Website Menu Navigation: Best Practices
The Menu Navigation exists to help find content - it should be simple and intuitive. Little things make a big difference and your website navigation is a great example. Your menu navigation will affect traffic and search engine rankings, therefore, everything important about your website is connected to the navigation, from content to the URLs. A few points to consider:
- Navigation affects traffic: how high you’ll rank, how much traffic you’ll get from search.
- Navigation affects conversions: how easy the site is to use, what percentage of visitors convert into leads and customers
- Be descriptive: Descriptive navigation that uses key phrases is better. Your navigation bar is visually prominent, so it communicates instantly. Instead of “Services” try to be more specific and use a keyphrase that is more relevant.
- If you have one page listing all of your services, it will never rank. That’s because it’s not focusing on one topic. Every page on your website has a chance of ranking, as long as it’s focused on a topic, on a key phrase.
- Limit the number of menu items to seven. Some websites have hundreds of links on the homepage. That’s not a good practice. Limiting the number of links in your menu navigation is a good practice. Be mindful that fewer items in your navigation are good for search engines and good for visitors.
- The more items in your navigation, the more difficult the information is to remember and process for your visitors so if you have too many, visitors’ eyes may scan past important items.
- The order of your website navigation is important.
- Items at the beginning and the end are most effective because this is where attention and retention are highest. Anything we put at the beginning or end of our navigation becomes more prominent, therefore, always seek to put the things that are most important to visitors in those places.
Below is an example of a confusing navigation bar…