Many people underestimate the importance of correctly planning website navigation. They go about aimlessly grouping and lining pages without much care and then send their website live. This method is wild, frivolous and you have a low chance of obtaining quality conversions.
The method to obtain the best result is planning.
Through planning you can create an easy to follow navigation system that both your visitors and Google can trek through to find exactly what they are after.
Run your website navigation through the burner of these following processes and ensure your website navigation is easy to follow.
1. List Your Pages…All of Them.
Make a list of every single page that you want on your website. This presents you with a perfect opportunity to add/remove pages on your website. Add pages that you want that aren’t on your website and remove pages from the list that you don’t want on your website.
Don’t focus on how they will map out on your website yet, just focus on getting all the pages that you want in a list.
All of these pages should have a corresponding keyword. If not, pour yourself a glass of a good red and settle in for a couple of hours of keyword research and assign keywords to all your pages.
2. Work Your Way Up.
Now that you have your list of pages, place these pages into very strict groups. If you have 20 pages it would be better to have 15 groups with 1 or 2 pages in each group than have 3 groups with 8-10 pages in each group.
Then, group the groups. What you are doing is creating the framework of your website navigation from the bottom. For typical websites you will end up with two categories (probably products and services) that you can now include in your website navigation menu.
Tip: Write all your pages down on post-it notes and use an empty table as your canvas. This way you can easily shift and move the pages around your navigation framework.
3. It’s Not About You.
Your website is not about you, or your business.
It’s actually about your visitors and the search engines. You need to create an environment for both to frolic and flow with ease through your website, so that they can pick up, read and scan all the bits of information that they want in as little time as possible.
Here’s the irony. The easier you make your website navigation, helping visitors spend less time finding what they want, the longer those visitors will spend on your website!
Research the type of people that are coming to your website. Test various linking methods. Have links in side columns, as buttons and images of products. Test all of these methods and see what is better suited to your main type of visitor.
4. Make Room to Grow
The search engines love websites that are updated regularly. So do people. How boring is it to be stuck in traffic behind the same car with the same annoying kid in the backseat pulling faces at you. Your visitors feel the same way about your website. But unlike the traffic jam your visitors can escape their boredom.
Always be changing your website. Put new content, new images and new videos on your website. But have it coincide with the navigation framework you have just done.
A website is not an event, it’s a journey. Make it a long and prosperous one.
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