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.