At With Grace and Gold, we are firm believers that your web design can lead visitors on a journey toward learning about your business, forming a meaningful and trusting connection with you, and ultimately, choosing to hire you or make a purchase from you.
We also believe that journey begins with your website’s navigation menu — the resource your website’s visitors will use to explore your website as a whole.
Every web design business and every web designer approaches navigation menu design differently, but today, we want to share our approach with 3 website navigation menu strategies we live by.
3 Website Navigation Menu Strategies We Live By
Whether we’re creating a completely one-of-a-kind web design for a client, or whether we’re creating a customizable Showit website template for our shop — there is strategy and purpose behind every design, beginning with the navigation menu.
These days, simply having a website for your small business isn’t always enough; in order for your website to help you connect with your prospective clients, to help your visitors become paying clients, and to experience meaningful business growth — your website needs to be built upon a foundation of strategy and purpose.
To understand why, let’s explore a little bit of data, provided by Hubspot:
- 38% of people will stop engaging with a website if the content or layout are unattractive. In other words, in order to keep visitors on your website, engaging with your business, the content and layout of your website need to be carefully considered.
- 88% of online consumers are less likely to return to a website after having a bad experience. When we think about our own experiences, it’s likely that if we’re unable to find the information we’re looking for on a website, or if there are too many visual distractions within a website, we may simply leave and try to find another website, business, or resource.
- 75% of consumers admit to making judgements about a company’s credibility based upon the company’s website design. If you think about your own experiences online, it’s likely you’ve found yourself trusting one business over another, simply based on the experience you had browsing each website.
So, let’s start with the way visitors navigate and explore your website, using your navigation menu. Here are 3 navigation menu strategies we live — and design — by. And again, every web designer has a unique approach — and we’re simply excited to share our approach from With Grace and Gold.
Limit your primary navigation menu to 6-8 links total.
Most often, when creating a navigation menu for our clients or for our Showit website templates, we include 6 pages: Home, About, Services, Portfolio, Blog, and Contact. Some of our clients have shops, educational resources, and podcasts — so some navigation menus will include up to 8 pages. You might be looking at your current web design and thinking: How is it possible to pare down my content to include only 6-8 links? I have testimonials I’d like to include, press releases I’d like to share about, or other areas of my business worthy of a spot on my navigation menu. And this leads us to our next commendation…
Condense your website content, not only to be able to limit your navigation menu to 6-8 pages, but also to avoid the use of a drop-down menu.
By limiting your navigation menu to 6-8 pages, you can create a user-friendly experience for your visitors. Visitors can seamlessly and methodically click from one page to another — or they can quickly and easily discover the exact information they came to your website seeking. At With Grace and Gold, we avoid creating drop-down menus, because we want your website’s visitors to be able to see, at-a-glance, the unique areas of your small business — no extra hovering or no extra clicking necessary. So, how do we accomplish this? We condense similar content wherever possible. Maybe your business has a separate About Page, Team page, Our Story page, and Core Values page. If you think about it, your team, story, and values are all details about your business — and can therefore be included in a single About page. Using intentional design — using headings and creating sections — all of those details can be included on one single About page, in a user-friendly way. Maybe your business has a wide variety of client testimonials that you want your visitors to see and explore. At With Grace and Gold, rather than creating a Testimonials page, we believe in infusing your testimonials throughout your web design. That way, as visitors are reading about your business on your About page, or becoming familiar with your offerings on your Services page, the testimonials present throughout your design will help to enhance and strengthen your overall message. Our favorite part of the web design process is ensuring the content our clients provide to us is organized and user-friendly. After all, to create a smooth journey for your visitors, your visitors need to seamlessly learn about your business, determine that your offerings are for them, and ultimately, choose to reach out to you and begin their experience with you.
Use straightforward, widely-understood page names.
Though your web design is a place to be creative, we believe creativity should never come at the expense of user-friendliness. Maybe you’ve considered making the title of your Testimonials page “Love Notes” or maybe you’ve considered making the title of your Contact page “Send Us a Note.” At With Grace and Gold, we believe the more straightforward the page names within your navigation menu are, the better. This is not only helpful for visitors who have come to your website with fresh eyes, seeking information about your business — but this can also be helpful for Search Engine Optimization.
Have these 3 tips changed the way you view your navigation menu, and the role it plays within your web design? What questions do you have about your website’s navigation menu? Let us know on Instagram @withgraceandgold, or send us an email!