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Using the ‘Cone Principle’ to Structure Your Home Page

February 11, 2015

Making a good impression is critical when it comes to your website’s homepage. After all, you’ve worked hard to get your visitors there. Now you want them to stick around for as long as possible. The structure of the home page can have a huge impact on keeping your visitors on your site.

How your web content is presented is essentially what the structure is all about. Imagine seeing a book at a store. Is the cover enticing? Does it make you want to pick up the book and start reading? How about the title? Does it reel you in?

Structuring your website using the Cone Principle can help improve your site’s impact on reader retention. This essentially works by catching a reader’s attention with a simple visual, then provides valuable information throughout the rest of the page and site. Studies have shown that more people will respond better to visuals than plain text.

The design of a website is the main criteria for establishing the site’s credibility. With the Cone Principle, both of these criteria are met. With a smart arrangement of images, just enough text, and simple navigation, you can help significantly improve your web page’s presentation.

4 Steps to Structuring Your Home Page Using the Cone Principle

1. Begin with a bright image, including your logo and title

Just like the book metaphor we used earlier, imagine your home page in that manner. Select an image that accurately reflects your business, and make sure that it’s large enough to cover the width of the page.

At the top, your logo should be featured, as well as a few important tabs on the navigation bar. Keep these tabs all on one line in order to avoid clutter. Giving your visitor too many options to choose from will just confuse them. Add a short line of text over the image stating what your business is about.

2. Put a spotlight on the main point of your website

Under the main image should be some sort of tagline that highlights your business’ products, services, or expertise. You want your readers to clearly grasp what it is you offer, and why you are an expert in your niche.

3. Draw your visitors in through a call to action

At this point you want to draw your visitors in and take action. Whether you want your visitors to opt in to a newsletter, schedule a consultation, check out your online showroom, or buy a product, your site’s structure should effectively guide them there. The key point here is to keep things as simple as possible. Essentially, this part of your home page is like a “teaser” in a novel, which entices your readers to stick around to get the juicy details.

4. Summarize important content in your website

The last part of your website should dish out all the details of your business, including contact info, prices, testimonials, and so forth. If you’ve got a lot of different products or services, try to break this info up into columns for a cleaner, more organized look. If you’ve got a variety of images on one page, keep them the same size to retain uniformity. This rule applies to text too.

The Bottom Line

You want your website’s visitors to stick around as long as possible so they eventually learn more about your business. The best way to do this is to design your home page and the rest of the site so that it is enticing enough to draw a person’s attention. The Cone Principle isn’t the only way to structure a website, but it sure is an effective one. A well-designed and structured website should be clean and simple, yet offer all the information you want your visitors to see to get them to take action.

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