The world of internet marketing and business online has become a bit of a minefield. The problem is online entrepreneurs are spending so much time trying to get people to their websites that they overlook the basic concept of keeping the customer there and ultimately leading them to a sale. A website, not dissimilar to a shop front, must be inviting and attractive but above all it must be easy to use. This is where website navigation comes into play.
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Improving Website Navigation
There is nothing more frustrating than browsing a webpage and you can’t find your way to the product or service that brought you to the website in the first place. More often than not a customer that can’t be served quickly will simply go back to the search results and click on the next website in the list. In this article we are going to look at some simple rules you or your web designer should adhere to in order to keep your customers stress free.
The makeup of a website can vary greatly depending on the business. However, keeping your website navigation specific to the business and the reasons visitors are there is more important than one might realize. A good example of this might be a website that is selling services and contains lots of free information to tease customers into purchasing
something. You don’t want your navigation bar packed full of tabs leading to different posts. Keep your posts categorized under one simple tab such as a blog. If visitors are visiting to purchase an item they want to be able to find the shop quickly not have to cipher through loads of tabs to get there. Contact details, about pages, maps FAQ can all be sub navigations under information, or simply the home tab. Let the “money navigation” stand out.
Internal links are a great way to lead customers into a sales funnel when they are reading content but be careful to open the link in a new window. If the customer decides the destination was not what they were looking for; you want them to be able to return to the original point of interest without ending up on a competitor’s website.
Sidebar navigation is a great way to keep your links specific. For instance if you are running a membership website, putting all the members account links such as; “log out”, “profile” and “subscriptions” as sidebar navigation on their login page keeps it relevant to their current position. This will also keep your home page uncluttered. The same rule might apply for an e-commerce website. A customer buying a pair of shoes and on the checkout page would find it helpful to see a link to socks in the side bar.
Website navigation can turn into a disastrous web of confusion if your content is not organized. The best way to establish a formidable navigation format is to have a hierarchy of information that you need your web visitor to see. Anything that a customer has a problem finding is something not worth finding, stick to this rule and you will stay on the right path. Many web designers and graphical designers will tell you that “less is more”. Website navigation falls into that class and should be treated with the same outlook.