How important is your website navigation to the user experience?

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No one likes the thought of getting lost, whether it is while you are driving or even losing something in a messy room. We have all been there at some point and we all know how frustrating it is. The same goes for being online too. If your website is too hard to navigate or it takes your customers too long to find a particular page, product or service they will abandon your site for a competitor with an easier to navigate.

Making it easy for your visitors to find the information they are looking for when arriving at your website is crucial to the success of your business. Visitors to your website will also remember a positive experience and will be more likely to pick your website over a competitor’s when they are next looking to make a purchase.

It all starts at the very beginning.  Your website designer should discuss with you how visitors to your site will arrive and how best to greet them when they do. Unlike a shop visitors do not generally enter through the front door.  Imagine going to the store to purchase a TV and being parachuted into the middle of the TV isle.  This is exactly what happens when people come to your website from a search engine results page. Making sure you have the essential sign posting to help your visitors navigate around your website becomes vital to ensuring your visitors don’t leave without visiting another page. Looking at the bounce rate in your analytics will help you measure your success, the lower the bounce rate the better you’re doing.

Keeping your website well organised will also help to make the navigation clearer. Just think to yourself, can I make my way around my own website easily? Does it all make sense? You cannot just expect people to look at your website and know how the navigation works, to know where to click to find the information that they are looking for.

The flow of your website has been just as important for the navigation of your website. Do the categories, subcategories and pages flow into each other smoothly and correctly. Let's take a clothing shop, for example. You have dresses, tops and bottoms as your main categories. Now you would not put the subcategories ‘Blouses’ in the ‘Dresses’ categories. This would confuse the customer and evidently lose your business. So making sure categories, subcategories and pages are in the correct place is also very important. 

It would be frustrating for you to put so much time, money and effort into your website, to find out that the navigation of the website is not clear enough for visitors to use and it just does not flow right. It is up to you and your website designer to make your primary and secondary navigation, menus and the general flow of your website clear and easy to understand. Creating a user experience that is simple, easy and keeps them coming back.

If you would like more information to see how you can improve your websites navigation and website usability, call us here at CSL Web on 0845 258 1208 or email us at info@csl-web.com.