“I want it now!” It’s a message that’s pretty universal in the culture we live in today, and it applies to pretty much everything from food delivery to movies on demand. It also applies to the information people are searching for when they head online, and it’s why high-quality website navigation is so integral to website design.
There’s a lot that goes into building a good website, from having great content writing to ensuring you’re using good keywords to get people to your site in the first place. However, getting people to your site is only half of the battle. Once they’re there, you need to keep them, and nothing drives people away faster than a confusing, difficult-to-navigate site. If people can’t find what they need – now – they’re only a click or two away from the competition. So this leaves you in a tricky position if you’re in the web development process. While you want to be sure you have everything available on your website, including all the information and all the content possible visitors may search for when they head online, you want to be certain you’re not making your site overly complex. And this can be a challenge, no matter how much experience you have when it comes to website maintenance. This is why we’re here to offer a few tips and tricks for keeping your site easy to navigate while still ensuring you’re able to offer all the content marketing you need to make your site a success.
Hierarchies – Align Your Web Design Goals With Customers’ Goals
When you build your website, you have a goal in mind. So do your customers. Perhaps you want to sell a product or sell a service to potential customers. Perhaps you want to get people to subscribe to something or sign up for some service. Maybe your overall goal for your website is primarily to generate leads. When customers head to a website for the first time, they typically want to get information about something, whether it’s about contacting you, services, or pricing, and it’s important for you to keep this in mind and align your goals with their goals.
Taking note of content hierarchies and avoiding potential problems with your hierarchies can make sure you and your customers’ goals are aligned. But first, what are content hierarchies? This refers to the ordering of information on a webpage and ensuring the most important information (for you and site visitors) receives the most emphasis.
For example, the most important content and the most important links may go at the top of the page while the least important things may go at the bottom. However, there are other navigation decisions to consider as well. When you’re working with a web content company and coming up with pages describing your various services, you’ll also want to have a quick and easy way to link customers to everything under a single services menu. Meanwhile, placing a link to your directions on the page where mobile customers can access it while on the go is a must for many businesses such as doctor’s offices.
Know the Types of Navigation for Your Web Design
When you think of website navigation, you likely imagine the typical menu at the top of a site – a pretty standard tool in website design, and one that’s been around for a long while. This is a powerful web development tool and for good reason. The standard menu at the top of a website is an effective way to link people wherever they need to go, whether it’s to your services, to various resources or information you offer, or even directly to your site’s blog. This alone makes it a powerful content marketing tool. However, it’s not the only type of website navigation tool available to you, especially with the rise of mobile devices over the past several years and the need to create mobile versions of sites.
Among other types of web navigation, you may want to consider are sidebars, which are almost as common as top menus and just as useful for keeping information organized on websites. Sidebars differ from menus at the top of websites only in that they’re placed to the left or right of content rather than across the top. They can be particularly effective if you have more than the usual number of pages you want to keep organized.
It’s also important to remember the use of footers in website navigation. Footers can link to a great deal of content on your site. However, because they’re placed at the bottom of the site, they’re usually used for less important information, or the information customers may not be seeking on a regular basis. This may include legal information or other similar resources, for example. Some sites may choose to use their footer as a way to quickly link to all the main pages on their site in one space.
Work to Categorize Your Website Content
During the web development process, you’ll be thinking a lot about the basics of navigation – that is, how to get site visitors from point A to point B. However, it’s sometimes best to simply put all the content writing you have within a certain category together in one space. It only makes sense to place all of the pages you have to describe your various services together in a single location. However, you can group your content together in an even more structured manner.
For example, it is easy to identify the content on your site meant to be informational to site visitors. This can include pages such as legal information, a glossary of terms, pricing information, or anything similarly providing site visitors with something they may have come to the site in search of. Other pages on your site may be intended for content marketing purposes. This may include your blog and similar pieces of content writing. Placing these pieces together not only helps your navigation but boosts their effect for your marketing needs.
Having everything together makes it easier for your site visitors to move from one piece to another when they’re browsing for information. Additionally, it increases your ability to find and make changes to content so you can take care of web maintenance tasks over time, further boosting your ability to utilize web design and content writing services to improve your site.
Crosslinking Your Content Writing
Crosslinking is a vital asset when it comes to crafting and keeping up with a website. This is true when it comes to how easy it is to navigate a website, but it’s also important when it comes to SEO content services. Crosslinking refers to the links between different pages on your site, and not just links from your main page to your service page or your about page. It’s also important to include links to other pages content writers may have crafted for you, such as blog articles. Links between site content, blog articles, and various other pages such as your contact page are vital. In addition to boosting the navigability of your site, they also boost your site’s rankings, making them a crucial aspect of any SEO content services. Whether doing it on your own or working with a content writing service, it’s always a good idea to consider the best way to crosslink between various pages on your site. Some things to consider when working with content writers to craft pages include:
- Using Long Tail Keywords: Rather than using basic keywords for SEO purposes, it is a good idea to use keywords specific to some area of your business a potential lead may be searching for. A web content company can help find good keywords to use for crosslinking purposes.
- Linking Your Most Viewed Page to an Offer Page: If you’re aware of the page on your site currently getting the most traffic, this is a great place to boost your crosslinking efforts. Here, you can add links to an offer page or push links to pages where you would like to begin seeing more traffic.
- Get Started Slowly: Trying to do everything all at once can be a mistake. Crosslinking is a great idea, and something you need to do if you want to boost both your navigation and your site ranking. However, doing too much confuses both site visitors and search engines. Do one or two pages at a time and keep track of your results.
Website navigation is a tricky endeavor, but ultimately having a website where people can get the information they need right away is beneficial for everyone involved, including both you and your site visitors.
If you need a little help getting your site organized so it’s easier to navigate, our talented team can be there for you with everything you need from web design and navigation strategies to high-quality content, so contact us today to get started!