Familiar Website Navigation.
In our last tutorial, we looked at how as a website builder, you can make sure visitors don’t get lost in your site by including a link to your home page at the bottom of all your pages. Now let’s look at secondary navigation, which includes links to your contact page, about us, terms and conditions, delivery and copyright information etc. and the importance of maintaining a familiar structure to your Navigation.
Links to pages offering this information such as: contact details, about us, terms and conditions, delivery and copyright etc., should be left out of your primary navigation bar and placed at the bottom of each page. This then frees up your main navigation bar for the more important stuff like product information and shopping basket links, i.e. the direct response pages!
Simply create a line of text featuring each of the secondary page titles, seperating each page with either a space, a star or a vertical line and create the links to their respective pages. Once you have created all the links for this line, save your page then copy the line from the live saved page. This will also copy the respective links and you can then paste the entire line of links onto all the necessary pages.
Placing links to and from the various pages of your website within the content of your pages is also a great way to tie your pages together. Evert time you write about something that’s discussed on another page of your site, get into the habit of creating a link to the respective page. This also makes the related content immediately available when it’s most relevant and encourages visitors to travel further into your site and read more of your information.
Do make sure that the words making up the link are clearly descriptive of the information you are directing visitors to. Try to avoid using links that simply read “click here.” Instead use text such as “View Office Equipment Special Offers” and place the link on the words: “Office Equipment Special Offers” . This not only helps with SEO but also works to encourage viewers to click through to read the information.
Your Reason8 page editor makes it very simple for you to customise the structure of your navigation through the use of colour, typeface, images, icons and text-formatting, but try to keep to a basic design framework to ensure that your site is simple to navigate no matter how much you dress it up.
Your aim should be to create simple to use navigation, with a structure that a user can get to grips with without have to think too much about it.
Basing your navigation and design around well know and common layouts and navigational standards is a very clever move. Now, I’m not saying you can't be original!!! Far from it… with so much flexibility at your fingertips, that would be like telling a free bird to fly into a cage and stay there! Originality in the right places and in the right context is a wonderful thing — but the most popular sites on the internet today are those, where the visitors knows how to find their way around as easily as they could find their way around their own house. They can do this because the site feels very straight forward and simple to use. Familiarity in the way the pages link together will make people feel more comfortable flicking through your pages and that’s got to be a good thing right?!
Familiarity is the key word here. If the site has a familiar feel to it, the users can be more sure of what they are doing. They feel safe clicking on links, knowing that something unexpected won't happen. What you are doing is giving them the feeling of control. The control to move comfortably through your site. The control to contact you and the control to spend money with you!!