At present, only a few webmasters prefer a one-page site, and the majority of them are wishing to set up a content-rich website including a lot of webpages. In this case, an effective and clear navigation system is undoubtedly important to increase the reading experience for online visitors. As researched among 100 of our readers, nearly 99% of them are unwilling to visit a site that features a complex layout but has no navigation aids.
Now, you may be wondering what kind of navigation can be regarded as a useful one. In the following, we’ like to show you the top 5 golden navigation rules, with which you can improve the effectiveness of your site significantly.
Pay Attention to Navigation Positioning
The most common and clear navigation is the horizontal one top the webpage and the vertical one located at the left side. Many webmasters are not willing to put their navigation in standard places as they believe marketing is about uniqueness and differentiation. However, these people just forget the fact that the main function of navigation is to make the site easy to use and help readers find what they want within the shortest time, but not used to show people that this site is totally different from any others.
Besides, a navigation bar placed in non-standard location is very likely to mislead your readers and make them feel that your site is not professional.
Simple Navigation within 3 Clicks
We are living in a world where people are becoming more and more impatient, so they will not hang over a website if they cannot find what they want within a short time. Let’s say, 5 seconds in general.
Here, we’d like to introduce you a 3-click rule, requiring that every webpage within your site needs to be accessible within less than 3 clicks. This can guarantee a short switching time effectively if your page loading speed is not that slow. You might wonder why 3 clicks? In fact, this result comes from our survey among hundreds of Internet users. According to the feedback, more than 80% of these people don’t have the patience to go past 3 clicks to find their targeted contents.
It is worth mentioning that search engine spiders are also impatient to crawl your website with too many clicks. Any webpages that are hidden deeply within a site can hardly be ranked on a high place in the searching result page.
Maintain the Style
Always bear in mind that your navigation bar needs to maintain the same style at any webpages. This means if you use a horizontal bar in the homepage coming with a blue background color and a bold font featuring white color, then you have to use this bar at all your webpages and locate it at the same place.
This kind of consistency can help visitors get used to your website quickly and browse it comfortably. Otherwise, they may feel difficult to handle the whole site and leave your site to go for anywhere else.
Go Home Button
This aspect has been ignored by many webmasters. In fact, a “Go Home” button or a “Click here for homepage” link integrated below or next to your navigation bar is very useful, for people can restart their search by going back to your homepage again with ease. To be honest, this kind of sign or mark can give people a sense that you are a careful webmaster who cares about readers’ feeling comprehensively; thus generate a positive impression on your site.
Set Navigation Categorization Wisely
Imagine your site is a book store, then the navigation categories are the cabinets or file folders where books of different types are kept and organized. Therefore, before addressing the navigation of your site, simply take a few minutes to consider how many main categories there should be, and whether these categories are relevant and useful for readers to address their targets. Remember that if you fail to categorize your content in an organized way, then the navigation will be confusing and chaotic.
To indicate which page a user is on, you can change the background color and label color of that specific category with bold texts, making it more obvious than others.
Categorize Webpages with Clear Tags
The tags or labels presented on your navigation bar need to state clearly which section or what content behind them. Some common words that may lead to confusion should be avoided, such as links, resources, tools, and many more.
In fact, we highly recommend the crucial tags that can categorize your content clearly and effectively with no overlap at all. For instance, this website is about WordPress related knowledge, and our main topics are WordPress hosting and WordPress tutorials. Therefore, the tags used by our website designers include Home, Tutorial, Hosting, and Contact us. Everyone visiting our website can know what we are talking about easily and go for what they want from the right starting point.
Include Few Navigation Buttons
We have found that many webmasters include a lot of labels into the navigation bar, with a view to giving people a comprehensive understanding of the whole site. To be honest, this action not only adds no value but also causes a negative impact on your site, for too many options may prevent people from getting the core aspect. If your site really includes a lot of categories, simply make use of the drop-down menus to break down the main categories into some sub-sections.