The importance of website navigation
Many people think website navigation merely tells people where to go and what to do. In fact, it does way more than this. The way you structure your website navigation is very important to the performance of your site.
Search engines will use the navigation of your website as one primary factor when determining the ranking of your site. Overall, the navigation helps with conversions and site traffic. Everything from the structure of your menu and the identification tabs of your content has an enormous impact on how your website performs, both for search engines and user experience.
Today we are going to look at how vital navigation is for your website.
Information must be easy to find and engaging
If a visitor to your site cannot find what they are looking for and finds your content less than helpful or confusing, they will move on to another option pretty quickly. Being clear with your navigation is an important way to offer up information quickly. People don't like to navigate sub-menus of sub-menus.
It's always best when creating navigation tags to use descriptive labels for everything. Descriptive labels not only tell the visitor exactly where things are, but they also have huge benefits when it comes to search engines.
If somebody searches Google for something specific like 'web design' and your navigation bar only says services, you may rank lower than you could have if you had a tab that says 'web design'.
If there is one thing we know about search engines, it's that people usually search for something they specifically want. It's a great idea to do a little research into industry-relevant keywords and incorporate them where possible into your navigation.
Ensure your drop-down menus are not getting in the way
There are so many websites out there that use dropdown navigation nowadays. These menus, if not well designed, can do more harm than good.
Dropdown menus can be frustrating for the visitor and often have a habit of disappearing should the mouse roll off them slightly.
A simple solution to wayward menus is a stationary drop menu. These menus offer the beauty of a dropdown but also give you the option to incorporate a considerable number of categories in a single menu. These menus can be great, especially for larger companies who offer a lot of services.
Visit duration on your site will increase
As simple as it sounds, the more user-friendly and cleaner the navigation, the longer visitors will remain on your site. Like we have previously mentioned, when somebody lands on your website, they are looking to make sure you do what they want.
Having navigation that shows precisely what they want the moment they land on your page will increase the amount of time they spend on the site.
Reduction in bounce rate
If you have an outstanding design when it comes to navigation, this will play a massive part in the reduction of bounce rate on your site. When a visitor lands on your website and finds it is just confusing and difficult to navigate, it's more or less a guarantee they will bounce.
If the navigation is poorly done and it sends them to the wrong page, they will bounce. There are so many things that may seem minor, but they can be detrimental to your site and increase the bounce rate.
As we all know, Google is more judgey than Judge Judy. If your site has a higher than average bounce rate, Google will deem your site unhelpful and rank you lower.
Better user experience increases website visitor returns
If you visit a website and you have found that you've had a good user experience, more often than not, you will return or better still, refer someone else to the site. This should be the aim of your website. Having a positive experience with a website will always be memorable.
When a user can easily navigate through the site, the user's experience will be positive, and they will more than likely return to your website at a later date.
Just like business interactions, people can build a relationship with a website. If the experience was simple, comfortable and delivered what was expected, people will always return as it’s a website they know and trust.
By making your website easy to navigate and incredibly user-friendly, you are sure to build a following of visitors online.
So, hopefully you can see, good website navigation is a no brainer. It is critically important when it comes to the design of your website; for both your visitors and your SEO.
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