3 Steps to Having the Best Website Navigation
Your website navigation is the home base of your site. It’s the first opportunity you have to organize your business in a way that leads your ideal dreamy clients and customers right to where you want them to go. That being said, we have to make some serious effort in prioritizing the goals of our websites in a way that is totally inviting (and not overwhelming) to clients.
Imagine your dream client shows up on your page… we’ll call him…Mike.
At this moment, Mike is looking for a massage therapist that can help his lower back pain so he can start running again.
What a coincidence, that’s exactly what you offer! You have physical therapy experience, are an athlete, know anatomy like the back of your hand, and have some amazing massage experience.
The only problem is, Mike shows up on your website and notices there are 10 links at the top of the page. It’s still a nice looking website though so he decides to brave the unknown and stay awhile to see if he can find what he’s looking for.
Overwhelmed by choice, he just starts clicking around hoping to find the services you offer, how much they cost, and where you are located.
He notices that he can read about you and find your blog, but not actually find what he needs.
Mike gets frustrated…and leaves. You lose a sale, and Mike still has lower back pain.
Your clients are out there desperately looking for what you have to offer. Why would we waste the opportunity to solve their problems (and ours) because of overwhelm and confusion that could have been avoided?
Here are some tips on how to set website goals and how to organize your navigation bar in a way that always leaves customers wanting more, and buying the solution you want to sell!
Tip #1: Set your goals
There are many possible reasons why you decide to have a website.
To establish yourself as an expert in your field
To make sales
To book clients
To build your email list
To explain what you do
Choose one or two goals that you can focus on and make your priority.
Tip #2: Use your goals
Once you have your goals, you can use them to determine your marketing strategies, calls to action, and navigation.
Your top goals should definitely be included in your nav bar! For example, if you are trying to improve your SEO and bring more traffic, as well as establish yourself as an expert through your blog, you should definitely have your blog listed in your main navigation.
It should be listed with 2-3 other links in your primary navigation. You don’t want to clutter your navigation and pull attention away from your main objectives and confuse your audience in the process.
Less is more!
This leads me to my next point:
Tip #3: Don’t be creative with your primary navigation…
Creativity is such an important component of any website. I love seeing a website that is organized, clear, concise, AND creative. After all, creativity is what helps clients and customers understand you, your brand, and what you’re all about.
The only place creativity should not be used in your website, is in your primary navigation.
Here’s an example: Imagine you want to go eat at a delicious farm to table restaurant downtown with a friend. You have never been there before so you take out your phone, type the address into Google maps, and tap “go”. When you use a GPS system, you expect that it will take you to your destination in the most fast and efficient manner possible. Usually that’s the case, but this time you notice you are being led all over the city, driving over bridges and taking back roads. Not only this, but your ETA keeps getting longer and longer and you have no idea when you’ll actually get where you need to go. Your GPS decided to be creative.
This is really similar to how it can feel when you go to a website and can’t find anything you are looking for. There are 10 links at the top of the page and you have no idea where to begin. Most likely, you’ll decide to give up, leave the page, and look for another business that seems more organized.
Don’t worry though! Here is how you get rid of the navigation agitation.
Make a list of what your clients are most likely looking for when they go to your website.
Say you own a yoga studio and you want to be sure students have access to information that will make it easier to buy what you are selling. They will need to know the class schedule, location, pricing, and how to contact you. It could also be useful to have a call to action that allows them to actually sign up for the studio online.
After you make your list, narrow it down to 4-6 items, TOTAL!
Picking 4-6 navigation items helps clients not only find what they are looking for, you can also point them in the direction of signing up for what you have to offer.
Asking too much of clients will pull them in too many directions, overwhelm them, and ultimately keep them from pulling the trigger on a purchase. .
Once you select your top items, use your creativity to weave all other information into your website in a natural and intuitive way. Doing this will ensure you can say everything you want to say without distracting.
Thank you for reading!
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