Conform or Change?
When you view a Webpage or Blog, you expect to be able to find what you want right away. You don't want to have to look all over the place to find the next page in an article or something else that is important to you.
When you look at a page, do you think of how you would like it set up for your own personal navigational needs?
Even though there is no real standard, there is a reason that there are such things as templates and other pre-set ways of doing things. 79% of visitors stay less than 5 seconds. That being the case you have to get their attention right away. If not, they will be gone before you know it.
How do you get people to stay longer? You will have to conform to some of the standards that have been found to work by others. Place things you think are important to the reader where they will see them. As I mentioned in the post on Ad Placement* you will probably want to place links and navigation in the same areas as well.
How you get around the fact that there is only so much room in the prime "real estate" of a page is something that only comes through experience and/or advice from more experienced people. Place things you want the visitor to see first in the primary spaces.
As Jesse said in his advice to me in Critique of My Website** you want to make navigation around your site as painless as possible. You may have to use up some of the space you wanted for something else, but it could be worth it in the long run. If people can find what they are looking for they will stay longer.
One of the reasons that some people are more successful than others is they conform to some of the proven ways of page setup. Surf the net to view other sites you know are successful, they don't have to be the same type business. If you use some of their set up practices, they may work for you as well.
Another is they experiment. Most of the more successful pages you see are always experimenting with new things, layouts, ads. So don't be afraid to experiment yourself, and if you find something that works for you, don't be afraid to change.
**Critique of My Website If you were on the new Home Page and got transferred here through a link in an article, Please Click Here to Return to Working at Home on the Internet (the New and Improved Version). For your convience: E-Mail Questions Good Luck in YOUR Endeavors