Firstly, What is website navigation?
Website navigation are the links within your website that connect your users to your pages. The primary purpose of website navigation is to help users easily find things on your site. Search engines use your website navigation to discover and index new pages. These links help search engines to understand the content and context of the destination page, as well as the relationships between pages.
Done the right way, website navigation can greatly improve your customer's website experience and is great for your SEO performance.
How do you ensure your website navigation is as optimised as it can be? Take a look at the following tips...
1. Ensure it is clear and visible
The navigation of your site should be clear and visible on ALL pages and in the same position. It's the chief way for people to browse your site and get to the page they want to, and we want them to be able to do that in the least number of clicks possible.
As you can see from the images below, the navigation is one of the first thing your user looks at, so make it count, and make it clear!
2. Avoid jargon & fluffy language
Ensure you're using words that your customer would use and avoid any kind of industry jargon or acronyms. With so much competition out there, it's tempting to try and get creative with our copywriting but this is often at the expense of clarity.
You should also ensure that you're not using "marketing language" or trying to add some extra flare / bells & whistles. A user is much likely to understand "Baby Clothes" than if you were to put "Our Dreamy Snooze Collection" or similar.
3. Don't pack it full of links
Many websites have too many links in the header navigation bar. In fact, many of the templates provided by Wix, Squarespace etc make it too easy for a "more" link to suddenly appear; Meaning the user even has to click to see the full scale of links available. This isn't ideal considering people are busy and often scanning, so if your important pages are hidden beneath a "more" link - the likelihood is they won't be seen.
In the examples below, the first one hides the Contact page beneath the more link, and the second hides the About page. Important pages not visible.
When deciding on your website navigation and what you should and shouldn't include across the top, think about what you want people to do on your site, but also consider what visitors might want. For instance, you might want your visitors to buy a product or service, but your visitors might want to know more about your company or learn about your story.
If your navigation menu starts to look a little cluttered, consider organising it better.
4. Don't use the burger menu on desktop
It's a pet hate of mine, but there has been a disappointing trend recently whereby businesses are using the burger menu to hide the main navigation on desktop sites. I could write an entire blog post about this, but for now I'll just summarise why I don't agree with this approach.
Firstly, it's simply not n