Written on Sep 26, 2010 | by Ashley Johnson
How do you greet visitors when they walk in your business door? You welcome them, ask them to take their coats off and be comfortable, and lead them to the areas in your store where they can find the products that will best serve them.
By the same token, your website should follow the same philosophy. If your website navigation does not aid your online visitors, then it detracts and distracts – and it is sure to lose customers rather than convert them.
To paint a better idea of how navigation can help you convert visitors into sales, here are a few tips:
Connect Your Theme – Use cascading style sheets (CSS) whenever possible to keep your website theme and color scheme unified throughout your website. This helps prevent confusion to your visitors.
Greet Your Visitors – Just like you would say “hi” or “welcome” in your store, be sure your website main page greets visitors with a simple welcome. Let them know who you are and what you offer to make a great first impression.
Limit Your Links – Navigation around your site is all about links. However, be sure you do not overload each page with links. You do not need 3 or 4 links to the same area on your site. Keep links simplified in tabular or sidebar menus.
Keep Content Scannable – Avoid making your web page content look like a newspaper article. Online readers do not read content like a book or other printed material. Keep your content brief and concise. Separate sentences and paragraphs with spaces. Include helpful links when appropriate to help readers click to helpful information.
Limit Images – Photos and graphics are a great addition to a website. Just be sure to keep them limited in number and size.
Avoid the Front Page Splash – If you take only one thing from this article, we ask that it be this: avoid a splash page! This is a “welcome” Flash animation that welcomes visitors when they click on your main URL. It does nothing to promote your site, but rather annoys and delays your visitors from getting to the information they need. A Flash animation welcome page is just that: all flash and no substance.
With these tips, you can warmly welcome visitors to your website – and ensure they stay!