What Can I Do to Improve My Website Navigation Menu

Website Navigation Menu

Most of the people who visit your site have a goal in mind. That goal might be finding valuable content about a particular niche or purchasing a particular product. They want to achieve this goal as quickly as possible, and it is up to you, the website owner, to make that happen. One of the guaranteed ways of accomplishing this is by making sure that your navigation menu is properly optimized.

Here are five tips on how to improve your website navigation menu without spending a fortune or breaking a sweat.

Make it Simple

The more time web visitors spend wondering which tab to click to access a particular page, the higher the chances of them opting to close the site and move to your competitors. Don’t ask too much from the visitors; make the navigation menu simple and straightforward. The information architecture should be in place before you embark on designing the menu.

Make sure that the content on your site is in line with the target audience mental schemata. Group related content together and check that all categories are defined in a way that makes senses to the prospects.

Precise Wording

The audience will not be able to access the information they are looking for quickly if the words used in the menu are wrong or not related to the page content. Based on this fact, it is recommended to use words that the target customers are familiar with. Don’t come up with creative categories to show off your creativity as some of the visitors may not understand what the words mean. You can also make the wording a bit more personal to increase the overall site usability and navigation.

Make Use of Visuals

Scientific studies show that our brains are engineered to favor and digest visual information faster than textual information. Therefore, including visuals in your navigation bar can help the audience to find their way around the site especially the first-time visitors. Abstract colours and icons are ideal for returning customers or visitors to remember the specific content categories that they are interested in.

Here are more ideas on how to use visuals in the navigation bar.

  • Icons: They will help make the bar more appealing and at the same time personal and fun to use. The icons should be meaningful, clear, and in line with the design of the website.
  • Colours: Make use of colours that trigger positive emotions to show active menu items. Just like the icons, they should complement the other elements of the site.
  • Images: Images that provide information or hints about the content contained on a particular page with improving navigation. Note that detailed images can offer information that might be difficult to cover in 1-2 words.

Invest in a Responsive Website Design

Singapore tops the list of countries with the highest smartphone penetration in the world. Based on this fact, it is of paramount importance to make sure that your website design is responsive. Prospects that access your site on a mobile device should be able to access the entire navigation bar and click on the icons or tabs seamlessly.

12 Ways To Use Your Website Navigation To Improve SEO

Most website navigations are developed by web designers who know very little website marketing and taking care of customers. Website navigation uplift or downgrade your business regarding keeping the visitors engaged, driving them towards becoming your clients and even retaining them. Powerful site navigation will help your customers to easily and efficiently access the content that interests them. Website navigation and SEO (search engine optimisation) are intimately connected. Navigation helps to promote the user experience which is the primary goal of SEO. For your business to be competitive in Singapore, you should at least have an accessible and useful website. A perfect site should have clear, consistent and simple navigation. This article discusses how you can improve your website navigation and improve SEO.

  1. Consistent Navigation

Keeping your site navigation consistent in where and how it appears on your website promotes quick ability to find the relevant information. This makes it easy to use and increases your site visitors. Visitors will lose the bearing of the site if you change the site from one page to another.

  1. Clear Division of Categories

Website navigation includes many sections, categories, and subcategories. These categories should be clear and visually well defined. You should make sure that even if the categories are acting as links, they are visually separated from sub-categories.

  1. Making All Navigation Elements

The sole purpose of website navigation is conversion. If your website has many categories, you should make all the headings clickable links. This should similarly apply to drop down menus in which clicking a subcategory link could be a natural inclination for the user.

  1. Use of Accurate Navigation Titles

Navigational titles should give the visitors a general idea of what the page linking is all about before they click the navigational link. This should apply to both internal text link and main navigation link. Visitors get confused and annoyed by misleading navigation titles to the point of abandoning the site. All the website linkage should accurately correspond to the site pages regardless of whether they are textual, verbiage or images.

  1. Ensuring an ALT Text for Every Clickable Image

An ALT descriptive text is essential on every image especially the images that link to other website pages. It is vital in informing your site visitors of what the page is about. Always ensure your image links have an ALT attribute with a clear and accurate descriptive text.

  1. Ensuring Your Search Features Works Perfectly

An in-site search feature is an excellent feature in improving your website navigation. It is essential for you to ensure that the search results are always correct and relevant. Your search features should never have a search result of no results found. It should be able to produce related items, compensate for misspellings and also produce results for products that you don’t have among those that you have.

  1. Use of Fixed Scrolling Bars

Fixed scrolling bar makes the website navigation easy as opposed to a navigation bar interface. Website visitors can effectively move from one point of the web to another. Fixed navigation bar usually appears horizontally on the top or vertically on the side in the fixed location. The users can easily click their point of interest without scrolling back to the top as the fixed scrolling bar follows them down the site.

  1. Avoid Overdoing It

Too many choices for your visitors on the website makes it hard for them to choose between the contents. It is difficult for search engines to search the results of subpages that results from multiple drop-down menus. These many links lower your web authority on google search engine. You should avoid using many menus and submenu options or even eradicate the submenu if possible.

  1. Use of Mega Menus for Massive Content

A website with tons of content calls for the hefty drop-down menu. However, mega menus provide a perfect option for streamlining web contents and images. They will span to various columns which will make the site navigation easier. Mega menus use silos architecture in grouping the subpages and keywords hence improving the SEO rankings. This is by providing the right website pages for the right users to the search engines. Use mega menus today for an extra layer of organization on your website.

  1. Avoid Using JavaScript In Navigation

JavaScript is a dominant coding language. However, it is not sufficient and convenient for navigation. More so, JavaScript does not go well with search engines. Web crawlers find it hard to isolate keywords and relevant links from the complicated JavaScript coding. JavaScript is more suitable for designing responsive and graphical navigation. Choosing it over language navigations makes your website have challenges in offering desired SEO results.

  1. Being Creative

Your primary goal when getting into digital marketing is to promote your company brand. Your website should display your brand identity including its navigation. Incorporation of a little creativity and colour will create a branded experience for your visitors. They will be able to isolate your business brand from similar businesses of the same strain. Take extra steps to creative approaches to navigation.

  1. Don’t Ignore the User Experience

Web design should significantly focus on the user’s experience. This will help to develop an easy to understand and interact with the website. The designers will come up with an easy navigation architecture that will similarly improve the website SEO. Navigation should be well scrutinised for the well being of end users. Your web designers should be able to provide excellent user experience using their design options which will directly improve website navigation and SEO.

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Improving your website navigation ensures your visitors get the best shopping experience and you also get the results you want. Browsing through your competitor’s website is one of the effective ways of checking the effectiveness of your site navigation. Take note of exceptional features, what you like and even problems experienced. Make a comparison with your site and see if there is anything you can improve on.

This will help you unlock areas where your navigation is not perfect. Use of analytics is an alternative way of checking on your visitor’s navigation. You should use all the available tools to improve your site navigation and to improve your SEO. Web designers should focus on easy navigation from the start as they maintain the goal of remaining SEO-friendly.

About the Author

Tom Koh

Tom is the CEO and Principal Consultant of MediaOne, a leading digital marketing agency. He has consulted for MNCs like Canon, Maybank, Capitaland, SingTel, ST Engineering, WWF, Cambridge University, as well as Government organisations like Enterprise Singapore, Ministry of Law, National Galleries, NTUC, e2i, SingHealth. His articles are published and referenced in CNA, Straits Times, MoneyFM, Financial Times, Yahoo! Finance, Hubspot, Zendesk, CIO Advisor.


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