Publications aren’t restricted to a specific layout with all content elements remaining static.
These sites have numerous options to rearrange content on their homepages to find what works best for their visitors. Plus, simple changes make the site look fresh.
The following five techniques are simple, but can improve overall time on the site, social sharing and general appearance. You can even train your clients to handle some of these changes on their own.
1. Changing Featured Story
One of the easiest ways to rearrange content is to change the featured story at the top of the homepage. This single piece of content is the hook publications use to entice visitors to click the latest or most popular story and continue browsing from there. Changing this story on a regular basis ensures visitors are always seeing something new in the featured section. Some publications go the extra mile by having a featured slider with several stories in rotation, all of which can be changed at any given time.
2. Moving The Call To Action
Publications have calls to action just like any other website. This is usually an email signup, connecting with a social network or sharing the site on social media. The CTA doesn’t always have to be in the same place or even look the same. One day the CTA in the sidebar could feature just your social media channels and the next day it could showcase the newsletter email signup. The placement of the CTA in the sidebar can also change to see what works best for your clients’ visitors to improve results.
A CTA can also be a list of popular stories. Adding these to an area of the sidebar versus having them under the featured story is a good way to rearrange without leaving visitors wondering what’s popular. It also gives the site a way to place more stories on the homepage.
3. Arranging Footer Content
The footer is often ignored, especially for rearranging content. It’s actually a good place to put an extra CTA or important links, such as About Us, Contact and FAQs. These links can be placed in the footer instead of the header, making the header less crowded and more visually appealing. Depending on the publication, links to different categories could also be placed in the footer. Work with your clients to test the footer content arrangement to see what’s most effective.
4. Changing Header Content
The size and content placed in the header can always be rearranged. If the client wants more content in the footer, the size of the header could be reduced. The header could be increased to include a CTA, menus or an interactive image.
Changing what’s in the header along with the size affects how a visitor’s eyes are drawn to the content on the homepage. For instance, a header that’s too large might prevent visitors from instantly noticing featured content while one that’s too small might cause visitors not to notice any navigational links.
5. Altering Content Layout
Changing the content layout is also an effective way to rearrange content. For instance, the Celebrity content block that appears below the featured story could be switched with the Lifestyle block further down the page to help increase the popularity of the category. The entire layout can also be altered. For instance, if all content is arranged in a two column layout now, it could be rearranged in a three column layout.
When altering the entire layout, there are endless possibilities. Your client could have a featured story for each category with three smaller content blocks listed below the featured story. Multiple sliders could be added to the homepage for a constantly changing look and content that’s refreshed regularly.
Layout plugins, such as Conductor, are ideal for rearranging content sections along with changing the content in each section. Plus, either the developer or the client can use the plugin. This makes it easier on everyone so they can quickly change and rearrange any content on the homepage or entire site.
Publication homepages don’t have to be boring static pages. Help your clients rearrange their content to better fit the needs of their visitors and make the entire page more aesthetically pleasing. From simple story placement changes to altering the layout slightly, every little change makes a major difference in site performance.
Want to help your clients rearrange content easily? Start by installing the Conductor plugin today.