Let’s imagine you’re out clubbing and suddenly there’s a conflagration and everyone is scramming for their way out. Your chance of finding the egress is contingent on how able you’re to locate the exit door. Now, what if this was your first time hanging out in this club?
Well, the same thing can be said about web navigation. Every time someone clicks on the links you have in your navigation bar, they're simply doing so because they have some other place that they’d rather be. Not a single web visitor wants to click the link menus you have on a humble; if your ‘About Us’ page can’t be found or has an enigmatic title such as dispatch from headquarters, rest assured a good chunk of the new readers you get will visit the site but leave almost immediately without even bothering to give the page a second thought.
That’s how the internet world operates; obfuscate things and you’ll lose a healthy count of the new readers you get.
That said, let’s go through a number of tips that you can use to improve your site’s navigation:
Make it consistent
Your navigation has to be consistent—both in terms of where and how the links appear on your site. Your primary goal should be to promote ease of use and make relevant information easier to find.
Try as much as you can to keep your navigation the same in every page to protect your visitors from losing their on-site bearing.
Group your categories clearly
This is particularly very important if your site has multiple sections—multiple categories and sub-categories.
Find a way to keep all the categories visually defined. That’s to say there should be something that separates categories from sub-categories, even when both of them link to the same page.
Use logical site layout and navigation bar
The buttons at the top or bottom of your web pages must be well ordered and logical. For instance, ‘home’,‘products’, and ‘about us’ buttons are logically expected to proceed the ‘Contact’ button.
It’s also important that you ensure the layout you choose is intuitive and makes a clear display of all the pages you have without leaving key issues behind. The comprehensive structure must include a number of main pages, top subject pages and a few sub pages if necessary. This will lessen the amount of friction placed on search engine robots, and thus pave way for a sound user experience.
Double-check your search features to ensure they’re properly working
The in-site search feature you have must always provide relevant results whenever a reader searches for an item in your site. Make sure it can correctly auto-correct misspellings, show related results and even produce results for items you don’t have. Whatever you do, don’t ever let your search feature produce ‘no product found’ as result.
Add ALT text to every clickable image
Every clickable image, especially those linking to other pages must have ALT texts. The ALT attribute must be included in the descriptive text so it can help your readers figure out what the link is all about regardless of how they’re viewing your site.
Keep navigation titles accurate
Navigation titles should give a visitor a rough idea of what the page is all about should they proceed to click it. Keep your verbiage less stilt and easy to understand so readers can right away tell the content they are likely to find if they make the click.