achieve the exact results you're looking for. Let's begin!
The first layout design we'll talk about is the most common one. The main reason this layout type is used so often is its simplicity. The one-column layout, as its name suggests, shows all the content in a single vertical column.
Since you don't want to use an overwhelming number of elements for the reasons we explained above, this is the simplest way to present your site.
Although it might seem overly simplistic at first glance, this layout offers another distinct advantage — mobile responsiveness. If you employ the single-column design, your website will most likely retain the same usability level on all platforms.
You'll find that all of the layout designs we present in this post will have very descriptive names, and the three-boxes type is no different. It creates a hierarchy within your content, by which the first box presents the most important elements, and the other two show less important content.
There are no rules as to what you put inside the boxes, so they can be filled with images, text, or other graphical elements.
Another great layout that facilitates navigation and makes the content easy to consume. The split-screen layout is perfect for websites whose purpose is to present two equally important elements.
The idea is that both of the essential pieces of content you need to present are given the same amount of screen real estate. This means you won't have to choose which element of your site deserves more prominence over the other.
Unlike the previous example, the asymmetrical layout allows you to emphasize one design element over the other by having it take up much more of the screen. This technique has been prevalent in the art world for a long time, so it is no surprise that web designers have adopted it in their work as well.
Asymmetry should not be confused with imbalance. A good asymmetrical layout creates dynamism and tension on the page, facilitating skimming as it focuses the user's attention on specific focal points. It keeps the visitor visually engaged by shifting the color, scale, and size of each asymmetrical piece.
When it comes to making navigation easier, no layout does it better than the fixed sidebar. Since we already explained why navigation is critical to your conversion rate, this is a website layout we would heartily recommend.
The sidebar is always visible on either side of the page, enabling users to get to their desired page in just one click without having to scroll up. The layout is perfect for websites with relatively limited navigation options.