Clarity & Simplicity: Creating a Calm, Easy Website Navigation

Website navigation is one of the most crucial aspects of a website that directly influences user experience. Through easy-to-understand navigation, you can get your users to stay on your site for more extended periods and discover content buried deep within your site structure.

However, if your navigation is cluttered with links to every section of the site and its subsections, you may be causing more confusion than ease. In particular, a messy structure can make it difficult for users looking for specific content to navigate your website quickly.

 

This post will explain how website navigation works and outline some tips that can help you simplify it.

How Does Website Navigation Work?

Websites are composed of different pages, each with its own web address. These individual pages are connected through hyperlinks to other relevant web pages in order to ease navigation when moving throughout a website.

 

This ease-of-use is essential for both visitors and search engines alike, which use it as a way to determine what content should appear on their results page or not. Search engines base on how well a specific webpage matches up against certain keywords searched by users.

 

If your site isn’t easy enough to navigate, then you risk losing traffic from either side. Whether users get lost within your site without locating the information they need (which will lead them away), or whether search engine bots don’t see your page worthy of ranking high in SERPs because of its ease of use.

 

Website navigation is important in your overall site design plan because it can significantly impact user experience and search engine rankings. Both are essential when trying to grow your business online.

Content Hierarchies and Site Navigation

Most, if not all, websites have hierarchies. Some have levels that go deeper, while others have just one to three levels. The hierarchy that you use for a website depends on the purpose of the site, its design, resources, etc. There isn’t one type of website hierarchy that’s best for all sites.

 

Content hierarchies are established so that users and search engines can quickly scour through all of your content and find what they are looking for.  If you have a site with lots of content, this can help ease the confusion.

 

There are basically two ways to layout your website hierarchies: by using breadcrumbs or through drop-down menus found on most sites today. Drop-down menus seem to be more popular than breadcrumb trails at the moment. However, both methods serve pretty much the same purpose and ease navigation in similar ways.

 

Drop Down Menu

When it comes to ease of use for users and search engines alike, there’s nothing better than having clear-cut lists that lead visitors right where they need to go within your site hierarchy without them needing to spend time searching around on their own accord. Drop-down menus are a great way to do this.

 

Simple site navigation is always best, and that’s exactly what drop-down menus offer. Visitors can find the information they need by simply clicking on an option from a list of options rather than having to scroll through several pages in order to get where they want or need to go within your site hierarchy.

 

Not only does a drop-down menu ease website navigation, but it also makes for easy searching, among other things too!

 

Breadcrumbs

While breadcrumbs aren’t as popular today as drop-down menu systems, you still see them used here and there across many sites, including eCommerce stores like Amazon. But why? What purpose do breadcrumb trails serve if not everyone uses them anymore?

 

When it comes to ease of use, breadcrumb trails are just as good as drop-down menus. In fact, some people even think they’re better!

 

Breadcrumbs have been around for a long time now, and many webmasters swear by them because they can be used in an infinite number of ways compared to being limited with options like you would find within a drop-down menu system (although there is still the option to customize your own item if needed).

 

Even though breadcrumb trails aren’t nearly as popular today as they used to be, many people prefer using them over other types of site navigation systems. This is because users don’t need any training on using such systems or where each link will take them.

 

Since they’re simple and easy to use, breadcrumbs can ease website navigation while still allowing users the freedom of customization. Just because it’s old-fashioned doesn’t mean we should stop using them entirely.

 

Best Practices to Ease Website Navigation 

 

Your website is the first impression your customers have of your company, and it sets the tone for their experience with you. If a visitor has to jump through hoops to find what they want on your site, then they’re going to leave frustrated and never come back. If you want people to keep coming back for more, ease of navigation is key.

You can check here for more tips on how to keep your site navigation simple

 

Keep Your Website Consistent 

 

The first step is to keep your website consistent. Your users should be able to navigate quickly and easily, no matter which page they’re on. If you have a drop-down menu for main categories that’s the same as your secondary navigation bar, it will simplify things if people can use either one without having to figure out where each link points.

 

Don’t Overload Your Web Pages

If ease of usage is essential in the functionality of your website, ease of navigation is just as crucial in the design. You want something visually appealing and easy to look at while not distracting from the content on the page. 

 

If you have a ton of buttons or links all over your site pointing off to different pages, it will be difficult for people to figure out where they should be going. It’s also important to pick a good color scheme and stick with it so that people can get an idea of what section of your site they’re in at all times.

 

Use Different Colors for Different Categories

Using colors effectively will help ease navigation by creating visual cues for users. For example, suppose you have a primary category and a secondary category that you want people to click on. In this case, it will ease navigation if the primary button is a different color than the secondary. 

 

Suppose your visitors can differentiate the purpose of your navigation elements and get all the information they need without spending too much time trying to figure things out. In that case, ease of navigation will be accomplished.

 

Try Dividing Your Content Into Categories

Another thing that you could do is to divide categories. If you have a lot of information on your site, it might be difficult for visitors to find what they are looking for. For ease of navigation, try grouping things together in small categories so that when users want to look for a particular subtopic, they simply need to click a category page instead of browsing an extensive directory that lists all of your pages.

 

Make Your Navigation Elements Clickable

You should also make all navigation elements clickable links. This way, if you have a section of your site related to another page, people can simply click the link and be taken there. If you don’t make things like this available for ease of navigation, then it might take them longer than they’d like to get around on your website.

 

Don’t Mislead Your Users

Anchor texts and navigation titles also play a huge role in easing navigation. Imagine landing on a site, going deeper into it, and when you wanted to go back to a category page, you clicked the link that says “category page.” 

 

However, you were led to the about us page. Wouldn’t that annoy you? 

 

That is why it is essential for you to label your titles and pick your anchor texts correctly. Doing so avoids leading users to pages they didn’t intend to visit.

 

Use a Well-Functioning Search Bar

Lastly, you need to ensure that your site’s search function works.  If users try to search for something but the search results page doesn’t display anything, they will become annoyed and leave.

 

The search function usually falls on the technical side of website optimization. So if you’re experiencing a malfunctioning search function, you need to consider asking help from your web developers.

 

Don’t Use Broken Internal Links

Broken internal links will lead your visitors to error pages or redirect them to other pages. With broken links, you are adding another set of navigation problems for your website. So, to prevent this from happening, you need to perform regular site audits. Also ensure that you’re fixing every broken link on your website.

 

If you’re looking for an internal link managing tool, try visiting Internal Link Juicer and check out its premium features.

 

The internet hosts an incredible amount of websites, and it’s often difficult to find exactly what you are looking for. This is primarily due to cluttered pages that make navigation extremely confusing and frustrating. Remember, simplicity has always been a key factor in website design—so try to implement it.

 

Internal links are vital in making your site’s navigation much simpler and easier to use. If you’re looking for a plugin to help you with your internal link-building efforts, visit Internal Link Juicer today!