Your website will receive three types of visitors:
1) Search-oriented user
2) Menu-oriented user
3) Media-oriented user
The search-oriented user will locate the search field on your site and enter keywords, hoping to be presented with a list of several pages that cover their topic of interest. They will select the one that sounds most suitable. They may then return to the search results to select other pages, or refine their search.
The menu-oriented user relies on a well planned menu and navigational system to locate pages that provide the exact information they seek. Your website’s navigation must be user friendly and logical. Ideally, your visitor should be able to find the page they’re after within 3 to 5 clicks. Home pages that offer a few initial choices in ‘magazine ad’ format, and lead the visitors with a well-planned traffic flow strategy are very affective for these visitors.
‘Breadcrumbs’ are also very helpful, enabling these visitors to retrace their steps to follow different forks in the information pathway.
The media-oriented user doesn’t want to search or navigate through your menus to locate initial information about your product(s) or service(s). These visitors want to watch a short summary presentation on the home page that explains what you’re about and what you have to offer. If they like what they see, they will click the links in or surrounding the presentation for more information. If it looks like they will have to click through a bunch of pages to locate information they will immediately return to the search engine to try another site. The home page ‘billboard’ slider is ideal for providing media to these visitors. (Note: A media billboard is not to be confused with the annoying Flash intros that once took up the whole first page.)
The most effective websites provide excellent searchability, a logical intuitive navigational system and some media to provide a quick summary of your benefits and strategic marketing advantage.
Cole has been designing and developing websites since 1997. He's a content strategist and writer, conversion copywriter and online marketing coach.