A Comprehensive Checklist To Improve Your Site’s Navigation

A comprehensive checklist to Improve Your Site’s Navigation

Are you struggling to make your ecommerce website navigation better?

You’re not alone – navigating a website can be tricky, and a lot of site owners overlook the importance of optimizing their navigational structure.

Whether it’s getting customers quickly to what they need or helping search engines discover relevant content, improving your site’s navigation is key to success online.

To help ensure the effectiveness of your ecommerce website, we have compiled this comprehensive checklist that covers all aspects of navigation improvement so you can maximize user experience (UX) and findability in one fell swoop!

Thus, here are six checkpoints for you to keep in mind while assessing your website’s navigation and ten guidelines to optimize it.

Consistent Navigation

Navigation that keeps varying from page to page when it’s not absolutely necessary will frustrate the visitors.

Accurate navigation titles

Thus, see to it that your navigation is consistent across all pages in how and where they are positioned.

Accurate navigation titles:

Visitors and Google have a perceived idea of what they would find on a particular page even before entering into it.

Accurate navigation titles

Thus, ensure that all the main navigation links of your website and the internal text links are with accurate text describing the succeeding page.

Annoying or confusing visitors and Google will impact your website traffic and bounce rate.

Create categories.

Distinctly categorize all sections, categories, and subcategories and define them visually.

Create categories

Divide the categories clearly with category headings separated from sub-categories and more.

Be cautious not to miss any categories or repeat them.

Alt text:

Every clickable image or image that links to other web pages must have ALT text.

Alt text

The ALT text attribute is nothing but a descriptive text that ensures Google knows what the image and link are regardless of how it’s viewed on your site.

ALT text or Alternative text conveys the “why” of the image. The screen reader software reads it aloud to users and is indexed by search engines. It also displays when the image fails to load.

Search feature:

Optimize your in-site search feature continually to pull out the relevant results or appropriate search results page every time a search query is entered.

Search feature

It must make up for misspellings and display relevant alternate results even though the exact page isn’t available.

Also, ensure it never displays the “No results found” page.

Construct clickable links.

When you have numerous divisions or categories, always make all navigation elements into clickable links.

Construct clickable links

This is recommended even when you have drop-down menus with clickable subcategory links.

10 Guidelines to optimize navigation user experience:

10 Guidelines to optimize navigation user experience

1. Visibility of Menu

Never hide the menu or essential links. The main menu helps users find the links to the most critical web pages or sections.

Visibility of Menu

A visible main menu is crucial to your website’s success and user satisfaction.

2. Menu:

The menu is the first place any visitor would go to navigate. So, make sure you have a user-friendly architecture.

Menu

  • Keep your menu clear & precise.
  • Easy to read.
  • Don’t have too many or too few options.
  • Provide suitable menu labels.

3. Icons and Labels

Icons and Labels

Keep your icons and symbols simple and easy to understand. Let them be direct and clearly communicate what they represent.

4. Navigation Sequence

Navigation Sequence

Construct navigational sequences that are short and with not too many clicks. Eliminate steps that aren’t mandatory and prioritize direct paths. A complex navigation sequence can complicate your website as a whole.

5. Mental Models

You can always incorporate unique and innovative ideas into your website and its navigation.

Mental Models

But ensure it doesn’t disrupt or force the visitors to behave in a certain way, as it may lead to the site abandonment.

Be aware of the user frustration threshold and find solutions to meet them.

6. Search Function & Filters

Search Function & Filters

Search functions and filters help visitors instantly find what they are looking for. It is a highly recommended feature for websites with high-volume products and information.

7. Relevant Information

Remember, too much relevant information and too little relevant information can overwhelm or annoy visitors. So,

Relevant Information

  • Keep only the necessary information.
  • Prevent visual clutter.
  • Present the information crisp and brief.

8. Cognitive Strain

Cognitive Strain

Moving the visitors across the content funnel is a sequential process But ensure that the process is not long, hard, or involves too much decision-making.

9. Redundancy of links

Redundancy of links

To avoid confusing the visitors with too many entry paths, provide one or two good ones. Keep those entry points self-explanatory with a clear menu. Avoid redundancy of the links.

10. Navigation Design Pattern

There are five different types of navigation systems that you can consider for your website.

Navigation Design Pattern

  • Global Navigation or site-wide navigation
  • Local Navigation
  • Navigation via Links
  • Ad Hoc Navigation
  • Wizards

Conclusion

Implement the right navigation system and design with proper tabs, accordions, mega menus, carousels, etc., so that users find and discover the information they need.

Repeated testing helps discover areas where the navigation is inferior and optimize it.

Conclusion

  • Compare your competitor’s site or sites with good traffic with your website and check for improvement opportunities.
  • Always keep an eye on your analytics. Track how visitors navigate from one page to another on your website.
  • Test them with A/B or multivariate tests to implement the changes without affecting your site’s performance.

Always remember straightforward navigation smoothly moves visitors across the conversion funnel and converts them into paying customers. Whereas poorly designed navigation confuses visitors and tempts them to exit as soon as possible.