When we visit the website we use its navigation to help us find what we are looking for. Unfortunately, many websites have navigation that wasn’t particularly well planned. But little things make a big difference. The structure and labels of your navigation can have a huge impact on results. Navigation affects your website traffic and website conversions. Here is a checklist for website navigation best practices.
Make Clear Navigation
When website visitors doesn’t know where to click and see the information or not easily find where to look for the information, most of the time they will leave your website immediately. So your navigation must be clear and reduce confusion. So it will be easier for your visitors to click through your website and get information which they looking for.
The use of clear labels, that are obvious at a glance, lets visitors know what your company does. From the start, they will know they are at the right place and how to get to where they want to be. Thoughtfully consider the terminology you use for the navigation of your website, making it easy for visitors to find what they are looking for.
Avoid Format-Based Navigation Labels
What are format based navigation labels? Such as “Videos” “Photos” “whitepapers” and “Gallery” these navigation labels tell format of the content to visitors but not the topic. Remember visitors are not visiting to your website to see photos and videos but they are visiting to get the information or answers. So when label your navigation use the topic rather than format-based navigation.
Limit Number of Menu Items
Avoid creating menus with too many items. Lot of menu links on the homepage is not good. Limit the number of links in your main navigation is good. Few items in your navigation is good for search engine optimization. I suggest maximum seven menu items.
When it’s come to search engine optimization your home page is the most authority with search engines because more sites link to your homepage than to your inner pages. This authority flows down to deeper pages through your navigation.
If your home page has hundreds of links, this dilutes the authority passed from it down to your inner pages. This reduces the likelihood that your inner pages will rank.
The nice, clean and consistent navigation helps improve visitor’s experiences on your site. The issue on inconsistent navigation, it will reduce the quality of the website. Especially when you have a item on the menu and that are not linked will reduce your website trust and increase your visitors frustration.
Use visual appearance to show which items are links and which are not, for example, if you have headers as part of a mega menu, use a different font style, color or white-space to indicate they are headers and not links
Secondary navigation should also be designed consistently across your website. Apply the same focus and consideration to secondary navigation that you do to primary navigation. Regardless of where visitors are headed on your site, you want to provide a great experience.
Reduce Menu Hierarchy
Allow your website visitors to reach any of the pages in your website within one or two clicks. When you have less level it is quicker, easier and less confusing for your customers to get to where they want to be. Limit the number of levels to help make navigating simple for your visitors.
Separate group is better than nesting group. But make sure that your groupings are consistent with the how your customers view your products. Odd groupings that don’t make sense to users will not help you, even if they help flatten your website hierarchy.
Website Navigation on Mobile Devices
Make your website navigation to mobile friendly is very important. Most of the search engines have high rank for mobile friendly website than others. You can add hamburger icon for your menu. It’s an icon made up of three short horizontal lines, representing a menu. It appears in the top right of mobile websites and clicking it reveals the navigation menu.