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Common Mistakes to Avoid When Crafting a Website Navigation Structure

Oct 12, 2023 | Online Marketing

When you're building your website, the navigation structure might not be top of mind, but it's one of the most important elements that will help make your website successful. After all, this is what helps visitors find their way around your site and get to the content they are looking for. A poorly thought-out navigation structure can frustrate users and send them elsewhere, which means fewer conversions and less success for you. Here are some common mistakes to avoid when crafting a website navigation structure.

Using too Many Navigation Tabs

The first mistake is having too many items in your navigation menu. You should limit your tabs to seven or fewer; any more than that can become overwhelming for visitors and make it difficult for them to find what they need quickly. Additionally, having too many tabs will make the menu look cluttered and unappealing to visitors who want a streamlined experience when visiting your site. It's always best to keep things simple by sticking with just a few essential items in the main menu bar and then adding sub-menus as needed if there's more content that needs to be accessible from the home page.

Not Labeling Tabs Clearly

Another mistake is not labeling tabs clearly enough so that visitors can easily understand what each tab means without having to think about it too much. This could mean using generic terms like “About” or “Services” instead of specific ones like “Who We Are” or “What We Do” which may provide more context for users who are unfamiliar with your company or services. Additionally, make sure you use consistent labels throughout the entire website; this makes it easier for visitors who are navigating from page-to-page since they won't have to guess where they're going next based on different label names each time they click a link.

Forgetting About Mobile Users

With more people accessing websites on mobile devices than ever before, it's important not to forget about optimizing the navigation structure for mobile users as well as desktop ones. This means making sure all buttons are big enough so users can easily tap on them with their fingers without accidentally tapping something else instead (this includes avoiding too many links close together). Additionally, you should also consider using hamburger menus on mobile devices since this allows users to view all their options at once without taking up valuable screen space with long lists of links in the main menu bar.

Not Using Drop-down Menus Properly

Drop-down menus can be extremely useful when used properly but if done wrong they can become confusing and frustrating for visitors who may end up clicking around multiple times just trying to figure out where everything is located within these hidden menus. To avoid this issue, make sure you only use drop-down menus when absolutely necessary (i.e., if there is no other way around connecting two pieces of information) and ensure labels are clear enough so users know exactly where each item links back to before clicking on it (especially important on mobile devices where tapping one item could lead them down an accidental rabbit hole).

Too Many Calls To Action

Lastly, many people mistakenly think that including too many calls-to-action in their navigation structure will get more people clicking through their site – however this usually has quite the opposite effect since it becomes overwhelming for visitors who may end up feeling overwhelmed by all these choices rather than inspired by them! Therefore try limiting yourself only including calls-to action that truly matter – those related directly related back into product or services being offered – while removing any unnecessary extras such as linking out social media profiles unless absolutely necessary (most social profiles can be included at page level rather than via top level nav bar).

Putting together an effective website navigation structure takes time but following these tips will help ensure yours stands out from the rest with a user friendly experience that won't leave visitors frustrated or confused!

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