Ask 10 small business owners how familiar they are with their website navigation, and most often you’ll get 10 blank looks. And that’s totally understandable. You have enough on your plate without digging into all the nuts and bolts of how your site operates. (And if you’re the exception, congratulations: That alone gives you a big leg up on the competition.)
In reality, your site’s main navigation is quite possibly its most essential aspect. A navigation plan that makes the Google spiders happy when they crawl your site makes Google far more likely to rank it highly. Navigation that makes sense to your visitors goes a long way toward the likelihood of a conversion instead of a bounce.
It’s understandable to want to leave some of these decisions to your site designer, but it’s your site, and you want to make sure you’re delivering all the information necessary to attract and convert visitors — without cluttering up the site in ways that hurt your SEO and make visitors bounce.
Your Ring Ring Marketing professional can advise you on what will work best for your particular business, but here are some basic tips to consider:
Limit your main menu navigation to seven items: While this isn’t a hard-and-fast rule, it’s a good rule of thumb for small business, because too much complexity can make the navigation problematic. For most small business, seven main menu items will be plenty.
If your home page has tons of links, this dilutes the authority and trust passed down to the interior pages. The more concise your navigation, the more “link juice” will flow to these pages and the better they should rank.
Use note cards to determine your navigation: Simply lay out index cards on a table, each representing a major page on your site. Look for natural ways your pages should be grouped in each category. It’s very useful to get feedback from other trusted members of your company on how they would expect to get to the information they’re looking for.
Use clear, easily interpretable names for the links on your home page: Clarity is much more important than creativity here. Visitors will bounce out of your site in a flash if they can’t find what they’re looking for quickly.