These 6 simple website navigation best practices will ensure that your website is easy to navigate and will increase your sales and conversions.
This is part 3 of a 4-part series on increasing sales through good website design and by improving it’s usability.
First up, I hope you’re enjoying our ‘Website Usability’ checklist and series!
Now that we’ve covered the first two parts, it’s time to start looking at some of the website navigation best practices and apply these to your website.
Once people generally know ‘who you are’ and ‘what you do’, they need clear paths to the content that interests them.
Information and website architecture is a huge topic, but these website navigation best practices cover some of the basics.
1. Main Navigation Is Easily Identifiable
The first website navigation best practices is to sort out your menu! Almost every site on the web has had a main menu since the first browsers came on the market. It’s probably why it’s one of the most viewed sections of a website! (Remember the heatmap of users eyeballs that we shared previously?)
Make your main navigation easy to find, read, and use.
If you have two or more navigation areas, make it clear why they’re different. If possible, only have 1 navigation area.
2. Navigation Labels Are Clear & Concise
Another one of the website navigation best practices is to standardize your menu labels with industry standards. Don’t say ‘Communicate Online With Our Team’ when ‘Contact’ will do just fine.
Your main navigation should be short, to the point, and easy for mere mortals to grasp.
Another reason for this is that 52% of website visitors are on a mobile device and while ‘Communicate Online With Our Team’ sounds cool, it actually takes up a lot of screen space on a mobile device which makes the navigation look too busy!
3. Number Of Buttons/Links Is Reasonable
Another one of the website navigation best practices is to limit the number of choices a user has.
Psychologists like to argue about how many pieces of information we can process, but if you start to get past 7-or-so menu items, think hard about whether you need them.
This menu is just plain boring and average.
Do you see how easy it is to navigate with a simple, clean menu with great images?
4. Company Logo Is Linked To Homepage
This may sound minor, but
People expect logos to link to home-pages, and when they don’t, confusion follows.
I’ve seen video of users clicking on a logo over and over, with no idea what to do next. So make sure your logo links to the homepage, it’s just best practice.
5. Links Are Consistent & Easy to Identify
The underlined, blue link is a staple of the web.
A little artistic license is fine, but consider at least making your links either blue or underlined.
Links should stand out, and you should use them sparingly enough that they don’t disrupt your content.
6. Site Search Is Easy to Access
Usability guidelines tend to prefer the upper-right corner of the page for the site search. Keep the button simple and clear – ‘Search’ still works best for most sites.
If you have a site search, make sure it’s prominent.
If you don’t have a site search, then add one. You won’t believe how many people use it!
PRO TIP: Add analytics to your site search and you can see what people are looking for. If many people can’t find the same thing, you know you have a navigation issue, and you can then make that item more accessible for improved conversions!
Check our head to head comparison between email marketing and social medias. Make sure you check the detailed infographic to find out which is better for you.
As always, make sure you have a clear call to action on your website and with that goal in mind, you’ll find configuring your navigation that much easier.
For those who like acronyms, and pithy sayings, KISS (Keep It Simple Stupid) applies to your navigation!
Read our next article in the good website design series:
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