Website Navigation

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Website Navigation – Get it Wrong and Your Website Will Suffer

Navigation is something that should not be overlooked, but that is often what actually happens especially when an individual seeks to make their own website using rather limited knowledge. However, poor navigation is one of the leading reasons as to why an individual will simply click away from a website that they feel is just like a maze that they cannot work around.

 

Now, there is actually more to a website and its navigation than just that one menu at the top because it is often the case that this is no longer enough. Instead, people are constantly looking for ways to move around a website especially after they read different points that are of interest. The last thing they want is to then go all the way up to the top because we are actually rather lazy about everything.

 

 

Make Sure Your Website is Organized.

 

Navigation only works well when your website is organized enough for the pages to then go ahead and flow from one to the other. However, you also need to remember that your navigation menu also has to be organized and that is where drop down navigation can work well.

 

With this, you need to be aware of categories where individuals will know what to expect when they move the cursor over that tab. For example, if you offer various services via your website then it would make sense for the main tab to announce that this is connected to what you have to offer followed by a drop down menu which effectively lists the different services.

 

At this point, people will then become aware that they can go ahead and click on a sub-tab to then learn more about that particular service. This helps them to navigate to get to the information that they are searching for which would also then make it more likely that they will, once again, do the actions that you are looking for them to do.

 

It Has to be Concise.

 

People just do not want to go ahead and spend a lot of time working their way through lists of categories to get themselves started. Being concise is important because if navigation appears to be too complicated then this is something that makes them navigate away.

 

There is a need to not only find the information but to do so as quickly as possible. It is also the case that as we use tablets and smartphones in order to access the Internet that these devices are just not that good at dealing with complex navigation menus. They do not work too well in offering you the ability to see all of the potential paths you can follow if you have categories followed by sub-categories and then even sub-sub-categories. That is why a search facility is going to prove to be easier for websites where there are a substantial number of pages to be included.

 

Remembering the Serial Position Effect.

 

The final point that we would like to mention here is that there is something within the realm of psychology called the serial position effect. Basically, this is where it is known that individuals will pay more attention to the beginning and end rather than anything in the middle. In other words, it would be wasted to put any navigation in the middle of a page or text as it would often be missed.

 

That is why we tend to put our navigation at the top of the page, but here is one piece of advice for you to incorporate. Why not also consider navigation at the bottom of individual aspects of the website?

 

By doing so, you provide people with further opportunities to go ahead and get to the information that they are seeking and do not for one second think that this is going to be purely for those websites that are selling products. It works for every single website.

 

In short, you have to spend more time getting to grips with the navigation around your website and make sure that each and every website visitor is able to get to the pages that they are looking for without having to go on a treasure hunt. Forget about one single menu bar as that is outdated. Instead, check that people can easily find whatever it is that they are looking for no matter where they are on each and every page. Not only will they spend longer on your website but they are more likely to then take the action that you want them to do.

 

Business Blogging can Help in the Long Term

If you have never thought about blogging for your business, then you are probably not aware of the fact that you are doing yourself a huge injustice and making life harder than it has to be. Instead, by just producing a blog on a semi-regular basis it does mean that you are going to be able to benefit from a number of different things that will boost your business in the long term.

For example, people are unaware that business blogging is actually an extremely useful tool for boosting credibility of your business and that is something that can push you ahead of some of your competitors. Furthermore, it allows you to actually engage to a certain extent with the people that visit your website and this engagement can encourage them to then get in touch with you and decide  that they do indeed wish to interact.

However, there is a potential problem that we need to address for those individuals that are considering blogging because do it wrong and you will only make life harder.
Here are some mistakes to avoid:

1. Writing to nobody in particular.

The first thing that you must do is to make sure that you are actually writing to an audience and that you have an idea who is going to be reading it before you go ahead with the writing. What are going to be your demographics? What kind of points are you needing to put across with your posts? What do your readers expect to see? Understanding all of this is going to be key to you creating a post that actually has value to it or else there is no point in writing anything at all.

