We have gone over a bit about how to make your online presence more attractive to your potential clients, and we have talked about the best way to get your site online and hosted, so lets take a look at something a little bit more specific. One of the best ways to get someone to leave your website and go buy something from your competitor is to make your website a difficult one to navigate. There are algorithms and metrics for just about every navigational thing that you could have with your website, anything from how many clicks, to infinite scrolling, to tabs and other details. For your convenience, I would like to simplify it a bit and just go over some of the important parts of website navigation, and how we can make things effective yet simple.
For the love of pete, please make sure that no matter what, above all else, you can navigate your way back to the homepage of the site, and that you can do it with ease. If I am on a site looking at one thing, I don’t want to look through all the times I clicked the back button, and most of the online community agrees with me as well. Have a button with a title similar to “click to return to home” or something to that effect. This gives your website visitors the option to restart their search.
Sitemaps are also a fantastic idea. They give the visitors an overview of the site, as well as helping out search engine crawlers to navigate your site for your organic search results. If you do not have a site map, Google and other search engines will hit you for it, you can count on it. Sitemaps are relatively easy to make for any design individual, and are possible to throw together even if you do not have a background in design. Make sure you have a site map.
I am a fan of less clicks when it comes to website navigation. There is the ever present “three click rule” that I head cited more often than I hear not. Now, if you have very specific product offerings, or you have a TON of content on the site, then you may not be able to stick hard and fast to this rule. I will still advise you to get as much of it within three clicks as you can. This will help you with your clients and customers on you page, as well as Google and other search engine crawlers.
While what we have gone over here are just some tips, and what are clearly just the tip of the iceberg, if you leave one of these things out, they can be the straw that breaks the camel’s back, and prevents it from ever coming back and spending money on your site! Customers are a bit more picky when it comes to online experiences, so use these tips to stand out above your competition
Image Credit: Flickr – Sean MacEntee