Navigation and SEO what you need to know
Have you ever visited a website, started looking for something and then got completely lost and stranded? If so you’re not alone. It happens to everyone at some point or another and it can be very frustrating and annoying. The reason it happens is very simple. Many websites have very poor basic navigation, simply because it wasn’t in the original website brief or the designer didn’t bother to ensure it was there. And it won’t help with optimisation as website navigation and SEO are closely intertwined.
These days there is no excuse for poor navigation on websites. There was a time when creating and editing the navigation structure was expensive and difficult, but with modern flexible website systems such as WordPress or Durpal this is no longer the case, as an administrator can edit the navigation directly and change it very quickly.
The basis of good website navigation is centred around being only two clicks away from the original page you came from. So if you say you’re looking to buy a model of a phone say, and click to read a case study, it should only be one or two clicks back to the orginal phone page. This sounds very obvious but a lot of sites fail at that simple hurdle.
Website navigation and SEO
So how can poor navigation have a negative impact on how well your site does in the search engines? Simply put, if your visitors are getting a poor experience from your site the search engines will notice (especially Google) and this can have an impact on ranking.
How good is the navigation on my site?
There is quite a simple way to test this out. You just need to do some quick usability testing. This is not as difficult as it sounds and only needs a little thought and pre-planning. First you need to work out a simple task you’d like someone to complete on your website who hasn’t seen it before. The task could be something like finding a particular product or service and then learning all they can about it.
Once you’ve planned things out you just need to find that person, give him or her the task to complete and then observe while they complete it. Take a few notes of what you see particularly with respect to how they find their way around the site. Then get some feedback from the person and once you’ve digested the results you’ll have a much better idea of how good the navigation is.