26 – Navigation Elements

This week, you will learn about how to improve your website’s navigation.

What has the navigation to do with SEO?

  • What has the navigation to do with SEO? It’s one of the main ways a search engine can crawl and find your website content.
  • The navigation should reflect your website structure – this helps a search engine understand which pages are most important
  • It helps your website users find content quickly

Remember: It’s ALWAYS about your visitors (and secondly about SEO)

  • Your website navigation can increase or decrease the number of visitors you get from search engines
  • Your navigation can have an impact on how many people actually buy from you or send you an enquiry!

Improve these things in your website’s navigation

1. Avoid using generic labels!

  • Does your navigation say: Home | About | Products | Blog | Contact
  • Try to replace this with more descriptive labels. If you only sell a few product categories, mention the categories in your navigation, such as:
    • Home | Wedding Cakes | Birthday Cakes | Baking Classes | Blog | Contact
    • Make your navigation labels relevant to your website visitor.

2. Drop down menus: Make them big, but don’t make them long!

    • Use a mega menu instead of a long list drop down.
    • Group similar items together to they are easier to scan.
    • Don’t make people hover on menu items to discover more menu options
    • Avoid sub menus in the drop down, make everything visible

3. Group items together – it’s easier to scan

  • If you have a side navigation on your website that contains lots of options, group things together by context

4. Don’t categorise by format

Your website visitor didn’t wake up this morning to look for a case study or a webinar. They were looking for a certain topic. They don’t care about the format of the content.

  • Avoid categorising content by format, such as: Articles | Case Studies | Webinars | Videos | Podcast
    • This is bad for SEO as many different content topics are combined on one page. I.e. the page is no longer specific around one topic.
  • Instead, look at your content and find topics and add ALL content items about one subject on this page about this subject.
    • This is so much better for SEO as each page contains content around one topic.

5. Remove Social Media Icons from the header / navigation

It takes time and effort to get people to visit your website. Don’t show them the exit sign straight away and lose them to social media as soon as they’ve landed on your homepage.

  • Social Media icons should be small and discreet
  • Add them to your website footer – most people expect to find them there.

6. Don’t use a mobile menu on a desktop website

  • People expect to see a proper menu when visiting a website on a laptop / desktop computer

Task for this week

Check your website’s navigation and improve it going through the steps above. This is an easy and quick way to amend your website and it can have a positive impact on your SEO and conversions.