Let Someone Find On Your Site By Designing The Perfect Navigation System
One of the most important articles on your website is buried deep inside one of the many pages and someone will need to find it. When anyone lands on your site it’s not enough that they read an article and leave. They need to start looking around and soaking up more amazing information. This is how you turn people from random visitors into dedicated customers. That will only happen when your navigation is perfect and people can find what they want.
Take a look at some websites right now and see if you can find what you’re looking for. It’s sad to say, but the majority of us have an attention span shorter than a fish. We leave as soon as we get bored and we get bored as soon as we can’t find what we’re looking for. If you want to deliver the goods and have a successful business it’s time to take a giant step back so you can carefully examine your site’s navigation. If you want some help then make sure you’re doing these.
Your navigation bar
Where will you put it? That is the first question you’ve got to ask yourself before you even consider how it should be designed. If you look at most successful websites it’s always at the top because it’s easy to see and that is where most people will look for it. Make sure it stands out so using a bright color to separate the logo and the articles always works. Don’t stuff anything in there because it should just lead people to the most important sections on your site.
Your internal link structure will improve your SEO efforts, but it also helps people find related content when they are reading an article. If you mention something when writing your article and you have already covered it you don’t need to explain it again. If you just link to the old article it means anyone who reads your site will eventually stumble onto the great content. Make sure people can distinguish between a link and a bolded word by using a different color.
When you run a website the obvious goal is to make as much money as possible and to do that you’ll need to sell products. People need to find the products before they can ever buy them so you need to find a way to usher them onto your sales page. If you take the graphic, which could be a book cover, and put it somewhere on your site it means someone will see it and click on it to be taken to the sales page.
Inside your sidebar you want to link to pages which are called a content buckets. These are pages dedicated to a special topic you cover on your site. When someone clicks on a link you have inside the sidebar they land on a page that has the link to every article about that particular topic. It just means you’re eliminating a few of the steps people would normally need to take to reach certain pages that are buried deep inside your archives.
A ‘start here’ page
Ask anyone who visits a new site what they would love most and they will tell you it’s a dedicated page that will bring them up to date with everything that is going on. Stumbling onto a site and only reading from the latest article means they will miss out on all the great information that has been covered in the past. You can counteract this by setting up a dedicated page for the site newcomers and they can be pointed in the right direction towards all the best content.
Todd Ramos is Founder and CTO at PenTech Consulting. He is one of the first seo’s in CT and to many the founding father of this industry in the region. He also shares his thoughts regularly about the latest developments on various blogging sites.