Website navigation: 9 best practices, design tips and warnings

Each website has a menu. Some are better than others.

The key to digital marketing success is your website navigation menu. Because it has the greatest impact on the outcome, it is one of the most crucial elements of your website.

Navigation has an impact on traffic through search ranking

Navigation has an impact on lead generation by reducing conversion rates and improving usability

If these two factors aren’t enough, website navigation can affect virtually every other success factor on your website.

Navigation has an impact on brand perception. These labels communicate your positioning.

Navigation affects website updates. Some menu styles are more difficult to update.

Navigation has an impact on accessibility. Some menus can be more difficult for people with disabilities.

Navigation has an impact on analytics. It cannot be easy to measure user flows.

Your results can be affected by even the smallest choices, especially when it comes to your navigation on every page of your website. It is important to plan carefully.

This is a list of best website navigation practices. These design tips and examples will help you make your website’s menu look great.

Use descriptive navigation labels.

“What we do” does not necessarily tell you what you do. Neither does “Products,” “Services”, or “Solutions.” Descriptive navigation using keyphrases is better for rankings/traffic (SEO) and usability/conversions (UX).

Search engines love descriptive navigation labelsNo one searches for “products” and “services,” so they don’t help you rank. Search engines use the navigation bar to determine relevance. These links are important because your navigation is displayed on every page.

Visitors will appreciate descriptive navigation labels.

Your main navigation is where you can tell search engines and people about your work. Your navigation bar is prominently displayed. Everyone sees it. It should be easy to read and communicate. It should list the main products and services of your company. Visitors will be able to tell that they are in the right place.

Pages that use generic labels hurt SEO. It will not rank if you have only one page that lists all your services. It’s not focused on one topic. Ranking every page of your website is possible, provided it is focused on a topic or key phrase.

You can also enter Google Trends if you aren’t sure which search term to use. This will display the relative popularity of search terms over time. It will also show geographic differences. It is a quick and easy way to research keyphrases to help you make sitemap decisions.

Your website architecture is important for SEO. An SEO-friendly website will have pages for each service, product, team member, and topic. If other pages are search optimized for each service, avoid creating a ” services ” page.

It’s great for visitors.

Visitors can predict what they will get by clicking on the descriptive labels. These labels guide visitors to deeper and more specific pages.

Avoid using format-based navigation labels.

Navigation labels indicate the format of the content. Other labels indicate the topic of the content. These are just a few examples of the differences.

Your content may be organized naturally. Everyone will agree if you suggest it to them in a marketing meeting. These labels can be confusing for visitors.

Sometimes case studies are the exception. Case studies may be useful for visitors looking for an example of how a problem was solved. These case studies are a special form of the bottom-of-the-funnel content and can be used as a navigation label.

Case studies should be included on all service pages that they relate to. Do not just put them all on one page.

Do not use drop-down menus.

Popular, yes. It’s a popular idea but not always a good one. These little drop-down menus can prove to be irritating. Usability studies have shown this.

This is because visitors’ eyes move much faster than their mice. They’re already clicking on a menu item when they move their mouse over it. It’s a moment of confusion in the visitor’s mind. It’s a moment of visual friction.

Drop-downs can encourage users to skip important pages. You can easily identify this issue in your Analytics.

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