When done right, your website navigation can reflect your brand, give visitors an overall view of your offerings, steer them to learn more about your services and purchase from you.
When designing your navigation,
ask “how is this directing people to the ‘Buy Now’ button?”
Here are a few tips you can use to effectively structure your website and your navigation:
- Nomenclature: one of the first things your website visitors see is the top-level navigation. The way you name these “tabs” should give them a good overview of your expertise and your offerings. The way you call your tabs should be a good reflection of your brand. You also want to make them succinct (so that they don’t take up too much precious real estate) and self-explanatory (you don’t want your visitors to get confused, because the confused mind says “no”).
- Sequence: most people read from top to bottom, and left to right in the English-speaking world. Position your important navigational elements (e.g. your programs and products) as close to the top or the left side as possible.
- Importance to your business: feature the important elements (a.k.a. the money-generating stuff) on your top-level navigation so that visitors can find them right off the bet. Don’t assume they will dig around – if they don’t see something that is of value to them, they leave your site.
- Secondary Navigation: you want to keep your top-level navigation “clean” so that your visitors don’t get confused by too many choices (again, the confused mind says “no”). Don’t attempt to throw everything onto the top-level navigation – make use of secondary level navigation to group similar pages under one high-level page, to give your website clarity and hierarchy.
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