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Guide

Showing Web Visitors How to Navigate Your Website

I admit when I first started building websites and blogs a few years back I made a lot of mistakes especially with navigation. My visitors were probably confused and clicked away quickly, landing on another site that was better designed to be user-friendly. After taking some offline and online courses about Website Design, I soon became better and my websites began to turn a profit because visitors remained long enough to read my content and to see the value in the products and services I offered. It is relatively easy to create a website or blog page that is user-friendly by just adding a few navigational tools such as a sitemap or page graphics that direct the visitor to where they will find the important information on your page. You also want to make sure that you create compelling and valuable content.

Do you know why web visitors click away from a website? The main reasons are:

  1. They don’t see what they are looking for in the first few seconds after landing on your page
  1. They get lost because they can’t find a clear path to the content they are looking for or the products they are seeking

People are impatient and the Internet puts visitors into an “instant gratification mindset” with its fast load times and at your fingertips approach. If a visitor to your website can’t find what they are searching for they will decide that its not worth their time to stay on your site any longer and with a click of the mouse they are off to someone else’s website buying from them instead of from you.

How do you improve site navigation so visitors can easily find what they are looking for?

You must concentrate on something called “navigation design”. Navigation design is a purposeful design of your website’s navigation features so that your website visitor is taken by the virtual hand and led right to what they are looking for on your site.

Make sure you create easy ways for your visitors to get from one site page to another

Don’t make your visitor go back to the homepage to go to another page on your site.

Use color images to indicate navigational categories within your site.

Pretend you are a visitor and try to look at your site from the eyes of a stranger. Would you be able to find a product or service easily without fumbling around and clicking from one page to another? Easy well planned tabs that clearly tell the visitor where things are located in easy to understand categories and page titles is one way to help your visitor navigate your site. Another useful tool is a sitemap. Sitemaps are just like road maps in that they can help someone who is lost, find the way to where they are going without getting further lost. You don’t want visitors to become lost on your website so give them a way to find their way back to the right path.

Your visitors will thank you for taking the time to design your site with clear, easy to follow navigation by staying on your site long enough to find what they are looking for and by hopefully buying from you instead of the “other guy”.