In our opinion, the navigation bar is one of the most important ‒ yet the most overlooked ‒ website element.
It is a collection of links placed either vertically or horizontally in order to guide your site visitors to the right pages. You can even see the navigation bar as part of the footer links.
Having a well-organized, easy to follow navigation is beneficial for your site. Not to mention that it can have a positive impact on your website’s overall user-experience. Otherwise, your site visitors will get lost and will have a hard time navigating through.
Thus, whenever you create a website, it is important to have an organized navigation bar. And here are six reasons why:
It helps with seamless user experience
When users come across a site that gives them a quick solution, they will likely return to that site whenever they have a relevant query.
Think about sites like Wikipedia or Amazon. These sites have navigation that’s easy to follow and use. Therefore, chances are, users will eagerly return to them in the future.
So structure your site navigation in a way that’s helpful and easy for your site visitors to use. That way, you can cultivate a loyal audience through a positive user experience.
It can increase visit duration
An easy-to-navigate website encourages a site visitor to stay longer. That’s because they have more time to explore your site and know more about your brand.
The longer a user stays on your site, the higher the chance that you can turn them into leads and then into paying customers.
Meanwhile, if you have a site that’s difficult to navigate, then users won’t spend time digging through your site and will just “bounce.”
A bounce usually happens when the user only views a single page on your site and then leave immediately, without making any interactions ‒ even just a click.
It serves as the users’ guide around your site
Your navigational bar guides users through your website. It will serve as a map for your online visitors so they won’t get lost or confused.
Just don’t overwhelm them with a lot of options, though. Otherwise, they might be forced to leave your site.
That said, you must make your navigational intuitive, and relatively easy to use. You can also tone down your navigational bar into seven items. Then, place your most important content at the very beginning or at the end.
Usually, the item that places the first or last in your navigational bar gets the most attention.
Stay away from drop-down menus as it’s difficult for search engines to crawl them, and is annoying to users. They make your site work inefficiently as well.
It keeps things in order
A navigation bar is an important factor to consider when keeping your site organized. As we mentioned earlier, the items that are placed at the very start and end of your list are the most prominent and what users often remember.
This is known to be the serial position effect.
So look up your current analytics and determine which particular categories are the most important. Then, to make them stand out, add them at the beginning or end of your navigation.
It reduces bounce rate
A great website navigation design helps reduce your site’s bounce rate.
When web users visit your site but are confused about what they have to do next, then chances are, they’ll likely bounce.
Think of it this way: When your site navigation sends a site visitor to the wrong page, he’ll get frustrated and will eventually leave.
keep in mind that your website’s bounce rates play an important role in your rankings. For Google, having a high bounce rate is a sign that your site is unhelpful to users. Thus, the search engine will push your rankings down.
On the other hand, a navigation bar that’s helpful guides users where to go next, which significantly reduces the chances of users bouncing from your site.
It lets users to easily access company information
Because of the high-speed technology that we have today, most people want everything to be fast.
The categories in your navigation bar should be concise and clear so that it’s easy for users to access information about your company.
For instance, your website’s navigational bar tells the user precisely what your business does. From the get-go, the user can tell by just looking at the categories listed on what your site specializes in.
Your website’s navigation does more than just telling users what kind of content you have or where to look for information.
Search engines use your navigation to help determine what your website is all about, which in turn, can help with your search engine ranking.
Keep in mind that how you label these items and structure your menu plays a significant role in your site usability, as well as how your site performs on search engines.