I had a chance to review several websites from the same industry recently and noticed one glaring commonality across every website I looked at – massive top level navigation. One website maxed out their top level navigation with seven tabs and each tab had two to eight drop-down menu items. Each tab was uncommonly named too. The contact us, about us, etc. were in a separate right side navigation area for a total of 13 additional links on the right hand side. Bulky navigation is an Internet marketing no-no.
Since people only go to the web for two reasons, to solve a problem or to be entertained (quickly) and a website only has four seconds to get someone to click on something, presenting your website visitors with such a massive number of links to sort through doesn’t make for a very good user experience. You essentially have only four seconds to present a clear path for your website visitor to take that will solve their problem.
To avoid a poor user experience it is recommended to use a segmentation strategy. Segmentation strategies are commonly used in PPC campaigns and microsite deployments. Segmentation is done by identifying two to seven areas of interest that your website visitors may have and creating clear calls-to-action type callouts. You can use either graphics or large text. Just Add Ice Orchids is a good example of segmentation.
Just Add Ice Orchids has identified the three main area of interest (care, share, learn) that their visitors may have and presents them with a clear path to the information they need without cluttering up the website with 60+ links. These clear paths make for a more rewarding user experience and that’s reflected by the low bounce rate on the home page.
If you think your website offers a poor user experience leave a comment with your URL. I’d love to help!