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COMPANY BLOG & NEWSROOM

30Aug

5 Ideas For Effective Website Navigation

Who hasn’t stumbled upon web sites that are so confusing you can barely figure them out?  Web design of course involves creativity; however, creative does not mean confusing your website visitors and wasting their valuable time deciphering mysterious icons and pithy phrases.

If potential clients drop by your office, would you welcome them with a Halloween mask and make them walk through some kind of mysterious labyrinth?  Of course not – you would welcome them in a pleasant manner, communicating with them in an effective and professional way, in order to convince them to buy your products or services.

Similarly, your website should convey a professional image, be pleasant to the eye and most importantly be easy to navigate. After all, its whole purpose is to increase conversion rate of your visitors and convince them to buy your products or services.

While there are many factors to take into consideration when designing your website, like the type of your business, your target market and the message and image you want to convey to your target market, there are some standard  criteria to keep in mind when designing any type of website.

Consistency

Search engines might index any page of your site at any time – therefore your site visitors may not access your home page to start. That’s why you should have a consistent top/horizontal navigation bar throughout the whole site that helps your visitors quickly answer the following questions: Where am I? And where can I go?

You can also a vertical navigation bar consistent in all your web pages.  Regardless of your design, make sure to create navigation bars which are instantly recognizable elements of your website.

Using breadcrumb trails are also a good idea. Breadcrumb trails are links usually found directly below the page header that show your site visitors where they are in relation to the homepage.  Yoast has a very popular breadcrumb plugin for WordPress and there are many tutorials out there for creating breadcrumbs in HTML, Javascript, CSS and other platforms – just search “breadcrumbs tutorial” + the platform of your choice.

Consistent navigation is the key to effective website design

Eliminate dead ends

Nothing is more annoying to visitors than to reach a dead end at the bottom of the page and see that they have to scroll all the way to the top to navigate to other pages on your site. So you might want to consider having links at the bottoms of your website as well.

1, 2, Eureka!

Studies show that web surfers are impatient individuals! To make sure they don’t look elsewhere, make sure to make any information accessible in 3 clicks or less.

Site map

It is undoubtedly a great idea to include a site map for websites of more than 8 or 10 sections. Site surfers should be able to access the site map from any page of your website.

A sitemap is a key element in effective website navigation

Internal search tool

An internal search box eliminates the hassle involved in finding specific pieces of information. Your site visitors will enter their query in the search box and within seconds will receive back all relevant matching results.   Google Site Search is one of the most common internal search tools.

These 5 tips are functional ideas that are proven to greatly improve the navigation in any website. Do you have any other ideas to add on this list? It would be great if you share them below. Thanks!

4 comments

  1. Dropbox Feb 11, 2011

    Web design of course involves creativity; your website should convey a professional image, be pleasant to the eye and most importantly be easy to navigate.

  2. Son Hartgrove Mar 09, 2012

    Finding your niche helps you to truly be an “expert” and leads to higher confidence, higher inspiration

  3. Lonnie Petkus Jun 17, 2012

    My spouse and i have no thought what things to declare except that we’ve enjoyed reading your blog post.

  4. Conception Haffner Aug 09, 2012

    I will be sooo pleased to are familiar with your data!

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