In this installment, we’ll be covering some things to consider when you are looking to create a navigation structure for your new website. A great place to start is on your current website. Using a program like Google Analytics, you can determine which pages should be the “stars” of your new website:
- Which pages were the most visited?
- Which pages had the highest average time on page?
- If you have a site search function, which pages or terms were people searching for most frequently?
By answering these questions above, you can start to get a better idea of what content of yours that your clients and contacts found the most valuable and making that content easier for others to find. Specifically, looking at the site search results, you may also be able to come up with ideas for new content that your site visitors are looking for, but that you are not currently providing.
In addition to the content that your visitor’s find valuable, another key piece of your site’s navigation is related to your online goals and objectives – what action do you want your visitors to take? Is it requesting a quote, buying your product online, submitting an “Ask an Expert” question, signing up for your e-newsletter or some other goal entirely?
Whatever this goal(s) happens to be, it becomes a critical component of your site’s navigation. Make it easy for your visitors to accomplish this goal. This could be accomplished through call-to-action buttons, clear and concise landing pages and easy-to-understand follow-up emails/thank you pages.
Once you have taken the above into consideration, it’s time to start laying out your navigation plans in the form of a site map and wire frame. We’ll cover this in more detail in our next post.