A user’s ability to surf a platform is one of the most significant factors in web design. Although the importance of website navigation is often underestimated, smooth, clear, and fast navigation plays a vital role in enhancing the user experience. In this article, we will dive into the advantages of a good menu bar for your website and users.
What is website navigation?
The navigation system is like a map that connects all the main areas of a website. It consists of a navigation bar placed vertically on the left or horizontally near the top of the web page. The website menu aims to assist users in finding the necessary information.
5 Reasons Website Navigation is Important
Well-organized and clear navigation positively affects your business by directing visitors to different pages and content. If your user surfs the website seamlessly, there is less chance they exit before taking the desired action. The best examples of website navigation show that you can use creativity to improve your site’s convenience. Here are the key reasons you need to treat navigation seriously during website development.
1. Works well with SEO tools
Good navigation allows the search engines to identify your website correctly. If you lack transparent navigation links between pages, it impacts the user-friendliness of your website, and it may not be indexed at all. It’s best to connect them all clearly so that the search engines can find them effortlessly.
2. Helps organize your website
If you build great primary and secondary navigation, internal links, and menus, you can provide a user experience that will keep people engaged and dedicated to your website. You help your users find what they are looking for as effortlessly as possible and ensure a good user experience by using good navigation.
3. Makes user experience smoother and faster
You keep your users from working too hard or wait too long. Statistics reveal that the speed directly affects the users’ experience and willingness to stay on a website. They are not ready to wait more than two seconds. The fewer clicks and actions they have to make for finding the content they need, the more beneficial for you. Keep them interested as long as possible.
4. Entering the website from various pages
Building the entire website navigation around the home page is a typical mistake. Keep in mind that users may also enter your website from different pages. Without good info on the entire website, your users can get stuck on one page and unable to continue exploring the other ones.
5. Product or service purchases
Flawless navigation is a significant instrument of B2B and B2C marketing. A well-thought website that keeps users engaged and allows them to view and purchase products becomes more profitable. The website should have a transparent route for potential customers to buy your product or service.
Main kinds of website navigation
Most people imagine a menu when they start thinking of website navigation. But, it is not the only navigation type that exists. Let’s look more closely at the other elements.
- Sidebars. As a rule, they are placed on the left or right side of the content, sometimes even on both sides.
- Footers. Footers include links to the most significant pages and other resources. Fat footers that contain even more links have become trendy in web design.
- Breadcrumbs. These are the links placed in the hierarchical order on a certain page. They tell users about the way the page is connected with the others.
- Hamburger Menu. This is popular among mobile apps. It is called hamburger because the icon is three horizontal lines that resemble a burger.
How to achieve great website navigation?
Now that you know the benefits and importance of navigation in web design, you’d probably want to know how to achieve it. Here is our advice for developing an excellent navigation system for your website.
First of all, you need to think from the viewpoint of your target user. Most visitors who come to your website are not patient and hope that you will do everything for them. You need to make sure they can find your navigation panel effortlessly on the homepage. Make it obvious. Look at a few competitor websites to see how they organize the process and find inspiration there. Ensure that interaction is intuitive and leads to the right content. The user should be able to find what they need within a few seconds – otherwise, they will leave the page.
Define a structure
Having a transparent structure of your website creates an impression of an organized and reliable business. Structured navigation makes the visitors follow the designed route that leads them to purchase or find the necessary content. Besides, mind the reading behavior patterns and organize your menu according to it.
Suggest the following steps
Visitors that have no clue of what to do next will leave your website. Give them a few recommendations of the next pages to visit. You can even include a preview of these pages. You can also include links to articles on similar topics that will improve the engagement level.
Checklist for building a great navigation
Check out the following points and make sure your website corresponds to them:
- The user can reach the necessary content in less than three clicks.
- A link to the home page is available on all other pages.
- The logo can be found on the Home page.
- The most important items are at the top of the navigation menu.
Building effective website navigation is a tricky process. We hope our article gave you valuable insight on creating flawless navigation that will satisfy even the most demanding users.