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Ease of Navigation. Higher Converting Websites #1

26

January

Ease of Navigation. Higher Converting Websites #1

Ease of Navigation: Make sure the site is easy to use and straightforward.

When thinking about how your site will look and be used, make sure that the menu bar is easy to find and is clear. Use headings that aptly describe the information they contain.

Also, don’t try to be overly creative or innovative in a way that makes people confused when they come to your site. Stick to what has worked for other websites and try to make your site look (in general) like the majority of other sites out on the web. For instance, have the menu along the top of the page or on one of the sides. Don’t try to be creative and put it on the bottom of the page or make your headings unclear; this will only confuse and aggravate your visitors.

The navigation of a website is important in helping visitors quickly find the content they want. It can also help search engines understand what content the webmaster thinks is important.

Plan out your navigation based on your homepage. All sites have a home or “root” page, which is usually the most frequented page on the site and the starting place of navigation for many visitors. Unless your site has only a handful of pages, you should think about how visitors will go from a general page (your root page) to a page containing more specific content.

Navigation Best Practices

Create a naturally flowing hierarchy
Make it as easy as possible for users to go from general content to the more specific content they want on your site. Add navigation pages when it makes sense and effectively work these into your internal link structure.

Avoid:

– creating complex webs of navigation links, e.g. linking every page on your site to every other page
– going overboard with slicing and dicing your content (so that it takes twenty clicks)

Use mostly text for navigation
Controlling most of the navigation from page to page on your site through text links makes it easier for search engines to crawl and understand your site. Many users also prefer this over other approaches, especially on some devices that might not handle Flash or JavaScript.

Avoid:

– having a navigation based entirely on drop-down menus, images, or animations
– many, but not all, search engines can discover such links on a site, but if a user can reach all pages on a site via normal text links, this will improve the accessibility of your site; more on how Google deals with non-text files

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