Elements of Easy Site Navigation
When you design your websites, whether by yourself or by choosing pre-made themes, it is too tempting to craft a site that is visually pleasing. Because you know the site inside and out, it is easy to forget to focus on something very important to Search Engine Optimization (SEO): site navigation.
The Importance of Easy Site Navigation
One thing search engines track is how long web users remain on a site or page. If web users click out within seconds, the search engines assume there is little of value on the page. The page ranking is then lowered. And one reason that web users back out of a page almost as soon as they click in is difficult site navigation.
The Elements of Easy Site Navigation
Have A Clear Page Hierarchy
This is for your users as much as the search engines. Websites tend to have central topics or purposes. Under those are categories and sub-categories of topics. When you sit down to design your website, draw a clear hierarchy of categories and sub-categories. Make them distinct from one another, and decide which pages will go into what category and sub-category.
By doing this, you make it easier for your users to navigate the site You also make it easier for search engine crawlers (they go through sites and figure out how to index them). The crawlers will take the keywords of your page hierarchy, and classify them properly. They will then be able to pull out the appropriate pages based on web searches.
Make Sure the URL Reflects the Page Hierarchy
Good SEO means every element in a page lets the search engines, and the users, find what they are looking for. The URL is one of these. Search engines use the hierarchy of the URL to categorize your website pages in their indices. At the same time, a web-wise user will know how to glance at the URL to see if there are any general or sub-categories he or she wants.
Give Users Navigation Cues
Use a header menu to list the main categories of your website, and drop-down menus for the sub-categories. In that way, users can quickly go to the pages they need. They will also remain longer because they believe they will find what they need.
Also, keep the search button in a clearly seen, quickly accessible space. Users who already know what they are looking for are more likely to hunt for their keywords in the search bar. A difficult-to-find search bar may result in a quick click-out.
Write the Coding in HTML and CSS
In the interest of easy site navigation, you need a website that will be as easy-to-use for the widest possible number of viewers. HTML and CSS provide the most basic foundations of any website: its internal structure (how everything is placed), and its outward design (how everything looks).
If users are unable to navigate a website because of missing or outdated plug-ins, they are more likely to click out than to download and install the whole application. Faster click-outs lower SEO, no matter how visually thrilling the site design is.
Key to Good SEO: Keep it Simple
The better technology becomes, the more visually stunning any website can become. However, at the end of the day, it is about making your site easy for users to navigate, and perfect for search engines to crawl. This is the key to good SEO rankings.