Best Practices for Website Navigation

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Have you ever heard the saying “it’s what’s on the inside that counts”? My mom repeated that to me dozens of times growing up, especially during those angsty adolescent years when the comparison game was strong. I think of this mantra often, and it’s actually true for website navigation, as well. While it’s important to have a visually appealing website design, it’s equally as imperative to have a functional and easy-to-use platform, which starts with its inner workings and organization. 

Navigation directly affects your website’s overall performance, visitor retention, and conversion. Basically, if your website isn’t easy to navigate or user friendly, you aren’t going to see much return on investment. But how do you get there? How can you ensure that you not only have a nice-looking design, but that you also have one that will help your visitors turn into clients or buyers? At ConvertCraft, we do extensive research and implement organizational strategies to ensure your website is successful. We’ve found that the following are some of the best practices when trying to improve your website’s navigation:

Use Descriptive Titles

Navigation titles aren’t the place for long, drawn-out verbiage, but they do serve as a great opportunity to add clarity to your website with short descriptions. Because your navigation bar is one of the most visible spaces on your site, it’s a great place to tell people a little more about what you offer. Additionally, descriptive navigation titles help search engines to recognize what your website is about. Since these titles appear on every page of your website, solid labels help to show Google that what you’re presenting is reliable information. 

Limit the Number of Links on Your Menu

Sometimes, it’s easy to get carried away with links on your main menu. You have a lot to offer, and you might feel that the public needs to see it all! But the general agreement on the acceptable number of links on your home page is just seven. This is because limiting the number of links on your main page helps your reader to easily find what they’re looking for and to process the information that’s in front of them. What we’re trying to avoid here is information overload.

Additionally, limiting links helps to build your main page’s authority. Search engines recognize websites with higher authority and reward them with enhanced rankings. This authority is passed down to the other pages of your website, which then have a higher chance of ranking, as well. 

Consider Using Breadcrumbs

Breadcrumbs are a great tool for adding extra organization to your website. You’ve likely seen them on the top of the page on a lot of websites. They typically look something like Home > Shoes > Women’s Shoes > Sandals. Each of these words is clickable and helps the reader to easily navigate back to a page where they were previously. With this example, I might be finished looking at sandals and want to go back to the Women’s Shoes page. I could simply click on the Women’s Shoes breadcrumb and it would lead me back to that page. 

Ensure Your Search Feature Works

This might seem like a no brainer, but it’s important to have your search feature in working order so that visitors can easily find a list of potential subjects they want to explore. Your search bar lets your viewers search specifically for topics of interest to them. If they can find those topics without much effort, your chances of conversion are higher.  

As you can see, what’s on the inside of of your website is what counts. The tips and tools above are essential in executing organized and effective site navigation. At ConvertCraft, we can help you clarify your message, implement that message into a web strategy with navigational organization, and grow your business through conversion. Reach out to us today so we can get started on your journey to successful marketing!

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