We have to agree that, “Little things make a big difference” Each one of us has been in a situation like – going to a website searching for the specific information and as you navigate through the website you lose the way you get in. In this situation, many people feel frustrated and give up on the website and just go with the Google search instead.
Your website is a perfect example of the quote mentioned above. The structure and labels of your website navigation have a huge impact on your site results. Your website showcases all your services and products. Moreover, the actual purpose of the website is to communicate effectively with the customers directly.
It tells all about your brand story while attracting visitors, engaging them and converting them into your customers or leads. The main purpose of your website is to help your people easily and quickly find the solution for their problem or their need. You can’t achieve your goals without clear and intuitive navigation.
It is a fact that your website navigation has a huge impact on the sales, conversions and bounce rates. If your visitors can’t figure out what they want or what they are searching for on your landing page, they simply exit your website and find a different website to peruse. To avoid this issue, create clear and hierarchical website navigation and help your visitors to find what they need or want.
To scroll or just click? There are more website navigation strategies which grab the attention of the visitors’ eye. If you the one who is searching for the best website navigation tips, examples and best practices, then you landed on the right platform.
Why Website Navigation is Important?
In general, the website navigation primary objective is to help the audience find the information they need.
In a business perspective, strong website navigation plays a very important role and aids your visitor decisions. The navigation shows the path to your content and moves them to the buyer’s journey. But when it comes to Search Engine Optimization, it is very crucial to success.
Google and other search engines like Yahoo and Bing take the page level and interaction signals from user behavior on your website as factors to rank your website. If your user can’t find what they want or need immediately, the poor engagement signals bounce like a negative factor which will be the main reason for your website rank drop.
Always remember that your website navigation may make or break your user experience and their experience directly impacts your results. Navigation affects your traffic and conversions.
Types of Website Navigation:
After getting to know about the importance of navigation, let’s have a glance at the most common website navigation types which you can use them on your business website.
- Scroll or click
- Menus and sub-menus
- Buttons, icons, and images
- Linked text
Scrolling and Clicking:
Here scrolling can consider as a behavior than a form of navigation, but it is one of the important design choices when mapping your website content. In this increasing smartphone world, scannable content makes more impact.
In case of visitor experience, which content is available for scrolling on a single page and which content requires clicking down a button or menu are the important factors. By giving your users the right information at the right times with these design decisions, you can easily guide your user journey.
Menus and Sub-menus:
For most of the people, menus are the first type of website navigation that comes to their mind. Menus are used as structural navigation where it helps the users to move up and down throughout your website.
Side and top menus, carousel or side-scrolling content, drop-down menus, thumb zone menus are the most popular and important website designs which are mostly used by your people. The type of menus you used and where you placed them on your website completely depends on your users’ needs and goals.
Buttons, icons, and images:
These are extremely popular navigation forms. We can see, clickable images are often used in the website blogs and case studies landing pages. They easily grab the user attention, eye-catching and most importantly they are mobile-friendly as well.
Buttons help your website visitors’ move forward and are widely used navigation option. These are easily understood by your users which help them to navigate within your website.
Well, most of the internet users can easily understand icon settings and especially the shopping cart icon leads the people to the purchase. Icons are used as utility navigation which helps your users to access the tools in your website.
It is the standard navigation form which doesn’t require much effort. With the linked text, your users move around your website. One of the most commonly used forms is, “If you are enjoying the content, click on the similar blog or content”.
In addition to this, the other familiar linked text navigation types are external links to other resources, table of contents, internal links within your content, landing page, link to other landing pages or other website content.
Here on this page, we have furnished the website navigation best practices. We have also given you the design ideas and tips along with some examples of what you can do and what not to do with your website’s menu or design.
Website Navigation Best Practices:
Did you ever think what’s happening in the website navigation world? If you are starting your website, you think tweaking your website navigation gives you best results. What’s the first thing you have to do? Confused about where to start and what you have to do.
The website navigation reality depends on how much your visitor engaged with your website. If you miss even one website navigation best practices, it results in a loss of conversion with your users. Follow the below furnished best practices to improve user experience mostly efficiently and effectively.
Here “what we do” doesn’t represent “what you do”. Neither does your services, products or solutions. Descriptive navigation uses key phrases mainly for two reasons such as:
Your website navigation descriptive labels are good for search engines:
A navigation bar is an important place to indicate relevant content to search engines such as Google, Yahoo, and Bing. As your navigation appears on every web page, the descriptive label shows that you are related to the topic provided.
Descriptive labels are good for your visitors as well:
The navigation bar is very prominent visually where it communicates instantly. With the help of descriptive labels, you can list your main services and products at a glance. It also helps your users to know what your company does, what you offer. So that they will know that they are on the right platform.
Streamline navigation bar:
We see most of the websites have either too many or too fewer links in their header navigation bar. You have to keep in mind that what your people to do on your website and also consider what your visitors want. For instance, you want your visitors to convert into your customers. But to convert, they might want to know more about your company or want to know your company’s philosophy.
If your navigation menu looks like a cluttered, just consider re-organizing your website to look better. Because of the poor navigation results in the loss of most of your visitors. Design your website navigation by using main heading, sub-menu and other links which are categorized well below of the sub-menus.
Keep it simple and don’t forget footer:
Use simple and clear design and text so that your visitors know what they mean. The reason for most of the websites use “About” or “About us” or “About me” page is to make clear and recognizable content.
In case, if you are using WordPress, you can get thousands of themes which include fat footers as well. Use them on your website as an advantage. If you don’t want to include so many links, then make use of that space.
You can repeat the header navigation bar to avoid scroll up and down to find the link that your visitors want. Even you can expand your header navigation bar by adding other important links on your website.
Separate sidebars and put navigation at a constant place:
Your sidebar shouldn’t have to look like rest of the content on your web page. Most of the websites make this sidebar colorful. Some design the sidebar with a different background color and content body with other.
You can keep either white space or negative space as per your preference where both forms work well with the navigation. But make sure to have plenty of separation between your sidebar and other designs.
You need to be creative but you have to be careful when it comes to your user experience. Keep the navigation in the places where people expect to find such as a sidebar, header navigation bar, and footer. You can use these areas so that your visitors can find them easily. If you want to add more creativity, you use multimedia and make sure that your visitors can click it.
Website Navigation Examples:
Now you have a better understanding of what is website navigation, types, and its best practices. Let’s have a glance at the best website navigation examples.
The WE3 demonstrates you about how best practices of website navigation can mold to fit into your website or business specific needs.
- It shows the “Find Friends in my City” link where upon clicking on that, you can locate your friends in your place.
- Download button allows getting whatever you want.
- Search option which is a very important website navigation so that your users can find whatever they want.
- Social icons are extremely social-oriented website navigation links. So by highlighting these links can make a perfect sense to your header navigation.
This website looks very simple and highly intuitive.
Here we have Contact which is very essential for a website. You have to keep it on every page of your website.
Then we have Core pages such as Learn and Shop which shows more options and narrow down options for the visitor needs.
Next Search bar which allows a user to search whatever they want that saves their time and also reduces your bounce rate.
You have to remember that a good website navigation design can enhance your user experience, gives them confidence upon using your product and provide product credibility. The best website navigation promotes usability whereas poor navigation results in fewer users.
If you have any queries related to this topic, don’t hesitate to share them with us. Just drop your queries in the comment box below and we will get back to you soon with right solutions.