94% of consumers say they prefer using websites with better navigation.
38% of people stop visiting websites with poor layout and navigation.
Poor navigation is the reason why 40% of a website’s users pogo stick to competitors’ websites.
The numbers above clearly indicate the importance of website navigation. From directing your online prospects down the conversion funnel to giving your web pages a search ranking boost, good website navigation can do it all for you.
But, is a qualified website navigation plan easy to develop and follow?
A perfect navigation plan is a product of brainstorming coupled with the right knowledge & a deep understanding of user experience. And if you are looking to create a spot-on navigation plan for your website, you are in the right place.
Here are eight useful tips to keep in mind while planning your website navigation.
1. Start Planning from the Start
Start your website navigation plan design project with the primary objective of your website. Whether you just want to inform your website visitors about your business or convert them into qualified leads, or if your website has any unique features that you want to highlight, all these factors need to be considered.
Certainty about your website’s top features will help you decide an order for the top pages & categories that you want on the menu.
2. Create a Hierarchical Plan (Sitemap)
As mentioned above, knowing your website’s top features will help you place them in the desired order. In this section, we are talking about that order.
When your website’s navigation plan is in its early stages, it may appear as a diagram displaying your menu’s layout. This diagram is generally referred to as the sitemap.
Even though the diagram may not represent your menu’s final design, it still signifies the hierarchy, so we know about the pages to be placed at the top and those that are to be placed at the end of the menu.
For a smoother navigation planning process, create a sitemap diagram.
3. Don’t Experiment too Much
Yes, heads up for creativity and innovation, but is your site’s navigation menu an area that can be experimented with?
For sure, you have control over your site, and so you can try out different ideas. However, if it’s your business website and you are looking for quick results, it’d be best to go with designs & ideas that are tried-and-tested.
That being said, if you have a secondary website that you use for some other campaign, you should go ahead and implement your unique ideas. Who knows, you might get another success story?
4. It’s Best When the Logo Takes Users Back To Home
While most website owners prefer linking their site logos back to home, there are many who choose the unconventional way.
Indeed, there’s nothing wrong with linking the logo to a page that is not your website’s home page, but your users won’t be expecting that. In fact, in most cases, your users will plant clicks on the logo, just to get back to the home.
So, try not to confuse them. Simply link your logo to the homepage.
5. Use User-Friendly Language
The language that you use in your site’s navigation menu also determines its performance.
It’s 2020, and every other piece of content available on the web is personalized. From emails to blog posts, videos to infographics, all of them are talking to no one but “You.”
This conjures up a sense of comparison in users’ minds, due to which they may not be impressed by copies that don’t address them.
So, while labeling your website’s navigation menu, choose the right language.
For example, you can call your online shop the “Marketplace,” or you can call the checkout cart “Basket.” The aim is to give a feeling of familiarity, which can be achieved by using words that your consumers can relate to.
To optimize your results, also run insightful A/B tests.
6. Hire a Qualified Developer
No matter how much time, effort, and thought you put into your website’s navigation menu, you may not be able to implement the plan until you choose a qualified website design & development service.
While hiring a web development service, check the company’s ratings & reviews.
It’s important to determine whether the company has a good reputation and maintained a fair track record. Apart from this, you can also consider other factors such as budget and experience.
7. Create a Design that Looks and Feels Great on All Devices
With over 51% of Internet users accessing the web through their mobile phones, we can’t overlook the need for focusing on mobile-friendly content. As you prepare a navigation menu for your business’ website, you wouldn’t want your mobile prospects to find your website design tricky.
The best way to ensure that your navigation menu is mobile friendly is to implement a responsive design.
Most of the popular content management systems build websites & blogs with a responsive navigation menu that adapts to the device that the site is being accessed from.
Responsive and mobile-friendly website design is what you must ask your developer for.
8. Make Sure The Menu Isn’t Annoying
If you use the Internet actively, at some point in time, you might have come across a website with an annoying navigation menu.
Now comes the question. What does annoying mean?
Well, the moment you try to bring the cursor down from the top, the menu may hover down. Many times, this may confuse website visitors, plus, it can also distract them from the prime topic.
While planning your website’s navigation menu, avoid making this mistake.
Website navigation plays a vital role in boosting conversion rates, impressing visitors, and improving search rankings. However, excellent results don’t come without an air-tight implementation of the right navigation design ideas.
In this post, we shared eight tips that anyone designing a navigation plan must keep in mind.
Hopefully, this was helpful.