It is a matter of fact that yes – not all websites are made equal, as some of them are quite simple, easy-to-use, and logical, while the others are a complete mess of pages and links. In the present highly competitive business environment, poor navigation is a common issue where all of us struggle to find relevant things on a disorganized website with no logical structure. It feels completely hopeless like being lost in a maze with no maps or directions. It doesn’t matter how beautifully designed a website is; as long as it is impossible to use or difficult to navigate, it won’t offer you any good. Also, not even a single user shall sign up for a newsletter, buy your products, or avail your services, which, in turn, shall lead to the search engines getting confused. Therefore, it is essential to keep in mind that Web Design and Development with good navigation is integral to building your website. Also, you should make a point of the fact that simplicity is indeed the best approach; so before your website gets too big, think deeply about how you would want your users to navigate around it. A few tips on how you can make your website easier and convenient to navigate are as follows:
TIP 1 – Ensure that the Navigation is Legible, Clear, and Concise
In most of the cases, you should always try to avoid using narrow fonts and scripts as they are way too hard to read, especially on a small scale. The minimum text size on your website’s navigation should be 12 pixels to make sure that your users don’t end up squinting, and the search engines don’t flag it as suspicious. Also, it is highly advisable to efficiently test your website for legibility on mobile devices and smartphones and further ensure that the navigation is easy to read. You should also make sincere efforts to include only the most important links on your main menu and use second-level or third-level dropdown menus if your website has a lot of pages. Using actual text in place of icons for menu items is equally important as it is a good Search Engine Optimization (SEO) practice, which shall help the visitors in finding your brand or business. Remember that having too many icons results in slow downing the page speed and harming your SEO; due to which, having actual text is always considered as the best option. Finally, make sure you have a color contrast for your navigation menu like you can go ahead with using dark-colored text on a light background.
TIP 2 – Understand your Users Well
People across the globe always look for the most comfortable patterns. If they face difficulty in either finding the menu or figuring out how to navigate through your website, they won’t stay for too long. In the present digital age, people have a way of interacting with the websites; so, don’t try to make things tough for them and go ahead with using the basic navigation patterns first. For instance – for desktop users, you can incorporate a prominent and clearly-labeled menu on the top or side of your website’s page. Similarly, for mobile users, you can integrate the menu in a mobile app with responsive page design.
TIP 3 – Integrate your Website with Search Functionality
When everything fails, the search bar undoubtedly saves the grace of navigation. Having search functionality is also an impeccable idea for websites where the users would want to search for a particular thing instead of clicking through links. By taking the initiative to improve your website’s search functionality, you can improve your conversion rates and enhance your brand’s online visibility. There are several things, which you can do to stand out from the crowd, like placing a small piece of text inside the search box, such as “Search Here,” or using the icon of a magnifying glass for helping your visitors figuring out that it is a search bar. You can also grab the users’ attention by offsetting the search bar in a different color, as compared to your website’s color scheme. Furthermore, the functionality of the search results page plays a critical role as the users want their product search to be convenient for filtering out the categories.
TIP 4 – Implement Breadcrumb Trails to Make your Website Organized
Breadcrumb trails are like maps in the form of text links that usually go at the top of a website’s page and may look something like: “Home > Books > Horror > In the Tall Grass.” The reasons why breadcrumb trails have gained immense popularity over quite some time now include that they are user-friendly; they enable one-click access to other parts of your website; they take very little space; and, they help the users in tracking their location. Moreover, they also prove to exceedingly beneficial for SEO by getting the relevant keywords onto a page and further help the search engines in understanding the structure of a website.
TIP 5 – Have a Sitemap on your Website
A sitemap is nothing but the directory of your website, that is, a page with text links to the most significant sections of your website. They help the users in navigating through your website and also give the search engine crawlers a convenient way to find the pages on your website. There are two types of sitemaps, namely XML and HTML, and you may end up wanting both of these. An HTML sitemap contains links to the most crucial parts of your website and helps your users navigate the website at ease. On the other hand, an XML sitemap helps the search engines in navigating through your website with links to all the information and pages.