Good web design includes good website navigation

Good web design includes good website navigation

Just looking great isn’t enough.  Good website navigation is a mandatory part of website development.  If navigation is poor your website visitors will never be able to find the content they are looking for, no matter how awesome the web design is.

You might feel that website navigation is minor but it really is a little thing that makes a huge difference.  The user experience is a major issue that can make or break a website.  The best possible user experience is extremely important and must happen no matter what device the person is using to surf the internet.  A poor user experience can lead the person to abandon the website and move on to a competitor’s site.

Simple, quick website navigation leads to a higher percentage of guests becoming repeat visitors and customers.  The more traffic your website gets the higher your rank in searches, and in turn the more traffic your website gets.  Nice circular logic, but very important.

Good website design involves using descriptive navigation.  It utilizes key phrases in order to boost SEO.  The navigation bar is key.  It appears on each page and descriptive labels help Google understand what the website is all about.  It points out the website’s topic.  A great, descriptive navigation bar not only helps Google, it also helps your visitors understand quickly what the site is about so they can decide if they want to stay and dig in further or move on to another website.  This means that “products” or “services” are not what people search for but “blazers” or “emergency dental care” are being searched for regularly.  They are much more effective phrases to use on a navigation bar.

Using the words “videos” or “photos” on a navigation bar only tell your website visitors the format of the content.  Be sure that you use descriptive phrases that tell your visitors the actual topic of your video or photos.  Searchable phrases will get you more customers quickly.

Drop down menus are becoming a thing of the past.  They are difficult for spiders to crawl and decipher for search websites.  Drop down menus can also be annoying to website visitors as they feel as though all they are ever finding are more menu options rather than the item they are looking for.  MegaMenu webpages can be a better idea in website development.  Show your visitors your main items or topics and let one click take them right to it from your home page.  What could be simpler when it comes to website navigation?

Keeping thing simple with reduced numbers of menu items helps everyone.   A person’s short term memory will only hold about 7 items.  The more items on a navigation bar the harder it is for a person to process and remember.  ‘KISS’ is the principle here.

When it comes to thinking about website navigation don’t forget about navigation optimized for handheld devices.  Smartphones are the devices many people are using to find things on the internet so creating webpages that are easy to navigate on these handheld devices has become very important when trying to attract people to your website.