• Home
  • Management
  • Startup/Entrepreneur
  • Gamechangers
  • Tech/E-Commerce
  • Career
  • Global Business
  • Women's Business

  • Tips for Conversion-Friendly Navigation

    Content is an essential part of your website’s effectiveness, but navigation is the pedestal that holds the statue in place. Without adequate or clear navigation, the whole structure becomes useless.

    Content is an essential part of your website’s effectiveness, but navigation is the pedestal that holds the statue in place. Without adequate or clear navigation, the whole structure becomes useless.

    Your website conversion architecture must make it easy for visitors to get where they’re going. If it isn’t easy, customers won’t waste precious moments figuring out your obscure labels and convoluted link structure.

    Read on for tips on creating user-friendly website conversion architecture.

    ●      Place Controls Where Your Customers Expect Them to Be

    Navigation is most effective when placed across the top or to the left of the page because that is where most web users expect it to be. Top navigation limits you in terms of space, with your only options being shorter labels, fewer categories, or drop-down menus. Left navigation eats into your page space, but provides unlimited space for adding links. Either option will be familiar to the majority of your audience, unlike right sidebar or bottom navigation. You can also choose to use both if you have a lot of links to display.

    ●      Be Consistent

    You can expand your navigation options as customers venture deeper into your site, but the general structure should remain the same. If you use both top and sidebar navigation, your top navigation will generally include broad, universally relevant categories, while your sidebar navigation may break things down further. Don’t move categories from one location to another on various pages.

    ●      Use Straightforward Category Labels

    Avoid generic labels that don’t adequately describe the category. For instance, “products” might be a commonly used label, but “fireplaces,” “barbecues” and “fire pits” make it easier for customers to find what they need.

    ●      Use Drop-Down Menus Thoughtfully

    Drop-down menus can be an effective way to further break down categories, but only if each link fits appropriately where it is housed. Avoid using drop-down menus as a place to dump all your links or as just a way to fit more items across the top of the page.

    ●      Make it easy to use

    Trying to maneuver your mouse down and across as you try to click on a sub-category  in the drop-down menu, only to have it disappear right at the critical moment, can leave you angry and frustrated. Don’t create a navigational structure that requires fine motor skills to operate.

    ●      Provide Context

    Bread crumb trails, usually displayed across the top of the screen, keep the user oriented within the overall structure of your website. He can easily click back to a broader category without having to start over completely.

    Good navigation will be nearly invisible. It’s a tool to be used, but it won’t be something customers praise you for.

    Bad navigation, on the other hand, may not earn scathing comments, but it will send customers away, never to return. Solid website conversion architecture keeps customers on your site and leads them toward conversion.

    Filed Under: Tech/E-Commerce

    Tags:

    About the Author: Marty Diamond is a conversion optimization specialist. She shows small businesses how to get more leads and sales from their website’s existing traffic. Find out more about Marty at DiamondWebsiteConversion.com . You can also connect with her on Google Plus at +martydiamond.

    RSSComments (0)

    Trackback URL

    Leave a Reply

    You must be logged in to post a comment.