Photo courtesy of Pixabay
There’s no point taking the time to create a website for your business if you don’t also take the time to ensure that the site is easy for your visitors to find their way around.
Good web design answers the important questions about your business and what it’s about, and that means that your website’s navigation needs to be spot on if you’re going to convince visitors to become customers. Unfortunately, so many businesses, of all shapes and sizes, get it wrong.
Here are some simple things you can do to improve the navigation of your website and make it a whole lot easier for visitors to access the information they require, make purchases, and get in touch:
Plan, Plan, Plan
Before you even think about working on your company website, sit down and plan its content and navigation. Create a flowchart that shows the direction you want visitors to take through your website and the main areas that you’d like to draw their attention to. Pay particular attention to your website’s main navigation and the categories you want to include.
Check Out the Competition
It makes sense to see what the competition is doing if you want to get your website’s navigation right. Make a list of the 20 biggest competitors you have and make a point of going through their website like a customer. This should give you some valuable insights into good and bad navigation, which h you can then use to make your website one of the best in your niche.
Pare it Down
Ideally, if you want to make your website as simple and informative as possible, paring down the number of navigation options on offer is a good idea. The fewer options there are, the less cluttered the site will feel and the easier it will be for visitors to find exactly what they want.
Keep it Clean
Keeping your website as free of animations, auto playing videos, and sizeable images will ensure that your website loads more quickly. It will also keep distractions to a minimum so that the focus of your customers is on your content, products and services. There is nothing worse than a slow loading website to make things difficult and send potential customers away, so avoid temptation and leave those unnecessary elements out.
Make it Static
Your website’s navigation menu should stay in the same place from page to page. It shouldn’t be at the top of the homepage and the side on the about me section.
You might think that image-based links look more interesting, but they’re also more difficult for some users to find, and they don’t work as well when it comes to search engine optimization and boosting your website’s position on Google.
Use Basic Language
A lot of companies are tempted to use flowery technical language because they think it makes them look more professional, and this might well be the case, but it also makes it more confusing for their users. So, at least when it comes to menu headings and page titles keep things short and simple.
Be Very Specific
Instead of making your navigation labels general, like saying ‘services’ make them more specific like ‘divorce’ and ‘criminal law’ This will ensure your visitors find exactly what they want quickly and give you another handy SEO boost.
Avoid Drop Down Menus
If you really want to include drop down menus on your website, go ahead and do so, but be aware that a lot of users find them annoying because they can start to move around, and thus cause people to click the wrong link, and get in the way. They’re also a lot more difficult for the likes of Google to crawl, which means your website might not be as easy to find in the first place.
Include a Search Box
Including a search box right at the top of your website is a great way to help your visitors out. If despite your best efforts, they still find your website tougher to navigate than they would like, they can simply type that they’re looking for into the box and a list of options will appear.
Excellent website navigation, which enables visitors to move through your website quickly and without issue is a proven way of increasing conversion rate and boosting your website’s performance. It is vital that you take the above steps, and any others that you can think of to ensure that this is a reality for your website.