Simple and intuitive website navigation is an essential part of any successful website regardless of its products or services. Ultimately, your site needs to be accessible to your users. Website navigation tools act like a map, allowing visitors to easily move around your website to find what they need.
If a customer is struggling to navigate through your website, they may become frustrated and leave. By improving navigation, you can combat this issue and create a more positive user experience. In turn this can help to improve conversion rates, sales and revenue for your business.
Here are some key features that can improve website navigation that you may want to consider implementing or adapting for your website.
Website menus are the bread-and-butter of easy website navigation. They are typically positioned down the side or along the top of a page and provide links to the different areas of your website. Some can also be expanded to display pages nested inside primary website areas. These can be sticky menus, meaning they follow the user as they scroll down the page, or fixed to the header.
Providing footers at the bottom of each of your pages can be a valuable addition to your website. When a user reaches the bottom of a page, it can be useful to guide them to other pages to increase engagement and encourage them to make a purchase. Include links to your popular pages or other relevant pages that your customer may be interested in, in the footer to encourage them to spend more time on your site.
Breadcrumbs show a visitor how the page they are viewing is nested inside other pages, so that you can easily navigate to parent pages or other relevant pages to find the information that they need. This also helps users to orientate themselves on your website, which can reduce navigation frustrations.
Sometimes a user may have finished reading or interacting with one of your pages but not know where to go next. Adding ‘next’ buttons to sequential pages on your site can direct users and improve user engagement.
Most mobile sites feature ‘hamburger’ menu bars. These are collapsable menus that streamline mobile sites by removing clunky fixed navigation menus that take up valuable space. These menus can be easily expanded when the user wishes to navigate to a new page.
Before you get started changing your website navigation, you need to understand how visitors are currently using your site to ensure you are making effective changes. To understand your user’s behaviour you could use the following tools.
Google Analytics Visitor Flow
This feature in Google Analytics allows you to see the path that your users follow on your site. This can help to identify any areas where users typically get stuck or leave your site.
Conversion Assist Reports
These reports are often found in marketing software, and work by tracking the path of customers who typically make purchases on your site to identify popular pages. Identifying these pages can help you to understand which pages are accessible and which may need better navigation.
Now that you have identified what areas of your navigation need adjusting or improving, you can set about implementing these changes. Here are some of our tips and tricks for easy website navigation.
Consistent use of colours and layout can help to make your website more intuitive to navigate. Also, it can help to create a smarter looking website and improve your brand image.
Streamline your navigation bar
Adding too many links in your navigation bar can overwhelm your users. Instead, provide links to key pages or parent pages, adding expandable options with links to subpages where appropriate.
Make your sidebars stand out
Make sidebar colours distinctive from your primary page colours. This ensures that navigation menus are clearly identifiable to users at all times.
Ensure navigation bars are responsive on mobile devices
With many people using smartphones for searching and shopping, it’s important to ensure that your website navigation is as intuitive on mobile devices as possible. There is less space for large menus on mobile, so your navigation tools need to be neat and concise to allow for seamless transition from desktop to mobile.
Essentially if your website is not designed with navigation in mind then users will be unable to find what they need. If you apply some of the methods mentioned above, you will enhance your overall user experience, encourage better engagement and see higher conversion rates on your website. . At Opayo we want your online store to reach its full potential. Explore more of our blog posts to discover other useful tips and tricks for creating and optimising your ecommerce store. Our UK based support team are also on hand 24/7 if you need any additional information. Contact us today to find out more about how Opayo could support your online business.