Nowadays, GPSs help us get from point A to point B, with minimal effort necessary on our part. However, your website’s navigation should be so intuitive that your visitor shouldn’t need any help getting around. When visitors come to you website, they are undoubtedly looking for information about your company or product. If your information is too hard to find, they will bolt. This is why it is important for your site to have a navigation that is highly intuitive.

Navigation Bar

One of the most important factors determining your site’s navigability is its navigation bar. This bar can either runs across the top of your website or on the side, depending on the template you selected. Navigation bar displays the titles of the various pages you have added to your site. Your navigation bar should not be too crowded or too sparse. What is the ideal number of links you should strive for? Try keeping the link count between 5-7. If you happen to have more than seven pages on your site, you should organize related links together into drop down menu options. Note: Make sure that your pages are under the appropriate category. For example, you don’t want your Calendars page organized under your FAQ section. Check out our video on drop down menus for more information on how to add them to your website.

Additionally, when choosing the title link name to use on your website, sometimes simpler is better. Names that are too creative can be confusing to new site visitors. For example if you title your photo gallery “A Thousand Words”, new visitor might not be inclined to click on this link because they might assume this is a page containing words and not images. Remember, a page title should give the visitor a better understanding of the information contained on that page. Try to stick with more generic titles, and customize as need be.

Internal Links

Another great way to increase your website’s navigability is through the use of internal links. Internal links are links that connect your visitor to another page within your website. For example, if you have a question on your FAQ page that you address in greater detail on another page, you can use an internal link to direct your visitor there. It is a great way to avoid repetitive information on your website, while at the same time helping your visitor navigates your website.

Also try to avoid linking to other pages by only writing “Click here” or by copying and pasting the entire link address (URL). Instead, provide context for the link and write a brief explanation in one or two sentences leading up to it.  Be sure that links are underlined and/or blue, which allows visitors to easily distinguish the text as a link.

Site Maps

A sitemap displays your website’s link structure as an easy to read list. There are both visual sitemaps to help your visitors and coded sitemaps which aid your search engine ranking (SEO). Sitemaps are generally more helpful for sites with a lot of pages, but are a good thing to have even if you do not have a lot of links. Providing visitors with a sitemap can simplify their browsing experience. There are tons of sitemap creators on the Internet, for more information check out our sitemap tips and tricks.

Remember, while content is the most important thing on your webpage, it’s futile if your visitors can’t reach the right information quickly and easily. Use these tips and tricks to improve your website’s navigation, and let us know in the comments below if there are any other topics you’d like us to write about to help you improve your site.

About the Author: Irina Kabigting is Webs’ Social Media Marketing Manager. Get more from Irina on Webs’ Blog and Google+.

16 Responses

  1. Reply
    Isaacd3d
    Aug 05, 2011 - 09:36 PM

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  2. Reply
    Ibitoye Olufemi
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  4. Reply
    Klonopin
    Aug 07, 2011 - 10:02 AM

    I always use internal links – mainly for SEO purposes. However, it can help the visitor look for additional information. The thing is your copywrite has to interesting enough so they can keep reading until they get to the internal link that may have additional info that they want.

    However, it’s still a little intuitive about what you readers really want, so the internal links have to be placed high in the body of the text.

    My opinion only.

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  12. Reply
    Mike
    Aug 14, 2011 - 09:51 AM

    How about floating the nav bar?

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