Websites must have navigation to enable visitors to find what they want.
Navigation refers to the main menu, utility menu, call-to-action buttons, or any other menu available on a website.
Proper navigation is easy and logical for users to access web content.
Navigation quality determines whether your visitors leave your website satisfied or not. But not every website has good navigation.
Otherwise, poor navigation can harm a company’s reputation. It confuses users, causing them to exit the website without converting into customers.
In most instances, the navigation aspect of a website is created by web designers and reflected on a site map.
If you need to improve your website’s navigation, here are seven things you can do to enhance it:
Limit Main Menus To Seven Or Less
One way of enhancing a website’s navigation is to organize menu items into seven or fewer.
Top menus that feature too many things clutter websites and overwhelm visitors.
Maintaining a simple menu makes it easier to draw visitors’ focus to the vital pages.
If your website currently has numerous menu items, consider reorganizing the information.
You can reduce the number of menu items by combining similar ones or moving secondary items to the utility menu.
Working with web designers to develop the site map is a great way to maintain appropriate menu items.
Don’t worry if you don’t know how to make a site map — your designer should be able to handle the technical aspects.
Organize Menu Items According To Importance
Naturally, the outer edges of the main menu attract more attention from visitors than the inner ones.
When planning a website, placing menu items that contain essential information on the edges makes it easier for visitors to locate them.
This explains why most companies put the most critical calls-to-action like ‘Join,’ ‘Contact’ or ‘Donate’ on the far-right menu.
Label Menu Items Concisely
Another aspect that makes website navigation effective is the clarity of menu labels.
When visitors open your website, they should get a general idea of what information is on different pages before clicking a navigational link.
Using accurate tags to describe linked pages makes this easier for visitors. Misleading labels can confuse users and lead to site abandonment.
Further, maintaining a two-word limit on menu names ensures clear and concise labels.
For instance, using a tag like ‘contact us’ makes the label straightforward compared to ‘get in touch.’
Create a navigation plan with categories and sub-categories if your website has different sections. Thus, the categories are clearly defined using headings, even when they’re clickable.
Use Universal Menu Items
When visitors open your website, they expect to find the main menu featuring universal items generally available on websites.
Examples of universal menu items include Contact, Home, Login, and About Us.
Often, these items navigate to a single page and rarely come with drop-down menus.
Adopting the main menu with universal items makes your website easy to navigate as visitors recognize things quickly.
Rather than cluttering the main menu, consider placing information on drop-down lists on a utility menu that’s less prominent than the main menu.
Keep Drop-Down Lists Short
The sub-menus that show once a visitor hovers the cursor over an item on the main menu is known as drop-down lists.
Drop-down lists allow visitors to find the page they wish to visit without opening interior pages.
Although these menus make navigation easier for visitors, adding too many sub-menus to the main menu can be counterproductive.
For instance, long sub-menus that drop too far or get off the page make navigating a website difficult.
You can maintain a short drop-down list by combining related information on a single page instead of creating unique web pages for each item.
Alternatively, consider moving secondary sub-menus to tertiary menus.
Add Call-To-Action Buttons
Another important way to enhance your website’s navigation is to add call-to-action buttons to direct visitors to the most critical pages.
Including such buttons alongside navigation menus allows you to draw the attention of your visitors to crucial links and encourages them to take action.
If you apply this strategy, stick to one or two buttons to avoid cluttering your website.
Good navigation requires consistency on where and how navigation buttons appear on the website. This enhances the ability of users to find relevant content faster and makes the site easy to use.
When navigation buttons change from page to page, visitors get disoriented, making it challenging for them to browse your site.
Good website navigation is vital in giving users a pleasant browsing experience.
Websites with poor navigation could bother visitors and lead to high site abandonment rates.
If you want to improve your website navigation, applying the seven strategies discussed above can get you started on the right footing.