9 Easy Steps to Improve Website Navigation
Did you know that there are over 1.94 billion active websites around the world today?
This huge number makes competition for traffic stiff. It’s vital to invest in your website’s user experience to beat the competition. And one thing that can break or make your visitor’s experience is website navigation.
Navigating a site that lacks a well-defined and logical structure is more likely to lose traffic. It’s frustrating, overwhelming, and all-around unpleasant.
Therefore, you must create a more engaging and easy-to-navigate website. To do that, consider the pointers below:
1. Get Rid of Long Drop-Down Menu
If your drop-down menu feature options that seem extensive, unfamiliar, or fairly complex, consider replacing it.
In fact, very long drop-down menus can annoy, and therefore need to get replaced with a well-detailed page. So, instead of cramming up all your products in a drop-down menu, create a page to showcase them extensively.
You should also incorporate accompanying visuals to ensure that it’s easy for a customer to find the right option.
Make sure that your site’s navigation is simple and uncluttered to avoid confusing and overwhelming users.
2. Make Searching Frictionless
Notably, websites that feature a “site search” function convert more leads into sales because visitors can find products/services easily.
Yes, visitors who search through your site have the intent to act or buy. Thus, featuring a search bar will satisfy your customers’ “I want it now” attitude.
Also, a search bar allows people to quickly key in keyword phrases and find what they want, instead of having to sift through a confusing navigational structure.
A search function will make your website customer-centric. This is beneficial considering that you’re catering to a variety of internet users including prospects, buyers, long-term customers, and knowledge seekers.
3. Build Separate Menus for Dissimilar Audiences
If you’re offering services to two or more distinct groups, consider incorporating a design interface that offers easy navigation for the different users.
This includes dividing your links into two so that visitors can view the pages they want without having to sift through irrelevant content. Also, optimize all your secondary entry points so that their landing pages offer a specific user experience.
For instance, if you’re your catering to two audiences, say employers and job-seekers, have two distinguishable links for each group.
It’s important to identify the main audience for whom the call to action and the main content will be written to. You can do this by:
- Organizing a poll for stakeholders to vote on who’s the site’s most important audience
- Determining your site’s most important audiences in terms of conversions
- Figuring out the audience that accesses your site with the most frequency
You can also make use of visitor tracking to find more information about your target audience.
4. Provide Context
Most high-ranking websites use clues within their drop-down menus so that visitors can find a particular page with one click.
Without a doubt, clues go a long way in making your site easy to navigate. A clue can be a visual, a handy icon, or any other useful piece of info.
For instance, you can include bracketed numbers to show how many entries are in each of your subcategories.
Many a time, website product or category names appear technical to a time-bound visitor, which is why clues make a serious difference in navigability.
Clues can also help prevent the agonizing experiences website mobile users go through because of clunky controls, decreased screen legibility, and slower loading times.
5. Add a Fat Footer
If your website features a complex hierarchy, users are more likely to experience navigational fatigue because of having to expand sub-menu upon sub-menu.
Fat footers are an ideal solution because they enable visitors to see your entire site from a bird’s-eye view. This enables prospects to easily and quickly find a particular service, as soon as they land on your page.
A flat footer is also an excellent way to improve your local SEO.
6. Organize Your Menu Strategically
Neurobiological and behavioural evidence shows that recency and primacy get sub-served by the memory systems for short-term and intermediate memory respectively.
People are likely to experience the serial position effect when reading through lists on your website. Meaning that they’ll probably remember only the last and first items on that list.
Luckily, you can design your website to take advantage of this effect by placing your most important products or services at the end and beginning of your menu.
7. Be Specific
All your navigation labels ought to be clear and straightforward.
Because fancy terms and language may seem trendy, most visitors find them confusing and annoying. So just stick to user-friendly language.
Also, incorporate detailed labels so that new visitors can quickly identify what you offer. For example, instead of labelling a category as “products” label it as “handbags”. This will also help improve your site’s search engine optimization.
It’s important to incorporate clearly displayed breadcrumbs to help your visitors trace their movements in the website.
8. Incorporate Sticky Navigation
Fixed or sticky navigation is basically a website menu that gets locked into place.
This way, it doesn’t disappear as a user scrolls down the site’s main page. Now, sticky menus and bars can be advantageous or disadvantageous depending on your site’s navigation and design purposes.
One benefit is that they increase retention while making it easier for users to view the homepage after browsing through various pages. Think of them as a call to action that’s always available and visible.
9. Use Web Conventions
Web conventions are a set of ground rules used by designers to meet online user expectations.
Website design conventions are so impactful that you can visit a site that’s in a foreign language and still navigate your way around it. Therefore, to create an easy-to-navigate website, don’t attempt to re-invent the wheel.
Follow the same set of rules used by successful designers all over the world. That’s unless you’re sure there’s a better way to designing your website.
Invest in Better Website Navigation
Ultimately, the easier it is to navigate your website, the more time visitors will spend browsing through it. Therefore, invest in a quality website navigation system.
For help with developing and designing your website, look no further than The Web Ally.