Website navigation is a hot topic among copywriters and SEO experts! Your website’s navigation will have a huge impact on bounce rates - and therefore conversions and sales.
Visitors want to find information easily and quickly. If not, they'll leave your page.
Therefore, a clear website navigation structure is essential to help your visitors find what they want instantly.
What is website navigation?
Website navigation refers to how people move through your website. Is your website layout clear and easy for people to use? Can they find the info they need easily?
Easy navigation basically means keeping things simple. You can improve both the user experience and SEO by following the three rules of website navigation:
With the correct website navigation, visitors can easily find your blog, your contact details, or your email signup page.
6 tips for easy website navigation
So, to help people navigate your website easily, follow these 6 simple rules:
1. Label your menu clearly
Keep page titles simple, and follow the same colours and fonts etc for them all. And when it comes to colour and fonts, really think about what is easy to see. Often dark blue is too dark, and white writing on a grey background can also be hard to see.
Clear and recognizable page names help the visitor to find what they want - fast! Rather than confuse people, just use the word “About” for the about us page and "Blog" or "News" for the blog page. Your website’s navigation menu isn’t the place for jokes or "witty" puns - unless you are absolutely sure it works with your band. It's much better to use the clearest design and text possible so visitors know what you mean.
Likewise, offering too many choices in your page menus can make it hard for web crawlers to decipher the content and rank it in Google.
2. Make hypertext obvious
Hyperlinks should be obvious by looking different from the body copy. The easiest way to achieve this is simply to make hypertext a different colour or make it bold.
And always set any external links to open in a new tab so visitors don't leave your site.
3. Create mega dropdown menus if necessary
If you absolutely can not limit your menu items because your website contains a lot of content, just create a mega menu. This allows you to set up classic drop-down menus and offer more content options.
Rather than having a cluttered site, you can separate your products or services into categories, allowing for a more orderly browsing experience.
4. Make sure that the website navigation is 100 percent responsive on mobile
Many people will access your website on their mobile. Therefore it's essential your website has been designed to be viewed on smartphones and tablets.
What does this mean? Firstly, the website design needs to be adapted for smaller screens and checked in real-time to ensure the layout has been optimised.
Secondly, a mobile-friendly site is one that loads quickly because it is often accessed via 3G or 4G networks.
5. Use the footer
Make use of the space at the bottom of the page!
You can simply repeat the header navigation bar so that people don’t have to scroll up to find the link they want. Or you can expand on the header navigation bar by adding other links to important pages on your site.
6. Install user behavior reports
Behavior reports can be a really great way to see how people use your site, rather than just guessing or assuming - people might not use it how you think!
Crazy Egg Heatmaps use color temperature to show you where your visitor's eyes go, while Scrollmaps are also highly useful to see how and where people scroll. This can help you see which pages are most popular, which pages people scroll all the way down, or which pages people leave immediately.
Of course, once you have the right navigation you also need clear and clever copy for your website! The layout of your web copy also helps people navigate your content.
So, whether you need a whole new copy deck or just a quick edit of the existing copy, please feel free to get in touch.
Let's get people wanting to read more, know more, or buy more from you via your website!
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