5 Strategies for Making Your Website More Navigable
Having a business website gives you the opportunity to connect with your consumers and reach a wider audience. But if your website is designed poorly, online users will have a difficult time actually using it. In this digital age, people expect websites to be designed efficiently and to be able to give them the answers they’re looking for, fast. If your website isn’t easily navigable, it’ll be more challenging to maintain and increase the number of online users who visit and explore your website—and to draw in new profits for the products or services you offer.
Hiring a company that offers high-quality web design services will give you the best chance to create a hardworking and navigable business website. Web design companies have the knowledge and tools to get your website up to speed and to make it a pleasure for potential customers to use. All the same, even if you’re not well-versed in the nitty-gritty of web design, it still helps to know what goes into making your web property more navigable. Here are five strategies that you can work on with your chosen web design partner:
Observe Common Sense Menu Placement
With many websites sharing a similar web menu design, users expect that most websites they visit will function the same way. In this context, “common sense” menu placement means being able to see the website’s menu on the left side or header of the page. These two layouts make it easier for customers to explore your website because they intuitively know where to click.
Having a standard menu placement will be less confusing to users and will help streamline their searches. It’ll also increase user session duration, which means that users will be interested in staying on your website longer and will be more likely to engage with your business.
Add an Organized Top or Side Navigation Menu
Your website’s top or side navigation bar will be your users’ main point of reference when they want to explore your website further. This menu contains a list of links that send users to your website’s internal pages, for example your services and products pages, your Contact Us page, and your blog page. Knowing that, be sure to keep your navigation menu bar organized so that users won’t have a hard time clicking through it.
You can incorporate several website design elements to keep your navigation menu clean and organized. Placing your services or product pages first before your blog or About Us pages, for example, will give your menu a clearer structure since it immediately tells users what your business has to offer.
Using a secondary menu like a cascading menu or drop-down menu, on the other hand, will give users a good idea of what the links in your menu will offer them. It’ll also allow them to quickly browse through your offerings without them having to leave the homepage. Secondary menus also help make your homepage look less cluttered, making it pleasing to the eye.
When utilizing these design elements, however, there are a few things you need to keep in mind. For one thing, you have to make sure that the navigation elements have clickable links. This way, users will be immediately sent to the page they desire with just one click. It also helps to limit your main menu and sub-category pages to between five and seven links. Having too many navigational elements in your menu bars can overcrowd your webpages and overwhelm your users, thereby discouraging them from spending as much time on your website as you’d like.
Add a Footer
The footers on some websites may look like an afterthought. However, when incorporated properly, a footer can encourage users to continue navigating your business website and to fulfill a desired action like buy a product or make an appointment for a service.
Given that the footer is located at the bottom of your web pages, it’s a great section to place minor links such as career opportunities, contact information, and frequently asked questions (FAQs). Users won’t have to scroll back up to your navigation bar to click on these useful albeit minor links.
Incorporate a Working Internal Search Feature
Your website’s internal search feature is a great tool for users who want to search for something specific on your website quickly. It’s a particularly helpful tool for ecommerce websites because it allows online users to narrow down their selection without having to go through multiple navigational menus.
To make your search feature stand out, it’s good practice to keep your search bar visible. Many ecommerce websites put their search bars in or above their header. It’s also a good idea to use the universally recognizable icon of the magnifying glass and to insert “Search Here” text inside the search box so that your users will know where to type in their searches. Lastly, it helps to use a different color for your search bar to make it stand out from the rest of the elements on your web pages.
Ensure That Your Website Is Responsive on Mobile
People can access the internet using their smartphones, but because of the size of such devices, mobile platforms require a different navigational design. Since the screens of mobile devices are smaller compared to the screens of laptops or computers, your website’s layout will need to be adjusted to fit the smartphone’s screen size.
Ideally, you’ll want to leave most of the space for essential information and links so that users can quickly navigate your website with ease. This will also allow your website to be more responsive to a smart device’s touchscreen feature and ensure a more streamlined user experience on mobile.
Fortunately, there are a lot of web development companies that offer mobile and web app development and design services. With their help, you can rest assured that your business website is optimized for both desktop and mobile devices.
Your business website can establish a strong online presence for your brand that can be discoverable to millions of people around the world. Don’t diminish your website’s power to create value for your business by neglecting its navigability. Pay attention to the items above and work with your chosen web development team to make your website more navigable and more appealing to your present and future customers.
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