Navigation is simply the organization of pages, links, and menus on your website. Organizing your website and its navigation in a logical and user friendly manner is a very important factor in your websites success for couple of reasons.
First, as we already mentioned in the previous section, your visitors will not stay on your website very long unless they can quickly find the information or product they are looking for. To do this they will be looking for menus and links to lead them to that information. Keep this in mind while creating your website and use your links and menus to direct the visitors to specific content/product in an obvious and intuitive manner.
Second factor has to do with search engine optimization. Just like humans, the search engine bots that crawl and index the content of your pages with the help of links. The easier it is for them to navigate your website the better the chances they will find and index all of your pages. The search engine bots also look for a logical structure in this navigation to determine what your website is about which is then used to properly classify your website in their index and rankings.
Here are some additional tips that will help you in setting up your website navigation.
- Make sure that your main menu appears on every page
and your visitors always have a way to return to the "home" page.
- Do not have too many pages or items in the main menu.
This can make navigation confusing or overwhelming. The main menu is usually designed to link to the main sections, topics, or pages of your website.
- Use sub-pages and sub-menus to lead your visitors
to more specific information or products under top level page topics. Sub-menus help make navigation more logical and provide for better organized content. Sub-menus are usually located in the left or right page sidebar.
- Create additional links to the most important pages or action areas of your website.
This will not only help to make them easier to find, but gives you yet another opportunity to lead the visitors to whatever you have to offer and get them to take action. Additional links can be included directly in the page text, they can be image links, or you can use image links as well.
- Setup the main menu in the footer of your pages.
If you have enough content on a page the user will have to scroll down to see all of it. As they reach the end of the page the top menu may no longer be visible. The footer menu helps your visitors to quickly navigate from the bottom of the page without having to scroll back up to the top.
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