2. Avoiding stale topics.

Another key problem is when you write about a topic that is actually stale in nature. This is a major problem because you are going to find it difficult to then engage with the audience as you have to capture their attention early on or they will simply navigate away and will have the completely wrong impression of your entire business just because of the topics that you have been blogging on.

3. Not giving them something of value.

Each blog post has to have some kind of value to people that are reading it as you have to make sure that by the end of it they feel that it was worth them spending their time checking out your post. In addition, that is going to make them feel as if they have to come back to see what else you have been blogging on and from that you are going to then be more likely to see them making some kind of contact with you in the future.

4. Writing too much.

For this, we have to look at the structure of your blog post because even that is going to play an important role in how your blog posts are perceived by the public. The last thing that you want is for your post to just be a block of text without it being structured correctly. It is also worth considering using lists, bullet points, or even images and video clips to spice things up and to make the entire thing that bit more interesting. Writing too much will mean that your post comes across as being difficult to read and, at times, even boring and that is one thing that you should avoid at all costs.

5. Giving nothing to share.

This ties in yet again with the idea of there having to be a point in your post because it is essential that you give people something that they would then like to share, or discuss in some way, with other people. This does not have to mean that they directly talk about your post, but rather it brings about an interest in something that you have written about that then opens up a discussion. The best part of this is that it does then often mean that the people they are talking to will ask about what was said and where they read it leading to you being able to increase the number of readers you have and do so virally.

Now, we are being honest here in saying that not everybody is going to become an absolute whiz at being a blogger on their business website, but do you want to know something that is extremely important? It is important that you have at least tried with a blog as that is better than nothing existing at all. Also, you should never just start a blog and then have large gaps between posts as that shows that you are not that concerned about it and this can reflect poorly on your entire business.

A business blog is going to reflect well on your company and that has to be the main aim of every company owner as blogging can be a key part of your marketing. Spend time getting it correct and see how it will benefit you in the long term.

Can Your Design Actually Prevent You Making Sales?

webdesignWe are all used to hearing that the correct web design is going to really make or break your website and that is something that cannot be disputed. However, right now we are going to look at another point that should be taken into consideration, can your design actually prevent you from making sales?

This in itself is an interesting question as it is a point that is often overlooked and that in itself is wrong. To be fair, we are talking more about modern designs rather than things that were the norm a number of years ago and it is all linked to the ever increasing number of tools that are available to the average designer.

Perhaps the main issue is that design can, at times, get in the way of functionality and that is where the problem can develop. It is all fair and well having a nice looking website, but if people are unable to get to where they want to go, or do what they want to do, then is there any point to it in all honesty?

There is also this constant belief that you must have a website that is ‘cool’ and this is one thing that can often get in the way of producing a website that is actually capable of converting and leading to sales. Now, is that not a bit crazy for the focus to be on having something that looks nice rather than having something that actually makes you money?

So the question now is, what designs actually cause an issue?

Too Much Animation.

Using animation on a website is something that has become more popular, but our advice is certainly that less is more. The problem with animation is that it can slow down a page and also act as a distraction. You want people to be able to browse without having them sitting there wondering what is going to happen next and that is a major issue with using animation. We are not saying to avoid it completely, but just think carefully about what it actually does add to your website.

 

Trying To Be Too Clean.

Another issue is when the designer is trying to be too clean with the website. Now, the last thing that we want is to have a website that is all over the place and messy, but the problem with trying to be too clean is that it can often lead to things being hidden such as the navigation. People really do not mind seeing a menu bar on a website. In actual fact, it is expected to be there so hiding it away just to make something look more minimalist should not be high on your list of priorities.

 

Having No Actual Call To Action.

One part of the design that can often be missing, and this is the crazy part, is that there is no actual call to action on the website. This really is just madness because you want to have something up there that will tell people that they need to take some kind of action whether it be to contact you, make an appointment online, or to complete that sale. If this is missing, then your website becomes just an information portal and that is one major reason why it will not then convert.

 

Having A Website That Loads Too Slowly.

