In part 3 of our 5-part series on a winning website, we’ll talk about why your website needs clear, easy-to-use navigation. Navigation is a vital part of your web design. This is how your visitors will move around your website and find the different pages that showcase your products or services. When a potential customer has decided that you’re worth considering, they better be able to find their way around without trouble. If they can’t find what they expect to find quickly and easily, you can expect them to turn right around and leave. Avoid these common website navigation problems:
- Place your navigation in an obvious location, like an aisle sign in a store, so that consumers can find exactly what they are looking for. The menu should be visible immediately upon loading a page, no matter what device a customer is using. A Menu button on a mobile site is fine, so long as it’s easy to find. For larger screens, use the available screen real estate to clearly display your navigation options.
- Having 10 links in your menu is fine if you’re a publisher, but don’t clutter your navigation with anything that does not serve your primary business objective. You don’t want to distract your customers from the reason they’re here. Think about the critical pieces of information your customers need to make a buying decision, make sure they’re represented in the menu bar, and cut out everything else.
- Customers are likely to read the links in your navigation menu left-to-right. Use that behavior to lie out the steps you want them to take. For example HOME-PRODUCTS-PRICING-BUY NOW. Look at what I have, consider my prices, and make a purchase. That’s easily digestible and leads them right where you want them to go.
When it comes to websites, the navigation system acts like a road map to all the different areas and information contained within the website. If the navigation is clear, the visitors will stay and have a good experience, which ultimately leads to more business for you.