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5 Top Tips for Nifty Navigation

One of the most important elements of your website is your navigation. After all, if users can't find information, it might as well not be there. With that in mind, many businesses fall prey to the temptation to get creative with their navigation – which can lead to disaster, if not done correctly.

Here are five top tips for nifty navigation that won't leave your site visitors cold.

1. Think of Your Viewers First

There are a lot of ways to make your site look great. However, if those methods confuse and frustrate your users, they're not a benefit to your business, but rather a source of significant lost profits.

While it might not be as cool or showy to use the same navigational placement as other sites, when you use graphics that load quickly instead of blinking or fading out, and simple, easy-to-digest text, your readers will thank you – and so will your bottom line.

2. Observe the 3-Click Rule

When you ask your users to click once, you'll lose a large percentage of them. Twice, and you'll be down to the ones that you've firmly hooked. Three clicks, and you'll have the die-hard and the desperate. Any more than that, and you might as well not have the page on your website.

Make sure that every piece of information on your site can be found in three clicks or less. Otherwise, your users will give up before they find what they're looking for – and turn to a more navigation-friendly competitor.

3. Provide Multiple Paths to Product Pages

You may think you know what your viewers want and how they plan to get there, but not everyone shops in the same way. Think about the types of people who might be shopping for your products – perhaps someone who's new to the topic, someone who knows exactly what they want and is comparing prices, and someone who has already been to your site and just wants to finalize the purchase. Create paths through your site to satisfy each potential shopper.

4. Design Navigation to Appeal to Search Engines, Too

While your site visitors are the most important audience you have, search engines also use your navigation to find and index your pages. Make sure that you design navigation that's SEO-friendly while still helping your visitors. Some examples of important navigation elements for SEO include:

  • A site map.
  • CSS instead of Javascript or AJAX-powered navigation.
  • Text links where possible.

5. Utilise Page Hot Spots

Make sure that you help your readers find your navigation easily by placing it in the locations on the website where those readers are most likely to look. So many websites use the top and left-hand side of the screen for their navigation because that's where it's most effective. Don't try to buck the trend just to be different. You want your users to be thinking about your products, not desperately trying to figure out how to find what they need.

Following these five tips for nifty navigation will help your website look great while still making it easy to use. The less time your users have to spend thinking, the more they can spend buying! If you would like a no-obligation consultation to review the effectiveness of your website navigation, please call 08452 579606.