Optimize Your Website Navigation – Make it Easy for your Website Visitors

by | Mar 18, 2023 | Web Design

Picture this: you’re lost in the maze of a website, clicking aimlessly, like a monkey trying to find a banana. But what if I told you that the secret to a thriving website isn’t flashy graphics, witty content, or pop-up ads? It’s something so simple, yet so overlooked—your website navigation!

I know firsthand how important website navigation is. When users visit your website, they want to find what they’re looking for quickly and easily. However, if your navigation is messy and disorganized, it can lead to frustration and a poor user experience.

A messy website navigation can impact different types of users, including those who are blind and use screen readers. If your main website menu isn’t properly structured, screen readers may have difficulty navigating your website, making it impossible for visually impaired users to find what they need. Additionally, a disorganized website menu can force users to click endlessly to find the content they need, leading to a poor user experience and increased bounce rates.

Other problems with a messy website menu includes colours that are hard to read, fonts that are too small, and confusing menu labels. All of these issues can lead to user frustration and ultimately impact your website’s overall performance.

Ideally, how people will navigate your website is decided during the website planning stage, but because a website is always evolving, there are some simple tips you can follow to help improve your website navigation.

By keeping it simple and clear, using a consistent structure, providing multiple website navigation menu options, using visual cues, optimizing for mobile devices, and testing and iterating, you can create a navigation system that is user-friendly and effective.

Keep it Simple and Clear

The first rule of good website navigation is to keep it simple and clear. Your website navigation menu should be easy to understand, and your users should be able to find what they are looking for without having to spend a lot of time searching. Use clear and descriptive labels for your website navigation menu links, and make sure they are organized in a logical manner.

When it comes to creating a simple and clear website navigation, one of the best things you can do is to include the most important pages in your main menu. This helps users find what they need quickly and easily, without having to dig through multiple layers of sub-menus.

So, what are the key pages that should be in your main menu? Here are five pages that should be included in most website navigations:

  • Home: This is the most important page of your website and should always be included in your main menu. It’s the page that users will see first when they visit your site, and it should provide a clear overview of what your website is all about.
  • About: Your “About” page should provide users with information about your company, including its history, mission, and values. This page is a great opportunity to build trust with your users and establish your brand identity.
  • Products/Services: If you’re selling products or services, it’s important to have a dedicated page that provides users with information about what you offer. Make sure this page is clear and easy to navigate, with clear descriptions and images that help users understand what you’re selling.
  • Blog: If you have a blog, make sure to include it in your main menu. Your blog is a great way to share news and insights with your users, and it can help drive traffic to your website.
  • Contact: Finally, make sure to include a “Contact” page in your main menu. This page should provide users with multiple ways to get in touch with you, including a contact form, phone number, and email address.

Take Advantage of Your Website Footer for Less Important Information

In addition to your main menu, the footer of your website can be a great place to put links to important pages that aren’t necessarily important enough to be in the top menu. This includes pages like your privacy policy, terms and conditions, and FAQ’s. By including these links in the footer, you can ensure that they are visible to users without cluttering up your main menu.

But the footer is also a great place to include other important information that users might need to find, such as your business hours and contact information. In fact, it’s a standard practice to include this information in the footer of your website. This makes it easy for users to find your location, phone number, email address, and other important details, no matter where they are on your website.

By keeping this information in the footer, you can free up space in your main menu for the most important pages, like your products or services. This can help improve the overall user experience and make it easier for users to find what they’re looking for.

Use a Consistent Structure

Having a consistent menu navigation is essential for creating a user-friendly website. Not only does it make it easier for users to navigate your website, but it also helps to create a professional and cohesive look and feel. And the good news is that setting up a consistent website navigation menu is relatively easy, especially if you’re using a popular website platform like WordPress or Squarespace.

Both WordPress and Squarespace offer menu tools that allow you to create a standardized structure for your website navigation links. Once you’ve set up your menu structure, it will be consistent across all pages of your website, including blog areas.

This means that you only need to set up your menu structure once, and it will be consistent throughout your website. No more worrying about whether your menus are consistent or having to update it manually on every page.

Of course, you still need to make sure that your website menu is well-organized and easy to understand. But by using a consistent structure, you can make it easier for your users to navigate your website and find what they’re looking for.

