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Best Practices for Website Navigation

Easy navigation is one of the most crucial elements of website design. Without it, customers are not going to stick around on your site long enough to make any purchases.

Website navigation is the way users move through your website. Good website navigation will make it easy for users to find all the information they need, like a checkout button. If websites have poor navigation, users give up and exit – they don’t search for information if it’s hard to find.

Keep reading to learn everything you need to know about web navigation!

Types of Navigation Bars

Navigation bars are the menus on your website that link to all your pages. There are a few popular styles of navigation bars to choose from.

Some websites even have more than one type of navigation bar. While this isn’t a problem, make sure you don’t overdo it and clutter your website.

Horizontal Navigation Bar

This is usually the header of a website. A banner remains at the top of the site with all the relevant links to pages or purchasing that your customer might need.

This is a common and intuitive navigation design. If you’ve got too many pages to fit into the bar, using drop down-menus or incorporating a hamburger menu is recommended.

Vertical Navigation Bar

These are also called sidebars. Depending on the website design, these navigation bars might be static and incorporated into the design, or minimized and opened when the cursor moves over them.

Footer Navigation Bar

While other menu options are more limited with space, you’ve got lots of room in your footer. This is a good place to include items that might not make the cut for your limited menus higher up.

This could include social media links, mission statements, return policies, etc.

Website Navigation Tips

Regardless of what type of navigation style you choose, there are a few web design tips you should always use. These will ensure a smooth experience when navigating your website.

Map Your Navigation Before Building the Website

While it is possible to build your navigation as you go, it’s never encouraged. Good website navigation needs to be mapped out beforehand. When you’re in the website development phase, you should already be considering how users will navigate your site.

It should always be possible to get to any page on your website from any page.

Use SEO Principles

A good SEO plan is vital for any website to succeed. Your customers can’t navigate around your site if they never even see it!

SEO principles prioritize using keywords that your customers are likely searching. This way your site will show up higher on the results pages.

SEO isn’t just for the content on your pages. Use keywords in your page titles and menu labels too.

Make Sure You’ve Got Good Website Navigation With These Principles

When you use these principles for website navigation, your customers are sure to have an easy experience on your site. This way you convert those views into purchases.

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