Please note this article was first published in 08 Apr 2010. Its content may now be out of date. We recommend taking a look at more recent website building blog posts or check out our comprehensive support pages. If you are looking for information on our 14 day free website builder trial we have a large number of webpages that guide you throug the process.
When browsers surf the internet looking for information, they want to find it quickly and easily. The first few seconds after clicking onto a site should at least give them an idea of what the site offers and whether they are likely to find what they are looking for. They’re hoping to find the best product or service that they need at that time and of course the best price. As the website builder for your business, if your site shows no real indication of what’s on offer and / or gives visitors no idea of where to go next or how to get to the primary information pages, then the chances are they’ll click away to the next site pretty much immediately. If this is the case then YOU need to make some changes immediately.
The importance of the structure and clarity of your navigation can’t be stressed enough. Without good navigation, a website loses all sense of organisation. It’s a bit like a maze without a map. Your main navigation bar should be clearly labelled and should give an immediate idea of what the site offers. The page buttons should assure your visitors that there’s a lot to see and should encourage them to come in and explore.
Ideally, visitors should be able to get to any page in no more than two or three clicks, with your main pages accessible in just one. It’s also important to allow access to the rest of your site from anywhere.
Primary navigation must be clear and structured. Start by breaking your website down into subject areas, categories and groups and present them in the simplest way possible. Try to keep your primary navigation buttons to no more than 6 or 7. Many more and you’ll overwhelm your visitors and give the impression that it will take them hours to find what they are looking for. Links to your other pages can easily be set from your page content. This also helps with SEO as if you create hyperlinks from the keywords within your page content; it makes them very visible to the search engines.
Don’t forget that a lot of your visitors won’t actually land on your homepage when they first arrive at your site. Many could arrive on a page deep within your website from a search engine listing and will need to be able to pick up your navigation and introduction to your website straight away. One way to do this is to include a link to you home page at the bottom of every page you create. Again if you do this using keywords and create an external Hyperlink, this will help your SEO position.
At the bottom of your second page, enter a very short punchy line of text, which says something like. Click here to return to the (Your Company Name) Home page. Highlight this line, then click the Yellow Insert Link Icon in your editor bar > Choose Webpage > External Webpage > enter your full website address and click Add to Website. Click Save page. Next go down to the link text line you just created, highlight it and copy it. You can now paste both the line and its link at the bottom of all your other pages to ensure your visitors can always find their way home and the information they need.
Please remember, this article was first published 08/04/2010. The content may be out of date and you cannot post comments any more. Please check out our new blog.
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