How to improve your website’s menu?
Your website navigation plays a huge roll in how your visitors engage with your website. Navigation affects page views, bounce rate and even conversions (the percentage of visitors convert into leads and customers).
Poor website navigation can have an adverse impact on your bounce rate and pages per visitor. In choosing the words to use in your main navigation links, think first about the terms your customers would use to describe those pages and secondly, think of search engine optimization Some basics that every website user experience should include:
- A search bar that let’s users search for relevant content.
- For some content pages, such as blogs, use a “related posts” or “related pages” to help increase your number of page views.
- A sitemap at the bottom of your page to help visitors find what they are looking for.
- Ensure your website has no broken links.
As always, don’t forget mobile! It’s important to master both your desktop navigation and your mobile navigation. Take time out to check your navigation yourself. Scroll through your site or ask a friend to navigate through your site and analyze it for roadblocks (pages they get lost or stuck on).
Steps to complete this task
Only use needed top-level navigation items (such as your About Us, Contact Us, and Products/Services) – in fact, try to use no more than 5 items in your top-level navigation items (the navigation bar on your website). Fewer items are better for search engines. If your home page has a lot of links, this dilutes the authority passed from it down to your interior pages. This reduces the likelihood that your interior pages will rank in search engine results.
Oftentimes when we see too many links coming off the homepage it is due to a lack of organization rather than a real need. Ecommerce sites are the only typical exception.
Dropdowns are great for your visitors, but not so great for search engines. Dropdown menus can be difficult for search engines to crawl, which is a big downfall. However, if you need dropdowns from your navigation menu, keep it simple. Your navigation bar does not need to link to all 100 pages of your website. Also, if your navigation menu uses dropdowns, give your visitors a visual cue – such as an arrow or a checkmark.
Use fixed headers. A standardized navigation menu on every page can increase your page views per visitor.
The order of your navigation is also important. The items at the beginning (upper left) should be the most important links.
Check your navigation! Ask a friend to navigate through your site and analyze it. A few weeks after creating your navigation, you can also use Answer Engine analytics to look back, and evaluate. Use your results to make navigation tweaks like remove, rename, or move items that aren’t getting clicked. Remember, every business and every audience is unique. Use your numbers to cater your site to your unique audience.
Check your navigation on multiple mobile devices and screen sizes. More than half your traffic is likely viewing your website on a smart phone.
- Make your website load faster.
- Make your website navigation simple and intuitive.
- Write web content that your visitors love.
- Identify pages with high exit rates and improve them.
- Create a funnel to improve goal completions.
- Embed social media functionality within your website.
- Use pop-ups and forms correctly.