When people come to visit your website, you want them to be able to find what they are looking for with the minimum possible fuss. A central part of ensuring that this is the case is by improving the navigation of your site. People are more impatient than ever these days, and they are unlikely to spend a great deal of time struggling on your site before they become frustrated and go elsewhere. With this in mind, let’s check out a few of the ways that you can improve the navigation of your site.
Make Sure That it is Consistent
The first point to make regarding the navigation of your website is consistency. People need to be able to move through your website without encountering endless different style changes. If your site’s design or navigation menu continues to change from page to page without good reason, this is inevitably going to make it a lot more difficult for people to find what they are looking for. Ultimately, you do not want your visitors to feel like they have to work to find their way around. You should also make sure that you have continually consistent calls to action. After all, you will have certain reasons in mind for why people are on your site in the first place, and you want to remind them as often as possible.
Divide Up Your Categories with Clarity
If you have a website that is a little more complex, it is more likely that you will have sub-categories that will help people to steer themselves in the right direction. These must be clearly differentiated from a visual perspective. At the same time, you also need to think about the words on a page. One- or two-word headings are normal. Think about each one of your pages and which category heading they should go under. It is also worth conducting a few tests on your site to ensure that people are using it in the way that you would have initially thought.
Make the Text Legible on Any Device
Modern web surfers are using a whole host of different devices to access the internet. You do not want your site to favor one over the others. Instead, all of your different pages should be clearly legible regardless of whether the user has a smartphone or a laptop. In terms of legibility, there are a few best practices that you can utilize. First of all, use a font size that is a minimum of 12 pixels. Avoid any scripts and fonts that are too narrow. Make sure that your navigation menus work on a range of devices and ensure that the links are easily clickable.
Ensure Hyperlinks Stand Out
Much of the written content on the page will not be clickable, so it is important that you make it clear what users can click on. There are several different techniques that you can use to make your hyperlinks more obvious. First of all, you can make them bold or set them out in another color. Another possible option is to underline them. Take the time to go through each one of the hyperlinks to make sure that it works, and it is not going to take the user to that dreaded ‘404 error’ page. Straight away, this gives off the indication that you are not running a professional website, and when something like this is undermining your trust online, this can prove to be a major problem.
Make the Checkout Easy to Access and Edit
When you are running an eCommerce store, it is especially important that your checkout is both easy to access and edit along the way. People may want to put things in their baskets and come back to them at a later time. You should also focus on a strategy that takes into account digital shopping cart abandonment. Many people like to leave things in their basket, but they never come back to them again. As far as possible, you want to be able to combat this phenomenon, giving people the nudge that they need to return to your site and complete the purchase that they were already halfway through.
Link the Logo Back to the Homepage
It may seem like a small thing to have to do but linking the logo back to the homepage is just a little touch that can make a big difference. People often want to find their way back in the simplest way possible, and this is just a little thing that you can do to help them to achieve this. This is a widely implemented convention that many websites use. Sometimes, you do not want to do something just because everyone else does. However, this is an occasion when you may want to break this rule!
Fatten Up Your Footers
The footer section of your website was historically just a place where privacy and legal information could be found. However, it has become increasingly a place where anything from email signup fields to address details and social links can be found. Some people prefer to navigate through a website from the bottom, so it makes sense that you cater to all types of visitors to your site.
As you can see from the list above, there are several things that you can do to improve the navigation of your website. While some of the elements are fairly large and require more of a wholesale change to your site, there are plenty of others that may seem small and insignificant. However, it is these ones as well that can add to having a big impact on your site and everything that it has to offer. You may not want to make all of the changes at once. Instead, it could be the little tweaks that you want to make one-by-one, testing each of them along the way to ensure that they have the genuine improvement you are hoping for.