Question: How can you ensure that visitors are able to navigate easily through your Web site?

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If visitors are coming to your Web site from a search engine link, chances are they are going to be unfamiliar with the site. Because search engines can dump a user in any section of your site, it is important to make sure that there is a noticeable link to your site map and home page on all interior pages. Here are some strategies to help visitors navigate through your site.

  1. Make it clear. Tell the visitor what the site is and what information they should expect to find throughout the Web site.
  2. Make it usable. Are you providing the right information? Your search engine visitors are there because your site came up at the top of the search engine list. When they click on that link to your Web site, you must be able to identify the content they are looking for in their first moments on the site.
  3. Provide valuable content. Your content is what attracted the user to the Web site and it should be what keeps them there. Don’t fill your content with keywords just to be ranked high in the search engine rankings. If visitors cannot easily find the content that directed them to your site, they will quickly leave.
  4. Define functional and practical navigation. Once a user has read the specific content they are looking for, it is important to provide a clear and consistent navigation that will enable them to move quickly and efficiently throughout the rest of your content.

Thomas Obrey is co-founder and chief operating officer at PixelMEDIA, Portsmouth, N.H. He can be reached at [email protected].

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