The human eye seeks the light, and usually locates the brightest spot in the image. If there is one bright spot, that's usually the place we start looking.
There are no definitive rules in photography, and I'm not trying to say that you always need to let the subject be the "bright spot" in the image, but if you want to lead the viewer to the most important part immediately, you should make it be brighter than it's surroundings.
When we look around our eyes tend to follow lines and connected "paths". There are unlimited ways of how to create such paths, but try using "lines" in the environment. It can be tree branches, buildings, roads,...anything that seems to be connected, but not cluttered. Something with contrasts, that's easy for our eyes to identify and "follow around".
I really enjoyed Michael Freeman's book The Photographer's Eye, in which he explains this topic well.