Does a Website’s Navigation Scheme Really Matter?


Navigation is an incredibly important part of any website’s success.  Search engines get your customers TO your site, but it is your job to keep them there as long as possible.  The best way to do that is to focus on improving your “Bounce Rates”.  A “Bounce” is when a user comes to your website, then navigates away before visiting a second page within your website.  A “Bounce Rate” is the percentage of people who leave your site without continuing to look past the first page.  There are many good articles about how to improve your bounce rate, but I have listed the most important ones below:

#1:  Highlight popular parts of your website on the top half of your landing page
If you have an awesome blog post, a cool video, or a fantastic deal, make sure people see it on the top half of the landing page of your site.  This way, the user is likely to see it before they make the decision on whether to “Bounce”.

#2:  Resist the urge to clutter the landing page with advertisements.
I know you think you can make “more” money having ads on the landing page, but if you are making more money on ads than your product, you need a new product.  If you are running a blog, make sure the ads are not the main event on your landing page.

#3:  Improve loading speed of other pages and multimedia
The quickest way to increase “Bounces” is to have that little “loading” emblem sitting there for 5+ seconds after someone clicks something on your site for the first time.

#4:  Provide ways to interact with your site
People like to know that their opinion matters to you, and that your website is going to be interactive.  Give them a chance to interact with you and the site on the very first landing page that your customers will see.

#5:  Test your site over and over and over…and over again
You need to visit your site from every single angle.  If you are going to get customers to visit your site from Twitter, Facebook, Google Search, or your Blog, then visit the site from each of those, record what page you land on and everything you see.  Write down a list of what all of your potential customers want to see, and make sure that each of them has something to click on your landing page.  Keep revising the pages until you have optimized your website’s navigation lines.

I hope that helps.  Good luck out there!

Todd Hagopian

Please follow the conversation on quora.com:  http://www.quora.com/Does-a-websites-navigation-scheme-really-matter/answer/Todd-Hagopian

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About Todd Hagopian (@ToddHagopian)

Todd Hagopian received his BA from Eastern Michigan University with a major in Political Science. After graduation, he worked as a Financial Advisor and a Bank Manager before returning to school. He attended Michigan State University, where he completed an MBA with a double-major in Finance and Marketing. Todd is now a Senior Product Development Manager for a Fortune 500 company. He frequently writes about business issues, social media strategy, and political issues that he finds important. Enjoy the blog!

Posted on September 23, 2011, in Social Media and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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