Have you asked yourself how your customers feel about your business? Things like service delivery, the product/service, and even your address on the internet – your website. Several things influence how your customers feel about your brand. When you provide a good user experience, you’ve earned yourself a returning customer, and if not, you just lost a customer and earned a bad review that they’re likely going to share with their network.
Several parts of your business contribute to the user experience your business provides, however, most businesses ignore the role of website navigation and layout. We’re here to draw your attention to just how important it is to improve user experience on the website.
Website navigation and layout are critical components of website design that directly impact user experience and SEO. By optimizing website navigation and layout, you can improve user engagement, reduce bounce rates, and achieve your business goals. In this article, we will explore website improvement ideas on website navigation and layout to your improve user experience and SEO.
Best Practices for Website Navigation to Improve User Experience
1. Keep it simple:
A simple navigation menu can improve user experience and SEO. Limit the number of menu items and use clear and concise language. Your customers should understand what they should do without racking their brains or you risk them clicking out. A complicated navigation menu can confuse users and negatively impact SEO.
2. Make it consistent:
Consistency in navigation design helps your customers understand how to interact with the website. Use a consistent placement of navigation elements, such as the menu bar or hamburger menu, and consistent labeling and language. This helps improve user experience and SEO as users can easily find the information they need, and search engines can easily crawl and index the site.
3. Make it accessible:
A clear and visible font size and color contrast for legibility are essential elements of an accessible navigation design. Using accessible design practices not only helps with inclusivity to accommodate customers with visual impairments but also improves SEO by making your website more easily crawlable.
4. Make it mobile-friendly:
More and more of your customers access your website from their mobile phones, therefore, it’s important to optimize website navigation for mobile screens. Use a responsive design that adapts to different screen sizes and optimizes for touchscreens to improve user experience and SEO.
Best Practices for Website Layout to Improve User Experience
1. Follow a visual hierarchy:
A visual hierarchy is important for website layout as it helps your customers understand the most important elements of a page. It helps them decide how to navigate your site. You can use headings and subheadings to create a clear visual hierarchy and use whitespace to separate elements and create a more pleasing visual experience for your customers. A clear visual hierarchy also helps search engines understand the content of the page and improve SEO.
2. Use a grid system:
Using a grid system for website layout helps keep elements aligned and creates a sense of order on the page. Use consistent spacing between elements, such as margins and padding, to make the layout look more professional and improve user experience and SEO.
3. Use visuals strategically:
Images and videos can break up text and make a website more visually appealing. You can make your page much more interesting and engaging with the use of images and videos. Use visual cues to guide the user’s attention to the most important elements on the page. Adding alt text to images and videos can also improve accessibility and SEO.
4. Keep it simple:
You don’t have to add many colors and complex designs to appeal to your audience. Sometimes, less is more. A simple website layout with a limited color palette and minimal complex design elements might be all you need to improve user experience and SEO. In addition, complex design elements can slow down website load times and negatively impact SEO.
Tools and Resources for Implementing Best Practices
There are several tools and resources available to help implement best practices for website navigation and layout, such as:
Navigation design tools help designers create and optimize website navigation menus. These tools offer various features and templates that help create a clear and intuitive navigation system. Here are some popular navigation design tools:
- Adobe XD:
Adobe XD is a user-experience design tool that allows designers to create and prototype websites and apps. The tool offers various features to create and optimize website navigation, including customizable navigation menus, wireframes, and interactive prototypes.
Sketch is a vector graphics editor that offers various features to create and optimize website navigation. The tool offers a range of design templates, including navigation design templates, and a drag-and-drop interface that makes it easy to create custom navigation menus.
Figma is a cloud-based design tool that allows designers to create and collaborate on website designs. The tool offers a range of features for website navigation, including customizable navigation menus and interactive prototypes.
Layout Design Tools:
Layout design tools help designers create and optimize website layouts. These tools offer various features and templates that help create a visually appealing and organized website layout. Here are some popular layout design tools
Canva is a graphic design tool that offers various features and templates to create visually appealing website layouts. The tool offers a drag-and-drop interface and a range of templates for different types of websites.
Bootstrap is a popular front-end web development framework that offers a range of pre-designed website layouts. The framework offers various features and templates that help create a responsive and visually appealing website layout.
WordPress is a content management system that offers various templates and plugins for website design. The platform offers a range of themes that come with pre-designed website layouts and customization options.
Testing and Evaluation Tools:
Testing and evaluation tools help designers test and evaluate website navigation and layout. These tools help identify issues with navigation and layout that may negatively impact user experience and SEO. Here are some popular testing and evaluation tools:
- Google Analytics:
Google Analytics is a web analytics tool that helps track website traffic and user behavior. The tool offers various features to track user engagement with website navigation and layout, including bounce rates and time on the page.
UserTesting is a user research platform that helps designers test website navigation and layout with real users. The tool offers various features to test website navigation, including screen recording and heat maps.
- A/B Testing Tools:
A/B testing tools help designers test different versions of website navigation and layout to identify the most effective design. These tools offer various features to track user engagement with different designs, including click-through rates and conversion rates.
By following the steps outlined in this article, such as keeping navigation simple, making it consistent and accessible, following a visual hierarchy, and using a grid system, you can improve both user experience and SEO. Remember to use the right tools and resources to help you implement these best practices and continually test and evaluate your website to ensure optimal performance and help keep your business busy.