How to Win at Website Navigation

As an active company in the twenty-first century, your website is an integral part of your digital marketing strategy. Without a clean, attractive, and up-to-date site, you’re setting yourself up for failure

Of course, a beautiful site that can’t provide a great user experience isn’t going to win you any awards, either. In addition to a top-notch look, you need a site that’s intuitive and easy to use as well. From the smallest details to the most important features, a perfect balance between form and function is a requirement for a site that ranks well and keeps customers coming back for more.

Here’s what you can do to take your website navigation to the next level.

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Emphasize Links and Hypertext

If you’ve ever wasted time on a company’s website, searching in vain for links to internal pages, you know what a priority hyperlinks should be. Far too many website designers put an emphasis on appearance rather than functionality, presenting users with a gorgeous but impossible to use page. Rather than leaving site visitors guessing, go out of your way to ensure links and dropdowns are exceptionally clear.

To make navigation fast and easy, make sure these elements stand out by using bold text, a different font, different colors, or even a basic underline style to make their presence apparent. Even beginners to the web know that links are generally identified with a variation in text appearance, so stick to this format for the best results.

Simplify Your Navigation Bar

Many companies seem to believe that a navigation bar should be an adventure in itself, using fancy colors, funky font, and dozens of choices for web users to dig through. While a good idea in theory, a complicated navigation bar is a nightmare in practice, making it extremely challenging for visitors to make it past your homepage.

Instead, keep your approach to navigation simple and straightforward, utilizing a single horizontal or vertical bar and a hierarchical structure to keep like pages together. For example, all pages about your company should be contained under an About Us heading, while links to your inventory should be under a separate Products heading. How you choose to move forward will vary based on business type, but be sure there’s rhyme or reason to your system.

Focus on Footers

When all else fails, most website users know to scroll down to the bottom of a website to find contact information and key links. Take this away, however, and visitors will be more confused than ever.

A good footer boasts a mix of primary links as well as some limited extra information like careers or privacy policies, providing a simple way to navigate the main areas of your site. Unfortunately, some site designers miss the mark here, jamming footers full of every link under the sun. Instead, design your footers with an emphasis on utility. Do away with the unnecessary elements, like an onslaught of keywords, and keep things simple, neat, and tidy with a small collection of the locations that means the most.

When you want to keep site visitors interested and engaged, a great approach to navigation is a must. From clear hyperlinks to a logical footer, focusing on simplicity and the user experience can do wonders for keeping your site competitive.

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