Is Your Website Navigation Bar Doing a Good Job?
Lots of clients contact us because they’re having trouble keeping visitors on their site. It’s the ultimate frustration, and the temptation is always to move content around, make a new video, or change the banners. But what about your website navigation bar? Could that be the reason why visitors simply bounce off your site after a few seconds?
In our experience the navigation bar is the most overlooked design feature when it comes to holding on to visitors. It should be a map that effortlessly guides users through your products and services. And maybe that’s how it started out. But it can easily lose its shape, or definition, or helpfulness. If your navigation bar impedes visitors’ progress, they’ll quickly make the decision to look elsewhere.
Website Navigation Health Check
Our Outsource Your Marketing website design team often find that sorting out website navigation is often key to improving ranking positions and enhancing visitor engagement. We’ve made a list of the most common problems so you can check the health of your navigation bar:
1. Tell Your Visitors What You Do
The navigation bar is no place to be coy. ‘Our Products’ is poor communication for busy visitors, as is ‘What We Do’. Your tabs serve two clear purposes. First they should describe your products or services clearly. Second they should use the keywords that relate to those products or services. A tab called ‘Graphic Design’ lets both visitors and Google know that’s what you do, and that’s good for your search engine ranking.
2. Guide Visitors Through Your Resources
Having videos, PDFs and White Papers on your site is great, but creating tabs for ‘videos’ or ‘resources’ reduces their value. Visitors are looking for these kinds of resources, but they tend to be content led, rather than format led. So your visitors may not care whether your guide for installation comes as a video, or as a PDF, but they will want to find it alongside the product description and details.
3. Think About Drop Downs
These seem like a brilliant solution if you have a large number of products you want to navigate visitors through. There are, however, a couple of drawbacks to bear in mind. First, Google has problems navigating overly complex drop downs, so you need to manage them carefully. Second, they can lead visitors into the labyrinthine depths of your site too quickly, losing their engagement with overview pages.
4. Is Your Navigation Overwhelming?
It may seem like a good idea to lay out all your goods like a market stall for visitors, but research shows that 7 categories, or tabs, is the ideal number for the human brain to deal with. Too many tabs is also bad for your site authority, as an excessive number of links from the home page will dilute the authority that is passed down to the interior pages.
5. Make Your Navigation Memorable
We read from left to right, which means that the first item on a navigation toolbar will be more memorable, as will the final tab, because that’s where we put the metaphorical full stop. Think carefully, therefore, about the order in which you place your navigation tabs.
About Outsource Your Media
We’re a close-knit team that’s grown organically over the years. We’re now able to offer specialist support on pretty much any aspect of marketing. So if you’re looking to make more time for the important things, and pay for specialists only when you need them, call us to talk about: outsourced web design, organic SEO, marketing services, content writing, graphic design.