Inbound Marketing + Sales Blog

February 14, 2018

4 Things to Consider When Planning Your Website’s Navigation

Written by: Shannon Garvey  |  Share:

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It’s exciting to think about all the creative and innovative possibilities that come with redesigning your website, but form shouldn’t be your only focus when revamping your site. It’s equally important to consider how your website will work to catalyze lead engagement and conversions. We’ve listed four things to keep in mind when building the architecture and navigation structure for your new website to make sure it provides the returns you’re looking for.

1. Buyer Personas

Buyer personas exist at the core of inbound marketing. Every asset you use to convert leads — especially your website — should be crafted with your personas pain points, challenges, needs, habits and goals in mind. Web navigation is no exception; when you’re organizing your site into various navigational menus and options, consider how your personas will interact with each layer of that navigation.

Ideally, your site navigation should allow personas to segment themselves based on their self-identified needs and how those needs relate to your solutions. In this way, you can serve each persona with relevant content and create a seamless buyer’s journey.

2. User Experience

Beyond persona segmentation, your next biggest consideration should be user experience. Every design choice you make when developing your site should account for function and user-friendliness as well as aesthetics.

Pay attention to current trends and studies concerning user preferences and engagement habits and use those principles to inform your design decisions. For example, studies have shown that users remember logos positioned in the top left corner of a page 89 percent more than logos located elsewhere in the top margin of a site. This type of information can help you boost brand recognition and give you an edge on customer acquisition and delight.

When it comes to the user experience, your navigation’s “stickiness” is also important. Sticky navigation refers to web navigation that migrates down a page to follow users as they scroll (rather than remaining fixed and disappearing from view). This ensures that navigation options are always visible and easily accessible so that whenever your visitor decides they’re ready to move on to another page, they can do so without backtracking. Ideally, the navigation will slim down as the user scrolls.

Fight the impulse to be hyper-granular with your site organization and instead keep your navigation clear and simple. Main navigation with secondary dropdown menus are as far as your navigation options should extend. Remember that your website is often a visitor’s first introduction to your brand; overwhelming or confusing them at this first touch point might cause them to abandon your website.

3. Aesthetics

Your site navigation and architecture should contribute to the overall appeal and effectiveness of your website. Make sure your navigation isn’t crowded with extraneous information, like contact numbers or social media sharing options. For all text and navigation options, consider how your font and color choices affect an item’s legibility as well as its attractiveness. Stylistic choices that work for headline navigation might not be as effective for subheaders, buttons or body text, so be sure to customize your design approach to fit various contexts and site specifications. As a rule, using clear and concise language for navigation menus will help visitors find exactly what they’re looking for. Remember, you’re trying to introduce visitors to your business, so even the slightest degree of navigational ambiguity can dampen their first impressions.

4. Conversion Opportunities

Ultimately, your site navigation and architecture should be laid out to offer visitors ample conversion opportunities. In addition to creating compelling and appealing navigation (complete with all the appropriate linkage), there are still a few additional elements to consider for conversion optimization.

Make sure to add a bottom of the funnel (BOFU) call-to-action (CTA) into your main navigation to make it easy for visitors to take your preferred action. Main navigation CTAs should be prominent without being flashy or bulky. Effective B2B BOFU CTAs usually prompt a visitor to request a demo, contact you or schedule a consultation with a member of your team. Button text should be short (limited to a few choice words) and include an active verb like “request,” “schedule,” or “call,” to make it clear that you’re asking a lead to take action.

Once you’ve created your CTA, you can evaluate its performance against others on your site to determine what type of language and visual presentation is most effective at inspiring conversions. Optimization efforts shouldn’t cease when your new site goes live; the most appealing and easy-to-navigate sites are effective because the professionals behind them continue to monitor their site’s performance. By evaluating what’s working to drive engagement and what’s not, you can continue to improve and evolve your digital brand hub in relation to your customer’s changing needs and expectations.

Looking for more tips and tricks to guide your website redesign efforts? Download our Website Redesign ebook below.

download guide to redesigning your website

Topics: Conversion Rate Optimization, Sales Conversion, Redesigning Your Website, web navigation

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