Website navigation is so important – and it can make or break the performance of your small business website.  
If your customers can’t get around your website and find the information they are looking for quickly and easily, they are likely to head elsewhere. 
 
For any business, having a website with clear, logical navigation will improve performance. In this post, we examine the tangible benefits of effective navigation, before outlining some of the key principles that will improve navigation on your site. 
 

The Benefits of Good Web Navigation 

Well designed and structured navigation translates into real performance benefits across your website, in terms of: 

1. Bounce rates and visitor duration 

Better navigation increases the amount of time visitors spend on your website – because it increases the likelihood they will be able to find what they’re looking for. At the same time, it encourages users to work their way through your site and visit more pages. This reduces the bounce rate. 
 

2. SEO and organic traffic 

Good navigation will help your website to rank higher in the search engines. Structuring your website effectively helps search engine bots to crawl and index your site. Effective categorisation and sub categorisation of your pages in sensible content hierarchies will help you to improve your ranking for your keywords. 
 
In turn, this will help to drive more relevant traffic to your site. 
 

3. Conversions 

Ultimately, better navigation increases your website conversion rate. It signposts visitors to the right info, leads them to calls to action, and encourages visitors to take the action you want them to – whether that’s picking up the phone, filling in a contact form, or making a purchase. 
 

Core Principles of Website Navigation 

So how do you improve website navigation? 
 
For website navigation to be effective, it should be: 

1. Clear 

Don’t try to be clever – make sure your visitors know how to navigate your site. When it comes to navigation, it’s best to follow the trends. A clear, horizontal or vertical nav bar is instantly recognisable. 
Choose simple, appropriate titles for each page, so visitors know what to expect when they click on a link. 
 

2. Logical 

Ensure that your navigation makes sense to your website users! Keep things intuitive, so your navigation works how you would expect it to. If you confuse your visitors, or they can’t find the info they are looking for, they will go elsewhere. 
 
In practice, make every link in your navigation clickable – and ensure it takes you to information or content that’s relevant to the heading! 
 

3. Structured 

Effectively grouping pages into categories will make a huge difference to your navigation. 
Your navigation bar should consist of a few top level headings – with sub-pages nested underneath these in a logical manner. For instance, you might have a ‘Services’ section, with all your service pages listed underneath these. 
 
Long navigation bars with dozens of different top headings can overwhelm visitors. Try to keep the top bar small enough so that visitors can digest all the information. 
 

4. The Three Click Rule 

This rule divides opinion, but we reckon it’s still a good one – especially for small business sites. 
The three click rule suggests that your visitors should be able to find any information on the site within three clicks of the mouse. The idea here is visitors who can’t find the information within the three clicks will become frustrated and leave. 
 
As with any rule, there are exceptions! If you’re running an ecommerce site with hundreds or thousands of products – grouping too many products into each category in an attempt to follow the rule will make them harder to browse. 
 

Intuitive Websites in Scarborough, from itseeze 

Want a site that looks great, and works exactly as your website visitors want it to? 
 
Looking for affordable, high quality web design in Scarborough or Ryedale? 
 
For beautifully designed, fully responsive websites that work in the real world, set up your free, no obligation meeting with Rob Davies from itseeze Web Design Scarborough today by calling 01653 690 982, or by emailing rob.davies@itseeze.co.uk 
 
Tagged as: Navigation
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