Even though I’m not exactly sure who the ‘experts’ are, they’ve been quoted in every web design course I’ve taken or web instruction manual I’ve read and they all seem to agree.
When a potential customer lands on your website you have eight seconds… or less, to engage their interest before they hit the back button.
While it may seem an eternity to a bull rider, it’s only a third the duration of most TV commercials. Really, how much can anyone see in eight seconds? Definitely not much of that content you’ve so painstakingly laboured over to get just right.
Dont worry – it’s navigation to the rescue.
When people search for something on the internet, they have a question. To keep them on your website, they have to see a clear path to find an answer. Navigation has to be obvious and headings relevant to catch their interest as the scan your page.
Easy Rules to follow:
- Make the navigation easy to find. I know this sounds like a no-brainer, but how many websites have you visited where the navigation is playing hide and seek. It’s either tiny, tucked away in the corner or disguised as funky images? Who has time for that? Next!
- Ask yourself why. Why are people searching for your product or service? Use clear, commonly used wording in your navigation to point them to the answers.
- Keep it simple and consistent. Don’t force your potential customers to learn a new layout on every page. You can change the images and columns, but keep the navigation in the same place and easy to see.
- Use headings. Even though they aren’t links, headings orient your visitors within each webpage.
The most effective websites are often the simplest.