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What Are the Best Practices For Website Navigation?

web design services

The way your website looks and functions matters a lot to your customers. In reality, a site has only three to eight seconds to catch a customer’s attention before they leave the page. That means there’s very little room for error — and if a customer can’t find what they’re looking for right away, they’re going to try to find it elsewhere.

That means that your website’s navigation needs to be top-notch. But even customized websites don’t always follow the best practices for site navigation. Here are just a few tips that will ensure you get the most out of your web design services and provide visitors with the information they actually need.

Rethink Drop-Down Menus

Drop-down menus, which display when a menu item is either clicked or moused over, have been around for a while and continue to be quite popular. In fact, many custom website designers will use them frequently. But unless these menus are absolutely necessary, you might consider leaving them out entirely. Not only are drop-down menus more difficult for Google to crawl, but they aren’t actually preferred by consumers, either. If you’re looking for the website design Clearwater businesses rely on to set them apart, you should think carefully about whether or not you actually need drop-down menus at all.

Add a Search Bar

Anyone who provides professional web design services will tell you that having a search feature is a must. Search bars should usually be featured in the header of your website and should display on every page. That way, visitors can search through your site quickly to find what they need. Although your website design should make it simple for them to navigate to the right page without a search bar, it’s best to provide one to reduce the number of clicks.

Embrace Predictable Placement

You might have the urge to hire a web design services firm to make sure your site stands out. But keep in mind that some site elements should stay in predictable locations. That’s definitely true of your navigation menus. Typically, these menus will appear either along the left-hand side of the page in a vertical fashion or along the top of a page, horizontally. These are generally the first places that visitors will look to find menu items and navigation elements. You don’t want to force potential customers to waste their time searching for information just for the sake of having a more unique site design. There are plenty of other ways to get creative with your website’s design. But if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.

Don’t Be Too Generic

That said, there’s a time and a place to personalize — and your menu descriptions provide the perfect opportunity for that. Labeling a menu item as “products,” “services,” or “who we are” is a common mistake many businesses make. Instead, make them more descriptive and take the opportunity to optimize your site with keywords. That way, you’ll actually address what customers are searching for and set yourself up for a website that will more effectively rank in Google search results.

Now that you have a more complete understanding of the best practices for site navigation, you may want to take a closer look at your current layout and assess whether you have a need for web design services. For more information on the services we provide, please contact Studio98 today.