Today, we’re going to learn how to choose the best style and use of your website’s menu.
Here is a quick visit to the top navigation that everyone clicks or “must click”.
- HOME – Your website most likely have the “Home” button. Don’t blame your website designer for having a “Home” button, it was your choice and I bet it’s for a good reason. To let people find themselves back to your homepage. But hey, we are finally in the YEAR 2015 and it’s time to make that website “real estate” functional and let go of the “Home” link. Remember: your logo is most likely clickable to go to the homepage. If not, let your web designer know and make sure it’s a clickable logo that goes back to the main page of your site. Your website’s first menu link must be the most important place you want your visitors to go…RIGHT AWAY.
- SERVICES – This is an important link that website visitors should initially find right away. If you are an individual service provider, “Work With Me” has been a popular title for this page. BE CREATIVE and don’t settle for the commonly used title “services”. But don’t be too clever that people will get confused on what you offer. Be specific and make sure you don’t go after long texts. If you are selling digital or physical products instead of services, use each category from your store as the link title. If you have a wide range of products, having a Store or Shop link is enough utilizing mega menus. What’s a mega menu? Will go over that on our next blog so make sure you are subscribed to our blog to get it.
- ABOUT – This is your “About” page, a window to who you are, your business or your team. Most website visitors are curious to know what kind of business they are visiting. Who are they buying the product from. Who is behind the website. Open up the curtain and let your visitors get a glimpse of who you are. Make sure it’s prominent on your top menu. Again, be creative to use “Who We Are” instead of just the plain “about us” text.
- BLOG – If you’re a blogger or wants people to find your blog, this link on top of your website is helpful to give your visitors an entry to your blog right away. Just make sure you put your Blog second to last. According to Kissmetrics;
Items that appear first or last on any list are most effective. Navigation is no exception. Psychology studies show that, attention and retention are highest for things that appear at the beginning and at the end. It’s called the “serial position effect” and it’s based on the principles of primacy and recency.
If you’re not a blogger, it’s better to leave off the Blog link and put it at the bottom of your page. You blog to get found. You don’t need your visitors to go straight to your blog when they are already on your homepage. Skip the Blog link and use the extra menu “real estate” for something more important like programs you are offering, services etc.
- CONTACT -Last but not the least, your “Contact” link which links to your Contact page form. While it’s highly important for your contact link to be visible on your website’s menu, it’s always best that it is placed all the way to the right of your menu which is a standard location. I’m going to say this again, BE CREATIVE and witty if you will in your text link, but not too clever making it confusing for visitors what the page is about. Never put your contact link on the first list of your menu.
Another great reminder from Kissmetrics (quoted from Kissmetrics blog) https://blog.kissmetrics.com/common-website-navigation-mistakes/:
Bonus Reminder! Always links, never buttons
In case you’ve missed the web design trends from the last eight years and you’re still tempted to use graphical, button-based navigation (rather than text-based links) here are five good reasons not to:
- Buttons are not search friendly, since the text within is invisible to search engines.
- Buttons are harder to update than links, requiring Photoshop and a new image for every update.
- Buttons load more slowly that links, making them especially bad for mobile visitors.
- Buttons are less accessible to the visually impaired.
- Buttons are unnecessary, even if you want to use non-standard fonts, thanks to tools like TypeKit.
I’m a digital online generalist, with a wide range of skills from web design, graphics, marketing & SEO. One of the things I love with my job is working with other creative marketers and helping business owners and organizations maximize their online presence. I love a good cup of coffee & enjoy the Metro Parks in Ohio with my family.