Provide Multiple Website Navigation Options

Different users have different preferences when it comes to navigating a website. Some users prefer to use the main website navigation menu links, while others prefer to use the search bar or other options. By providing multiple options, you can cater to different user preferences and make it easier for all users to find what they are looking for.

Example: Let’s say you’re running an ecommerce store that sells jewelry.

To cater to different user preferences, you might want to provide multiple website navigation options. You could include a main menu with links to different product categories, like necklaces, bracelets, and earrings. Or a main menu link to Shop and one sub-menu to the different product categories.

But you could also include a search bar that allows users to search for specific products or keywords. This can be especially helpful for users who know exactly what they’re looking for and want to find it quickly.

Another option is to include a filter system that allows users to narrow down their search based on different criteria, like price, material, or gemstone. This can help users find the exact products they’re looking for, without having to sift through a lot of irrelevant results.

Example: Let’s say you’re a dog trainer who offers various services, such as obedience training, agility training, and behavioral training.

The goal is to make it easy for all of your clients to find the information they need, you should provide multiple ways to navigate your website.

One way to do this is to include all of your main services in your main menu, along with other important pages like your About page and Contact page. This allows users to quickly navigate to the page they need without having to search for it.

As you can see, the main menu includes all of the important pages for the dog trainer’s website, including the Home page, About page, Services page, Testimonials page, and Contact page. The Services page is organized into three sub-pages for each of the different types of training offered, making it easy for users to find the information they need.

But you can also provide other options for users who prefer a different approach. For example, you could include a search bar at the top of your website that allows users to search for specific services or information. This can be especially helpful for users who are in a hurry or who aren’t familiar with your website’s structure.

Another option is to include links to your most popular services on your homepage, using images or icons to make them stand out. This can help users quickly find the information they need without having to navigate through multiple pages.

By providing multiple navigation options, you can cater to different user preferences and make it easier for all users to find what they are looking for. This can help improve the overall user experience and lead to better engagement and conversion rates.

Avoid Sub-Menus Unless It’s Absolutely Necessary

While sub-menus can be useful for organizing large amounts of content, it’s important to avoid using them unless it’s absolutely necessary. When sub-menus are 3 or more levels deep, they can cause several problems for users.

Firstly, they can be confusing and overwhelming, making it difficult for users to find what they’re looking for. When there are too many options nested under a single menu item, users may struggle to understand how the content is organized and where they need to click to find what they need.

Secondly, sub-menus that are too deep can also be inaccessible for some users, especially those with mobility or visual impairments. These users may have difficulty navigating the sub-menus using a mouse or other input device, or they may struggle to read the small text used to label the menu items.

Finally, sub-menus that are too deep can also negatively impact your website’s SEO. Search engines may have difficulty crawling and indexing content that is nested too deeply within a website’s navigation structure, which can lead to lower rankings and less visibility in search results.

The Wrong Way to Structure a Website Navigation Menu

Here’s a website navigation that has too many items on the navigation bar, so it will likely wrap to 2 lines or the font will be so small to fit everything on one line. Please with this structure it requires the website visitor to click too many times to get what they are looking for:

  • Home
  • About
    • About the Team
    • Credentials
    • Testimonials
    • Contact Us
  • Training Services
    • Obedience Training
      • Book a Consultation
      • Register for Training
        • Register for At Home Training
        • Register for Group Training
        • Register for 1-1 Training at Our Location
    • Agility Training
      • Book a Consultation
      • Register for Training
        • Register for 1-1 Training
        • Register for Group Training
      • FAQ
    • Behavioral Training
      • Book a Consultation
      • Register for Training
        • Register for Group Training
        • Register for 1-1 Training
  • Training Tips
  • Products for Dog Training
  • Dog Breed Articles
  • Testimonials
  • Contact

If you must use sub-menus, try to keep them as shallow as possible. Avoid nesting more than two levels deep whenever possible, and use clear and descriptive labels to help users understand how the content is organized. By doing so, you can create a navigation system that is user-friendly, accessible, and search engine friendly.

Here’s a Better Website Navigation Menu

If we take the example of the dog trainer we talked about earlier, instead of using sub-menus for Training Services, it might be better to create one page for Training Services that includes a brief introduction for each type of training offered. Each type of training could be linked to a separate page that provides more detailed information about that specific service.

