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WAHM  > Website Building Tips > Website Navigation

Website Navigation Do's and Don'ts

 

Great navigation means your users will be able to quickly and easily get around your site.

Poor navigation means your visitors will get confused and leave.

Here are 7 do’s and don’ts of website navigation. 

Do: Use a Breadcrumb Trail

A breadcrumb trail is a “trail” of where someone came from in your site, structured similar to a file directory system. For example: 

Home > Fishing Rods > Bass Rods > Rod #XX12 

It’s a “breadcrumb trail” leading all the way back to the home page, each link being clickable. 

Don’t: Overcrowd Your Page 

Having a million links on your front page doesn’t make things easy to read, it just make sit overcrowded and difficult to navigate. 

Instead, have just a handful of carefully selected links on the front page, with easy to find links in subpages. 

Do: Have Clear Categories for Search Engines 

Categories make it much easier for search engines to read your site. If everything is in the “Bass Fishing” category, the search engines will have a much easier time categorizing those specific pages as “bass fishing.” 

Remember – The easier you make it for search engines, the higher you’ll rank. 

Don’t: Change Around Navigation Throughout the Site 

If your front page’s navigation and your subpage’s navigation systems are totally different, you’ll confuse your users. 

Pick one versatile navigation system that works for all the pages throughout your site and stick with that one system. 

Do: Tell people what to do next 

You should make it crystal clear what you want your readers to do next. If it’s to watch a certain video, to sign up to your newsletter, etc, make that clear.  

Don’t: Have a Navigation System that Breaks With Additional Content 

The classical example of this is having links on your front page to each article on your site. 

Sure, this works when you have 10 or less articles. But you can’t possibly have 50 links to articles on your front page without looking like a cluttered mess. 

Build a system that looks great whether you have 10 pages or 200. That way, no matter what direction you take your site, the navigation won’t break 

Do: Have Clean Code 

If you have convoluted code, this makes it a lot harder for the search engines to read.

Clean code also tends to take up less code space, which in the eyes of the search engines means less content that’s unrelated to your site. 

Clean up your code if you know how. Generally, well known platforms like Blogger.com or Wordpress.com have pretty clean code.

Lesser known platforms can occasionally generate very convoluted code. 

If you follow these 7 do’s and don’ts of navigation, you’ll be on your way to creating a great navigation system for both your human readers and the search engines.

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