Website Design: The Importance of Signposts

Signpost in the Real World

Signpost in the Real World

In the real world, a signpost is used to point you in the right direction. It’s a big obvious sign that usually has a destination and an arrow.

On your website you can use something similar to direct segmented groups of visitors quickly and efficiently to the section of your web site that appeals to them and that you want them to visit.

I have heard different colleagues use different names, they’ve called them image links, page stickers and signposts. But whatever you call them, make sure you use them on your website to help you direct groups of targeted users to specific areas of your website.

Website Signposts: A Definition

Like the real world example of ‘a big obvious sign with a destination and an arrow’, a signpost on the web should contain an obvious visual clue to a destination on your website and then a hyperlink, instead of an arrow, that takes the user to that destination.

A quick example of this: If you sell garden furniture and have a new product line, say hammocks, you might want to draw your visitor’s attention to this. So you would put a clear image of a hammock with a good looking person lying down on it. Across the image is bold text that says, ‘New Range of Hammocks Now In Stock!’. Users who are interested in this destination will click on the image and be taken directly to your new hammocks section.

Note: you don’t need the text, ‘Click Here’ on it. In the same way that the real world signpost does have the text, ‘Go this way’, your visitors will know that your website signpost is going to be click-able.

Website Signposts: Use in Tandem with Your Keywords

If you have regional, industry specific keywords like ‘web design Staffordshire’ then chances are your landing page won’t support this. So if you were looking for a local web designer and searched ‘web design Staffordshire’ in Google then chances are you will arrive at the Rake Mark homepage.

Web Design Staffordshire as a phrase is not featured on the Rake Mark home page but you will be in the right place and there needs to be something there to help you find your way. This is where website signposts can help your visitor get the visual clue that what they want is here and get there quickly and easily.

Website Signposts: Summary

A signpost in the real world is a big obvious sign that usually has a destination and an arrow. On your website a signpost should contain an obvious visual clue, like an image, that takes a segmented group of users to a destination on your website via a hyperlink

The real power of using signposts comes from the speed at which they can direct the traffic that has arrived onto your website onwards to the required information.

Also this can be used in tandem with your search keywords. If you were ranking for ‘web design Staffordshire’ then your landing page, especially if it is your home page, is unlikely to scream Web Design Staffordshire and signposts can then be used to direct those landing visitors to the area they want to go.

  9 comments for “Website Design: The Importance of Signposts

  1. 31st July 2011 at 9:20 pm

    Learning a ton from these neat articles.

  2. Agnes Carmichael
    8th February 2012 at 8:17 am

    Aw, this was a very nice post. In idea I wish to put in writing like this moreover – taking time and actual effort to make an excellent article.

  3. Sherwood Coda
    2nd March 2012 at 10:10 am

    You are my inspiration , I own few web logs and often run out from to post .

  4. Rob Strange
    22nd April 2012 at 6:45 pm

    wonderful writing. good information. I’m going to apply some of these web design tips to my website. I’ve never really looked at my website in this way, with the journeys. Like it

  5. Millie
    1st May 2012 at 3:12 am

    Your article is as astounding. Never looked at website design in this way before. It kind of makes sense when you think about it. Great post, thanks again

  6. Sharkie
    5th May 2012 at 10:28 am

    Good article. We’ve been using journey led web design on our own site for a while now. We re-designed the whole web site based on user journeys. A web journeys article would be a good follow up to this.

  7. juliana
    1st November 2012 at 8:42 pm

    A good website design is really important to increase the confidence level of your website’s visitors..

  8. Jai Kaeppel
    5th November 2012 at 8:08 am

    Great article, thanks

  9. Tim Grignon
    5th November 2012 at 9:32 am

    Really helped my website, we use signposts all the time now, great article, thanks

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