When building a website, one of the most crucial items is the header. The header is at the very top of the screen and is seen on every page. By having a well-designed and thought-out header, your website will become easier for users to navigate through, see the various pages you have published, and interact with you online.
While every design is different, these are the essential elements most headers should display:
The header must include your logo so users consistently see your brand. Typically the logo is in the left hand corner or centered at the top. It’s especially helpful to users when the logo image links back to your homepage. This way if a user gets lost in your site they can always find their way back to the beginning.
A Site Search Bar
By including a site search bar your user will be able to access information from a specific page that may be buried within a blog post or another section of your site. Try to keep your search bar away from any other sign up box that way users don’t get confused. Site search bars are typically found on the lower left or right hand side of the header and are particularly recommended for ecommerce websites.
Phone Numbers + Important Contact Information
Always have your phone number visible for your customers and your operating time in case a user has a question about your business or how to use your site. This reassures users that you are in fact a real business and willing to communicate with them.
ATAK TIP: Don’t forget your customer service phone number if you have one!
Having clear and well spaced navigation tabs make your site visually pleasing and much more efficient for users to find what they’re looking for from any page.
Deals, Specials, Benefits
For your ecommerce website, a well placed deal can be hard to pass up. Free Shipping for orders over $100, Buy 1 Medium and Get a Large ½ Off! These types of offers are great ways to up sell users and appear on every page. When a user trusts you they are more likely to buy from you. Try to clearly explain to shoppers the shipping and return policies in the header for less cart abandonment.
Social Media Icons
Are you trying to get more Facebook likes? Add a like button in the header. Maybe you have an amazing Instagram feed and want people to know all about it. Add the Instagram icon.
ATAK TIP: If you’re going to list your social media accounts then you should list them all. If a user sees your Facebook and Twitter icon and they don’t see your Youtube icon they will assume you only have a Facebook and Twitter account.
Keep your customers aware of their cart items in real time by showing the shopping cart feature on every page. Allow your customers to easily adjust their items by clicking on the icon without going to another page.
Allow users to easily get to their accounts when needed. Users who are ordering from a website are often coming back to check the status of their order. Make the user experience easy for them by showing them, at the very top, where they can most quickly get in to see their order and user information.
The H1 Tag
The H1 Tag is the Most Search Friendly Value Statement. Google favors something called an H1 tag and it is the first piece of text picked up when crawling your page. The H1 Tag is a phrase or sentence on your page positioned at top so google can find it. If you think of a Web page as a sort of outline, then the H1, H2, are the section heading tags serve to divide the page into sections. Your most important headline is your first, H1, headline because this indicates the topic for the entire web page and is where most people look first when they're trying to figure out what the page is about. Google uses this with a heavy weight because this is the first thing the crawler sees, thus there is importance in making this search engine friendly. We also want to squeeze this before a piece of text like welcome or navigation links that can be different. We squeeze this into the header, usually by adding a tagline above the logo in a bar that is sometimes shaded differently.