The Importance of Easy Website Navigation

May 21, 2014

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The Internet is an infinite place, which means that a person building a website through WordPress or another similar platform has the ability to make whatever site they construct as massive as they can possibly imagine. Because of this, having some form of navigation in place is essential for any website no matter how great or small they might be. Yet merely having a navigation feature on your website isn’t good enough. It has to be a system that is built to make it easy for your customers to find exactly what they want from your website in a way that maximizes efficiency and minimizes frustration. Otherwise, your website could be nothing more than an intimidating labyrinth of confusion that may cost you clients that would otherwise be loyal to your brand.

Essential Steps for Easy Web Navigation

Fortunately, putting together a web navigation experience that is logical and easy for your customers to use is not all that difficult to construct. All it really takes is an adherence to a few simple, sensible steps. Some of these steps include:

  • Consistency – One of the most fundamental aspects of any website is to make sure the essential navigation points that are used the most always land on the same spot on the page. This would include things like the menu or conversion links such as an “add to cart” button. Eliminating the need for your users to hunt and peck for these basic tools with every page will make them feel instantly at ease with your site.
  • Offer Search Features – Sometimes, your customers will want to just cut to the chase. Having a highly visible search box tool on your main page will allow them to find what they need fast without having to spend time trying to decipher what section of your site the item in question may be.
  • Deploy Subcategories – While having major categories on your website is essential, stuffing them with a broad range of information can be overwhelming for your customers. In order to avoid this, your best bet is to break down each major category into compartmentalized secondary sections to prevent your customers from poring over things that are irrelevant to their needs while they look for what they want. What’s more, the subcategories can be added to your website in a non-intrusive way, such as utilizing a drop-down menu.
  • Use Clear Definitions – Your navigation tools should be straightforward and easy to understand as possible. Avoid using words of phrases that may come across as vague to a user. You may feel that defining your company page navigation title “About Us” to be boring, but this is the one section of your website where being clever should take a backseat to being practical every time.

After the Navigation is Built

Of course, there is more to a solid navigation system than merely making sure the right tools are in place. For instance, you should constantly check your website to ensure that the navigation is working properly and that issues like a Page Not Found error or a search that does not produce results do not occur. Also, you should ensure that your navigation happens at a decent speed. Internet users are less patient with page load times than ever before, so a slow navigation experience can leave your customers extremely flustered.

All of the elements that you can use in order to build a proper navigation system are tied by one common bond: Logic. If there is any aspect to exploring your website that disrupts a systematic flow in any way, get rid of that aspect immediately. Remember, if it doesn’t make sense to you, it probably won’t make sense to your customers, either.