For example, the main Training Services page could include a brief introduction for Obedience Training, Agility Training, and Behavioral Training, along with links to separate pages for each service.

These separate pages could provide more detailed information about the training programs, including pricing, schedules, testimonials from satisfied clients and a form or button to book a consultation.

Website Navigation Video Demonstration

Demonstration of an Optimized Website Navigation Plan

In the video demonstration you can see how a clear and organized structure for your website’s navigation, makes it easy for users to find the information they need. This approach can be especially helpful for websites that offer multiple services or products, as it allows users to quickly and easily navigate to the information that is most relevant to them.

Use Visual Cues

Visual cues can be very helpful when it comes to website navigation. Use icons, arrows, and other visual elements to guide your users and make it easier for them to find what they are looking for. This can also make your navigation more visually appealing and engaging.

While visual cues can be very helpful for website navigation, it’s important to use them sparingly. If you use too many visual cues, your website can start to look cluttered and overwhelming, which can hurt the overall user experience.

When using visual cues, it’s important to strike a balance between functionality and aesthetics. Icons and arrows can be very useful for guiding users and making your navigation more user-friendly, but they should be used judiciously. Too many visual elements can make it difficult for users to focus on the most important content and can even slow down the loading time of your website.

Instead of using visual cues everywhere, consider using them strategically to highlight important sections of your website or to guide users to specific pages. This can help improve the overall user experience and make your website more visually appealing without overwhelming your users with too many distractions.

Optimize for Mobile Devices

As more and more users access websites on their mobile devices, it’s becoming increasingly important to optimize your website navigation for mobile. And because I’m a WordPress geek, I’m going to share this tip: creating special menus for mobile devices is super easy, especially when using the Astra Theme (my favourite theme).

With Astra, you can customize what menu items appear on mobile devices and even change the colors and layout to make it more mobile-friendly. This means that you can create a navigation menu that is specifically designed for mobile users, making it easier for them to navigate your website on the go.

Test and Iterate (Refine)

Finally, it’s important to test and iterate your navigation over time. Use analytics tools to track how your users are interacting with your website navigation, and make changes as needed to improve usability and engagement. Don’t be afraid to experiment with different options and see what works best for your users.

The testing process can involve a range of different techniques, such as A/B testing, user testing, and analytics analysis. These methods allow you to collect data and feedback from your users, which you can then use to make informed decisions about how to improve your website’s navigation, layout, and content.

Once you’ve collected this data, the next step is to iterate – that is, to make small changes to your website based on the insights you’ve gathered. This might involve tweaking your main website menu, changing the color scheme of your website, or adjusting the layout of your content. The goal is to make incremental improvements over time, based on the feedback and data you’ve collected.

When it comes to testing and iterating your website navigation, there are many tools and techniques you can use to gather data and feedback from your users. One such tool is Hotjar, which provides a visual representation of how users engage with your website’s menu. Hotjar allows you to see where users are clicking, how far they are scrolling, and which links they are using the most. This can give you valuable insights into how your users are interacting with your website and help you identify areas that need improvement.

Another way to gather feedback from your users is to use a slide-in box at the bottom right of the screen, asking them whether they find your website menu easy to use and understand. This can provide you with direct feedback from your users and help you identify areas of your website that may need improvement.

You can also directly ask people for their opinions about your website navigation options. There are a variety of ways to do this, from sending automated emails to customers after they’ve made a purchase, to simply asking friends and family for their thoughts.

For example, you could include a question about your website’s navigation in a customer feedback survey or even add a quick poll to your website asking users to rate the ease of use of your main website menu or search options. This can provide you with valuable insights into how your users perceive your website and help you identify areas that need improvement.

Similarly, asking friends and family to take a look at your website and give you feedback can also be very helpful. They may be able to provide a fresh perspective and point out issues or areas that you may have overlooked.

By incorporating direct feedback from your users and other sources, you can gain valuable insights into how to improve your website navigation and overall user experience. So don’t be afraid to ask for feedback – it can help you create a website that is not only visually appealing but also user-friendly and engaging.


Improving your website navigation doesn’t have to be complicated. By following these simple tips, you can make it easier for your users to find what they are looking for and keep them engaged with your website. Remember to keep it simple, consistent, and visually appealing, and always be willing to iterate and improve.

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Until next time, stay inspired.



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