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You worked hard on your website. Between writing content, choosing images and design elements, and physically building the site, creating a website is no easy task. However, nowadays, having a reliable site is one of the most expected and useful ways to market your company or practice.
Because of the time and effort spent curating your site, the last thing you want to do is make it hard to navigate. Even the best content in the world will be useless if your users can’t find it.
This is where good navigation comes in.
What Is Website Navigation?
Clear, concise, and easy-to-follow navigation is one of the most essential elements in web design.
Website navigation describes the way a visitor will access and travel through your site. Essentially, navigation is the site’s framework, road map, and information hub, guiding users from one page to the next in a logical, intuitive, and structured way.
This navigation should allow visitors to easily access any page on the website without confusion.
Where Should My Navigation Menu Be Located?
Today, websites use a few different navigation types and placements. While no single type of navigation is “best,” navigation menus should be consistent and placed where a user expects them to be.
Nowadays, most users expect to see the navigation in the top left or right-hand corner or across the top of the home page. While placement here is not required, it is recommended since that is what site visitors are used to.
This placement should be visible and consistent on every page. While some creativity is good for a website, it is usually not beneficial for navigation.
What Are My Navigation Options?
Navigation menus can be either fixed or stationary.
- Fixed navigation stays on your screen as you scroll down the page (meaning that it is always visible)
- Stationary navigation is always located at the top of the page and moves as you scroll (meaning that it disappears as you move down the page)
What Is Typically Included in the Navigation?
The main navigation on your site (whether it is always visible or accessed through a drop-down menu) groups similar pages together.
For a plastic surgery website, common navigation sections include:
About Us / About the Doctor / About the Practice
From here, your site will likely have several other pages beneath those sections that connect to that top navigation through internal links.
Does Positioning Matter in Navigation?
When grouping your internal pages and placing them in the navigation, it is important to remember that positioning matters.
People tend to direct their attention to the top and bottom of lists (namely, the first and last items). Because of this, it is wise to place your top-ranking pages in those positions.
How Can Navigation Help My Website?
1. Good Navigation Contributes to a Positive User Experience
Bettering user experience is the primary goal of concise and structured navigation. Your site visitors want everything to be laid out for them without hassle. This means that the layout of your site needs to be clear and defined.
By focusing on navigation, you can make your website more enjoyable for your visitor.
2. Good Navigation Betters SEO
Since the majority of websites rely on organic traffic (traffic that comes via search engines like Google), the ability to be found on search engines is critical to the success of your site.
Structured website navigation helps Google (and other search engines) crawl and index your site. This, combined with proper internal links, helps Google understand who you are and what you’re selling.
3. Good Navigation Helps Increase Duration Spent on Site
When visitors can easily travel through your website, they are likely to spend more time on you.
No one wants to work harder than they need to when looking for a service or answer to their specific question.
Without an easy-to-understand navigation, visitors are more likely to “bounce” (leave the site after visiting only one page). And the longer a visitor stays on your site, the more likely they are to convert.
4. Good Navigation Helps Guide Users Through the Buyer’s Journey
Regardless of whether you are a plastic surgery practice or another business, the goal of your website is to get your visitor to convert. You are selling something, and with your website, you have the opportunity to guide your potential customer through their buyer’s journey.
5. Good Navigation Leads to a Better Looking Website
Like all things, well-structured navigation simply looks cleaner. And much like a tidy house or workspace, this helps relax the user, making them much more likely to stay.
Additionally, this gives your site a more professional look, which will make you look more professional and trustworthy.
Does Your Site’s Navigation Need a Boost?
If you want to learn more about site navigation or you are unsure of what your next steps are, reach out to Plastic Surgery Studios today. Our web design experts are here to answer any of your questions. Call us today at (888) 525-6360.