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.
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.
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.
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.
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!