Navigation in Websites

Navigation in websites refers to the ability to access every point of a website in an easy way. This should be the aim of every website owner as it is the only way to keep visitors coming backs to your site and referring your site to their friends.

Make use of intuitive navigation techniques, that is, pop up menus, lists and maps that visitors can easily understand to guide them through the site. This will make the website more user-friendly and hence popular.

Another way to improve navigation is by having a consistent menu displayed on every page. This will be more familiar for visitors to use and they will not have to keep going back to the home page for reference.

Keep the menu in the same location and in the same style throughout the site so that visitors can easily grasp how the site looks like and how to go around it. Using different menus on every page will confuse visitors and make it hard for them to find their way around the site.

Make use of a site map. This is basically a page with a list of all sections and pages making up the entire site. It gives the visitor the option to click the page they want to view on the map, which will open the page they want to view directly instead of going back to the menu.

For easier navigation and less loading time, use text menus instead of buttons and graphics. They may look plain but they enhance navigation in a big way. Text links are also easily recognizable by search engines and increases the relevance of your site, unlike image navigation menus/bars. They are also clearer and easier to understand for most viewers.

If you find it necessary to use graphic and image navigation menus, add a text navigation menu at the bottom of the page so that search engine spiders can locate your site easily.

Using frames to create a navigation menu enables the menu to appear on all pages. However, it tends to clamp pages together. When viewed from a different browser that is meant to use navigation menus created using frames, ordinary menus will not be seen. You can solve this problem by including a link to your home page on every page so that visitors can see exactly how the site looks.

Ensure that the navigation bar is at the top of the pages so that visitors can see it immediately the page loads.

High levels of navigation will only be achieved if you keep the site as simple as possible. Minimize use of images and all forms of other heavy files. Put only the most interesting information, which is what will keep visitors glued to the site.

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