The Importance of Navigation in Web Design

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When it comes to web design, a knowledgeable developer understands certain elements are critical if the website is to provide the best user experience and return on investment. One element of great importance is your website navigation. If someone is unable to easily navigate your website, they are going to leave quickly, and ultimately your business will suffer. What makes this aspect so critical?

The Method Of Arrival
Experienced web developers, whether it be WordPress web design, or web design of any type, need to understand that visitors can land on a website through a number of different channels. As a result, not all of your users will necessarily enter in through the home page, meaning your navigation must cover cover your entire site. If your navigation is not included on all of your pages, or doesn’t include certain pages, your user may be stuck and unable to continue to other parts of the site to see what you have to offer or what you sell. It can also have an affect on whether or not Google’s crawlers can access every page on your website.

The navigation of your website must not only be easily be understood, but should also be strategically set up to drive your visitors to the most important pages. If a visitor has to search too long for what they want, they are going to look elsewhere. You’ll find that there are really a variety of ways that you could organize your navigation to create the best user experience. For one, use a primary navigation, a secondary navigation (which can be a sidebar navigation on inner pages), and even link lists in your footer to help the crawlers understand your website.

By diversifying your website’s navigation like this, you’ll find your visitors are more likely to explore the site and possibly become frequent guests. Never make your visitor work to find information or products. If they must click multiple links to arrive at the desired destination, they may become frustrated and find another site that will make it easier for them. Once you lose a visitor’s interest, the chances of them returning to your site are very slim. Keep this in mind, and make it easy to move from point A to point B, regardless of where the visitor is on the site.

Conversion Rates
Simply put, visitors unable to navigate a site will leave, resulting in fewer conversions. If he or she cannot find the product they are searching for or the information they need, your conversion rates will surely suffer. Make use of attention grabbing calls to action on each page, or whenever possible, to increase conversions. Provide the visitor with the information needed to take this action, using phrases such as download now, get your coupon, get a quote, or sign up for the newsletter. You can also use your navigation to create funnels to ensure that users end up on the page you want them to land on in 1 to 2 clicks no matter where they click initially. Website owners can use funnels to drive users in to product pages, sign up pages, category pages, or anywhere else you’d like to have your visitors focus their attention.

Attention Span
The average user usually spends about three seconds on a page to determine if they wish to stay or look elsewhere. In this time, the user normally will quickly assess the websites aesthetics as well as if they can see what they are looking for right away. To help keep them on your page, website owners can use tools like sliders to showcase product or editorial photos that link directly to the pages they represent. Also, by making sure that your navigation includes not only top level pages like categories, but child level pages like sub categories or direct product pages, really helps with moving visitors through your website quickly and efficiently.

When creating a new website, your web development team will be able to offer other suggestions when it comes to your site’s specific navigation based on your requirements. It’s important to remember though to never discount the importance of your websites navigation, as doing so could lead to high bounce rates, low conversion rates, and an unhappy store owner. If you’d like to speak with our talented team of Fort Lauderdale web design professionals, just give us a call or send us an email to set up a free consultation.

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