5 Strategies to Improve Website Navigation

Aug 1, 2023

Published by: Ian Loew

A well-functioning website is pivotal to a successful online business.

However, having a solid website alone isn't enough. Today's customers expect an excellent and seamless User Experience (UX). 

One of the most important factors in a great UX is simple-to-use website navigation design. If you give your customers an organized and simple navigation menu, you can expect conversion rates to skyrocket.

In this post, you’ll learn the top five website navigation best practices. They will help you improve the navigation on your website, minimize bounce rates and increase conversions.

1. Simplify the menu structure

Simplifying your website's menu layout is a vital step in creating a user-friendly and intuitive browsing experience. Visitors may become confused and have a tough time locating the information they require if the menu is cluttered and complex. 

A simple menu can be achieved by:

  • Organizing the information on your website into logical categories. You need to meet the expectations and objectives of your consumers. Your web visitors will be able to find the information or pages they are looking for with ease if you implement a clear visual hierarchy inside the menu.

  • Using clear and descriptive labeling for each menu item. This way, you streamline the menu structure. Use wording that appropriately describes the content or operation of each area when creating the menu labels.

  • Ensuring that your menu is visually appealing and easy to locate. Your website menu should be prominently displayed in a consistent location across all pages of your website, typically at the top or shown as a sidebar menu. To make the menu stand out from other parts on the page, consider utilizing legible typography, contrasting colors, and white space.

Simplifying the menu structure is an important tip. CAST-lighting.com is a good example of a manufacturing website with a simple and aesthetically pleasing menu, plus a smart layout.

cast lighting top navigation


Just like CAST-lighting.com did, consider the main sections of your website. Then, arrange them in a way that makes sense, not just for you, but, most importantly, for your website visitors. This way, you’ll give users a visual blueprint to follow as they navigate your website.

2. Implement clear calls-to-action 

Calls-to-action are crucial components of any successful marketing strategy and website layout. With a human attention span lasting just eight seconds, CTAs work as effective grabbing-attention tools. 

Consider your CTAs as signposts that point users in the direction of your desired activities and conversions.

These clickable buttons can get your users to:

  • Make a purchase

  • Sign up to your email list

  • Download your resource

  • Book a consultation.

Although CTAs have the power to get your visitors' attention and persuade them to take action, you still need to create them the right way.

Visual design is an important factor in CTAs. You can create well-made CTAs that stand out from the rest of the webpage by using contrasting colors and attention-grabbing buttons. This way, you draw the user's attention and make it clear where they should click or interact.

CTAs must also be placed carefully to have the greatest impact. They need to be in visible areas like: 

  • The header

  • On the sidebar

  • At the end of pertinent information

Below, you can easily spot the two CTAs placed at the e.l.f cosmetics’ homepage. 

ELF Cosmetics CTA Button


The likelihood of user interaction also increases when you place your CTAs within the organic flow of the user's journey. 

Continuous testing and improvements are extremely important to maximize the efficiency of CTAs. You can learn the most effective strategies by A/B testing several CTA variations. Even making small changes, like adjusting wording, button or background color, or any other key component can make a big difference.

Don’t forget to use a website heatmap to understand how visitors interact with your web pages. This way, you’ll also know the best CTA placement that will drive conversions.

3. Utilize breadcrumbs

Users can comprehend their current location inside a website by using breadcrumbs. These are a form of navigational assistance that shows the hierarchical structure of pages visited. It’s an effective method that improves UX and promotes a fluid navigation structure.

Breadcrumbs give visitors a straightforward way to go back or explore related content.

They’re literally a trail of links, generally divided by arrows or slashes. In addition to assisting users in finding their way around a website, this visual depiction also helps users comprehend the context and organizational principles of the website. They are especially useful in B2B sites with a manufacturing website design that feature more complex product catalogs.

Ecommerce sites, however, can also benefit from breadcrumbs.

When browsing IKEA’s products, for instance, its website users can see a navigational trail of links (see the content enclosed in the red box below). As a result, users know where they are and how they got there.

IKEA breadcrumb nav


Users can, therefore, quickly return to previously seen pages, or move straight to areas with more advanced content, saving them time and effort. For example, IKEA’s users can just click on the ‘Storage & organization’ link in the breadcrumb menu. This is a much simpler and faster way to get there than typing a new search term in the search box.

Websites with deep or complicated hierarchies or content-heavy sites can all benefit from using breadcrumbs.

Businesses can make customers happy and improve general usability by introducing breadcrumbs into website navigation so don’t miss out.

4. Leverage search functionality

When consumers have specific content in mind, browsing through menus could prove time-consuming.

A search tool is a crucial component of contemporary website design. It significantly improves user experience and makes for effective navigation.

Implementing a strong search function is one of the effective website navigation best practices especially if you have huge product catalogs and a lot of information to share. You enable users to find certain goods, services, or information quickly with your well-designed search bar. Just make sure it stands out in your website layout. 

Here’s a great example of the search feature on the Vitacost website.

vitacost site search


The search functionality doesn’t only have to stand out. It needs to be responsive and intuitive, too. It should also be able to handle different search query variants while providing reliable results.

Advanced search algorithms can process elements like:

  • Product names

  • Descriptions

  • Specifications

  • Filters based on specific attributes or categories

You can also make your search bar provide intelligent suggestions or have autocomplete features. These can help your target audience refine their searches.

A simple search feature helps improve user engagement and raises the possibility of conversions, eventually fueling business growth.

5. Optimize for mobile devices

Over the past ten years, the proportion of internet traffic on mobile devices has increased dramatically. Mobile devices accounted for 56.52% of all web traffic in May 2023, with a 56.86% annual average so far in 2023.

It’s safe to say, then, that the key to website success is a mobile-first design strategy.

Amazon is a great example of a website design optimized for mobile—both for smartphones and tablets.

Responsive design for all screen sizes is a crucial component of mobile optimization.

It enables a website to dynamically change its layout depending on the size and orientation of the user's device. In any layout, the graphics are of the right size, the copy is legible, and the interactive features are easy to use.

You can implement mobile-friendly navigation by introducing:

  • Collapsible menus

  • Sticky menus

  • Tabs

  • Cards

You should also take into account the particular requirements and habits of mobile consumers. Mobile UX can be improved further with features like click-to-call buttons for quick contact, mobile-friendly forms for lead generation, and location-based services for targeted advertising.

To further increase conversion rates and as part of website navigation best practices, fast web hosts usually are the way to go. Even if your website has a responsive design, if it doesn’t load quickly, what’s the point? Users are bound to leave without seeing the design in the first place.

By embracing mobile optimization, you can better connect with your target market and encourage user interaction. Besides, search engines prioritize mobile-friendly websites in search results. Businesses that optimize for mobile devices can also increase their visibility.

In Closing

If you want your business to succeed, you need to ensure good website navigation.

Your website, after all, tells users a lot about who you are as a brand. A well-structured and user-friendly website also helps visitors find what they need. It helps build trust and encourages them to take your desired action.

Just follow these website navigation best practices. Simplify the menu structure, implement clear CTAs, use breadcrumbs, and include a search functionality. Finally, optimize for mobile devices.

You will see a positive impact on your bottom line.

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