The "hunt" is on :-) Use web page analytics to discover to discover which website elements do you come across while website hopping? Does their location on a web page change according to the industry of the website? Most importantly, do you know which of these website elements you should be incorporating into your own site?
Not all websites are created equal. Therefore, not all website elements carry the same value for all sites. Before you determine which web page elements you need to include in your own design, take some time to analyze your web page analytics and evaluate how visitors use and engage with the web elements you currently employ.
Here are just a few main website elements that you should keep an eye on.
The navigational tool bar gives structure to your site and enables customers to both quickly learn about your offerings and easily find what they are looking for, or what they did not even know they were looking for.
Often times, visitors arrive to your site with no expectations, no agenda, just a wandering mouse. They do not have a specific product or service they are looking for. So, take the lead and easily guide them to checkout, a download, or a "contact us" form.
Your toolbar may be located at the top, bottom, right, left, or anywhere you deem as most effective for your individual site. Heatmaps can help you take note of where your visitors are moving their mouse (also a great indicator for where their eyes are moving on a page) and how far down they are willing to scroll, both vertically and horizontally. You might find you need to move important navigational tools above the fold, or duplicate navigational content.
For those customers who arrive to your site with a plan and a set product, service, or goal in mind, the search box is their way to find it. They often donâ€™t have time to navigate through your store and hope their search can focus them in on what they need.
It also helps to make it clear what users are able to search for (ex. address, product, and services). If there are words of encouragement or directions, the white space in the box may not seem so daunting.
Use an icon to identify the search box. Visitors to your site generally want to be comfortable with the look and feel of your site. The more familiarity you are able to create/provide for your visitors, the more success they are likely to have on your site. A magnifying glass is a popular search icon that automatically triggers visitors into search mode.
In-page web page analytics tools can teach you how your individual visitors use/do not use your search box. You may find that the search box is not worthy of your page space or that it reels in more value on your product pages rather than your homepageâ€¦or should be located on both pages.
The search box may also work better on the right as opposed to the left, towards the bottom rather than the top, or as a long search box as opposed to a short one.
Sign up/Feed burner
Encourage customers to stay in touch. A sign-up button or icon never hurts if you have promotional offers, newsletters, or other periodical information to share with your customer base. This is also a good way to find out if visitors to your site are interested in your content and your product offering.
Outline your site for your visitors. If your navigational scheme is not clear, the site map offers visitors a bird's eye view of the entire website on one clear page.
You company logo is your signature mark. It sets the tone for your branding, marketing efforts and perhaps even the overall design of your web pages.
There are many more website elements to consider and perhaps include in your own design, discover what they are using web page analytics. The key point to remember is that these website elements can and should be incorporated in a way that fits your own visitors needs and not any one else's.
Happy Holidays :-)