Your Website’s Navigation: How to Make Your Menu SUPER Effective

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Your Website’s Navigation: How to Make Your Menu SUPER Effective

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Your website’s navigation allows users to browse between pages on your website. But, what happens when your navigation is confusing or overwhelming? Uhhhh… people LEAVE and they don’t get to see your amazing offers. 

I want you to have effective navigation on your website, and I’m teaching you how to in this episode. I’m sharing do’s and don’ts, best practices, and the psychology behind the user experience stuff that makes this so important. 

If this sounds boring to you, I get it. But, it’s important! Seriously… this stuff could make or break your website’s user experience. You don’t need to hire a designer to spruce things up. I’m showing you how to have an effective menu all on your own. 

LISTEN TO THIS EPISODE NOW:

Listen & subscribe on your favorite platform:  Apple Podcasts  |  Stitcher  | Google Play  |  Spotify  | iHeartRadio

Search for episode 68!

Common Menu Styles

There are a couple of different common navigation styles you’ll see! 

Three different website menu styles: horizontal, hamburger, and sidebar.

Here are some basics before we dive in: not every page on your website needs to be in the navigation menu but the menu should be on basically every page (unless it’s a sales page or lead magnet. This is really important, it should stay the same! The worst thing you can do for your user experience is changing up the menu on people page to page or leaving the menu off of a page where it naturally should go. 

3 Website Menu Tips:

1. Use clear and concise wording for your navigation + keywords specific to your business. 

Keep your menu options simple. You don’t want to over-explain. These will ideally be less than 3 words. Less stuff for people to read is best! 

You also want to use clear words that people expect to be used to describe that page. So clear is important, but you also want to use words that are specific to your business. The title on your page and even SEO settings can be different, but we won’t want to confuse people on the menu!

2. Have less than 8 options. 

There are so many different recommendations. I say 8. Remember, not every page needs to be in this navigation. You’re picking the most important ones for YOUR BUSINESS. It’s going to vary business to business what’s most important. 

For example, if you run a business where people are not filling out a contact form as a step to working with you, then the contact page could be in your footer menu. Not the main navigation menu. It’s specific to your business. 

Ask yourself these questions:

  • Are there any pages that are less important and could be moved to the footer navigation? 
  • Are there any pages that could be combined? 
  • Are there any pages that could just be linked to within a page and not the main menu?

Listen to the full episode for more on these questions and some great examples!

"Not every page on your website should be in the navigation menu." -Elizabeth McCravy

3. The most important things should go first and last in the navigation. 

There is a psychological theory around this, called the Serial Position Effect. Experiments show that when participants are presented with a list of words, they tend to remember the first few and last few words and are more likely to forget those in the middle of the list. People expect the most important things to be first and last and the rest in the middle.

You may have already been doing your website navigation this way naturally! Our brains naturally think like this because we inherently know this principle and because it’s a common, standard web practice.

As a starting point for you, your “Home” page should always be first, we typically expect “Services” or “About” to be second. Then “Contact” or the call to action to book you should always be last.

4. Limit drop-down menus!

Believe it or not, these are not user-friendly when used in excess, and are in most cases a bad solution to a situation where you are wanting to shove so much into the navigation. 

Not all dropdowns are all bad, and I do think they have their place. You’ll see this a lot with large retailers. I still think they are overwhelming but at least sensible there. 

So, if you’re going to use them, maybe just once in the whole navigation and then no more than 4 options in the drop-down. 

Bonus tips: 

  1. Use a button to call out your most important thing.
  2. Add social media links. 
  3. Focus on the mobile menu experience just as much, and know it’ might need to be different than desktop.

Listen to the full episode for some quick action steps that you can take TODAY that will instantly help your website.

Learn best practices and great tips for your website's navigation menu with Elizabeth McCravy on the Breakthrough Brand Podcast.

May 26, 2020

Explore more categories:  Design, Podcast, Showit Website Templates, Web Design

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see my top biz resources

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podcast

freebies

Recently Launched

NEW Podcaster template

Oh, you wanna know more?

design

business

marketing

my client work

personal

listen to the podcast!

I'm Elizabeth, and simply put, I design brands and websites. I mix in marketing strategy, personality galore, and tons of fun to create custom brands, custom websites, and website templates. These designs convert lookers into buyers and take the headache out of the design process. I believe your brand should be a knockout. I'll help you create a captivating + profitable online presence! Join me, won't you?!

Hey there!

of the year

@ELIZABETHMCCRAVY

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