How to build great navigation in your website

What is your reaction when you go to a website with a Flash intro that takes more than a few seconds to load? Do you wait for it to appear or do you do like most people and either hunt for the “skip intro” link or more likely press the back button and choose a different site?

We are all pressed for time. You might be able to get away with a snazzy Flash video somewhere inside your site but it’s definitely not recommended as the first page that people land on. Otherwise you run a very high risk of it being the only page they see on your site. Besides flash is not supported on all mobile devices so it is best to avoid these days.

The next reason for having a simple website design is still based on the fact that we are all time pressured. It is make sure that everything on your website is crystal clear and easily found.

Best practice for navigation is that you do not use menus that disappear from sight if you don’t position your mouse accurately down to the last pixel. Also do not use menus that appear and then obscure large chunks of your pages. Links are poorly named or do not lead to the place you expect.

Any call to action such as a phone number or an “email us” button should be easy to find. Unless your website design is supposed to be only an online brochure, you need to make it easy for people to contact you. Your phone number should be visible on the screen without scrolling. And it should be in large enough type that anyone can spot it and easily read it.

You also need to make sure that any menus are logical. Keep the number of menu options on your main page to as low a number as you can get away with. You can always use submenus to help people find the page they are looking for.

Remember that not everyone arrives at your site via the front home page. Google will do its best to direct people to the page they are looking for. This means that you need to have a clear navigation path on every page of your website. A breadcrumb trail often gives a quick way for people to click their way easily through larger sites.

Not only does having good navigation work well for a human visiting your site but also a search engine trying to find your content. Yes, there are site maps for the search engines to follow but you also get ranked on how well the search bot can find its way around. Stemming from this is the SEO benefits of having an easy navigable website.

Search engines can find their way around, the SEO is working well and visitors are coming. Good days ahead. If you have website design issues or SEO questions, please get in contact with us and we can discuss options to assist.

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