The Importance Of Navigation Structure In Your Website

This post was written by Internet Marketing John on September 6, 2009
Posted Under: Website Usability

The importance of navigation structure in your website should never be underestimated when planning your site’s structure.

Not only does a website without any sort of logical navigation lose organization and structure, it will also cause you to lose visitors to your website.

Some type of navigation structure is necessary for your visitors to be able to access the rest of your website, from every page they visit.

Navigation structure gives your visitors an immediate synopsis of what your website is all about.  A brief scan of your navigation links will give your visitors an idea of what is available to them.

A fully featured navigation structure can also encourage your  visitors to do a little exploration of your site if your navigation bar is presented clearly.

There are several ways to present your navigation structure, and there are pros and cons to each.

Placing the navigation bar on the left side of the screen or on top, has been the standard for quite some time.

Millions of websites use the side navigation bar, and when visitors see a column of links on the left, or right hand side of the screen, they know precisely what it’s for.

As far as which side of the screen to place your navigation structure for better performance; I personally favor the left.

Normal reading runs from left to right, so it seems more logical to place the most important items where visitors will look first, on the left.

Your navigation structure can also be placed on the top and/or bottom of your screen. Actually, it can be placed along the top, the bottom, or along both the top and bottom of your screen.

You can use as your navigation structure, an Amazon like, row of tab type links along the top of your screen.

If a successful site like Amazon can use it, why not create your site in their image?

As the content in your website grows, you will find a greater need for clear, fast navigation.

You should consider redesigning your navigation structure from time to time when necessary, to keep everything flowing properly.

Make your links easy to spot, and stay with the accepted standards for link colors.

Try not to confuse your visitors by underlining unnecessarily.

When you are trying to emphasize some text; use italics, bold, or colors other than the default link colors.

As long as the navigation structure stays with your visitor throughout their visit to your site, and the links are readily accessible, it is performing it’s function.

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