Easy and comprehensive navigation within your website is essential. If a website is too complicated to get around, visitors will be put off and go elsewhere. In comparison, a website that is easy to navigate and signposts users as to where they should be going will result in higher engagement and conversion rate.
1. Before even setting to work on a website, plan the content and navigation. Consider how you want your visitors to move through the website and the key focus areas that you want to call their attention to. The most important content categories that relate to your website should be found in the main navigation and also in featured call-to-action boxes.
2. Make the navigation simple. Lower the number of options on offer. The design needs to be uncluttered to avoid overwhelming and confusing the user.
3. Ensure the website is consistent by keeping the navigation in the same place and using the same colours, positions and fonts for navigation throughout the site. The main menu should be in the same place on every page.
4. Use text based links that are searchable rather than images as this will help with search engine optimisation.
5. Use clear, straightforward language for your page titles. Fancy language or terms may seem trendy to add, but may annoy or confuse users.
6. Be specific with navigation labels. Be specific: for example, instead of 'products' use 'handbags'. This will help communicate what you do and will help with search engine optimisation.
7. Make use of breadcrumbs and clearly display them at the top of a page to show your web visitors where they've been and how they got there. For example, Home > Handbags > Clutch Bags.
8. Beware of drop down menus. Many users find them irritating. If a user moves to hover over a main menu to navigate, a drop down menu can stop them mid-action and create confusion in offering more options. Additionally, they can negatively affect website optimisation as search engines find them hard to crawl.
9. When all else fails, your website visitor will use the search box if they can't find what they're looking for. Make sure this feature works well and allows for misspellings.
Good website navigation that allows your users to quickly and easily move throughout the site can improve conversion rate and overall performance. It is essential to think about and map out this process before embarking on web design.
Conduct research amongst other websites including competitors to see what works and what doesn't. And ask an unbiased panel to test the navigation of your website to get feedback on its usability.
Core Media Design Ltd
48 Great Western Street
Frome, Somerset, BA11 1FZ