The final point we are going to make is that if your website loads too slowly, then you have a major problem. It has been shown that a one second delay in your website loading can result in a drop in conversions of 7%. The difficulty here is that you never know which browser or device the person is going to be using and you also have no idea how powerful their computer is. What this means is that you could be making life so much harder for yourself by trying to be too clever with your site making it very heavy and slow to load. Just look at it this way, if it is slow to load, then people will simply click off and go elsewhere and you then have absolutely no chance of converting them.

Basically, what we are saying is that there are several important factors that must be taken into account when you are designing a website and do not allow yourself to be drawn into some kind of competition where your visitors are always going to be the losers. Do yourself a favor and spend some time studying what others are doing and model yourself on their website as there is a fine line between being too boring and too over the top.

Finally, do not be afraid to voice your disapproval of something that your web designer has come up with as it is better doing that than being left with a website that you hate. Remember, if you hate it, then there is a good chance that your visitors will as well and that alone will have a major impact on your conversion rates.

How Much Information Should You Put On Your Website?

As a small or medium sized business there is absolutely no way that you should not have a website. A failure to have even the most basic of sites can lead to a major downturn in your turnover as searching for a company online, and then learning about them, has overtaken the age old method of looking in the telephone directory and talking to friends for advice. However, this has also led to there being another problem. What exactly do you put on your website? How much information is too much information? Is there such a thing as putting on too much?

The basics that need to be covered

Good Information PracticesThere are of course a number of basics that need to be covered with your website. Obviously you have to put up your contact details or else what is the point in having your website if nobody can email, call, or find your actual location? You may want to include things such as a Skype address, Instant messenger addresses, social media profiles, or any other means by which people can contact you. How many or how few is entirely up to you and at least at this point a number of people believe that the more ways to contact you the better it is.

There should also be a section whereby you tell the visitor all about your business. Tell them some of the history, but not too much, as well as what you do and really try to sell yourself to them. Look at this section as being your opportunity to let them know why they should use you and view it as being your 24/7 advertisement.

Another key section has to be your services or products as this gives you more space to be more specific about what you do. Depending on the type of business that you have, be careful about the level of details that you put on this section. Do not be too technical if you are providing a general service as this could put people off using you and clearly this is something that has to be avoided. Make life easier for your visitors and break it up into useful sections so they are not faced with just paragraph after paragraph of information.

Another basic area that needs to be covered has to be some images to support whatever it is that you do. If you offer a service, then show some of the work that you have previously carried out. Alternatively, if you sell products, then some snapshots of whatever it is that you have to offer should always be included. This just lets people get a better idea of what they should expect to get when they spend money with your business.

When information gets to be too much

So at what point can you give your visitor a touch of information overload? As was mentioned earlier, being too technical can be an issue unless you know that your visitor will actually understand what you are saying. Going over the top with your sales pitch can also be slightly annoying for some people, but this can be a fine line and is certainly something that you should get some advice on from experts. You should also look at trying to group together similar services rather than having your visitor seeing page after page of information because people do tend to have rather a short attention span when it comes to checking out a business website, so being straight to the point and concise is certainly advisable.

Why too much information can be bad

If you are seen to just keep going on and on, then people will switch off and simply not absorb the information and that is going to be bad for business. People expect to land on a business website and be presented with information that they can read in a short period of time and then determine if they can indeed go ahead and buy that product or use that service.

The last thing that they expect is to be presented with a book to read and the chances of them reading any part of your website will diminish by the second. Look at the websites of your competitors and see the kind of details that they have put on their website and then compare it to what you have. Do you see a difference? How do you think that difference is going to impact on your business? How will it change your turnover? There are so many questions that need to be asked and all of them just surround the amount of information that appears on your website.

The best course of action that you can take is to contact us here at Webfoot-Designs and get some expert advice on how your website should be set up and the information that we believe should be put on there. It is impossible to give strict guidelines as every business is unique, but that is why we deal with things on an individual basis and take into account what your potential clients need to know. Getting your business website perfect for your company is extremely important because in general it could really make or break your entire business.

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