Navigation is extremely important for your website. It's part of your design, look, and feel. The right navigational tools will create a user-friendly website, while a poorly mapped out website can crush your success.
The following are some points to consider: Presentation - Functionality - Familiarity -User-Friendliness
Place main website links at top and bottom of every page, or on side and bottom, depending on your page layout.
The reason for this is so that visitors can instantly discover your key features.
Some search engines cannot navigate through your entire site through pictures, icons, or graphics. They need text links in order to spider through your website.
Limit your navigational links to three clicks. So, say you're a pet store. Your main links might look like this: HOME - DOGS - CATS - CRITTERS - SPECIALS
These would be your main links. Your top links can be linked pictures. The bottom links can be simple text links. The following is how your next menu would look if your visitor clicked dog site.
DOGS TOYS - FOOD - GROOMING
Your main links would still be available; however, your sub-menu for different dog links would now be visible. Let's take it one link further.
TOYS BALLS - CHEWS - SQUEAKY - STUFFED
In three clicks your customer has reached his desired goal. Dogs/Toys/Squeaky. This should be your goal as well.
Nothing is more frustrating than having to click deeper and deeper into a website to find what you need. If you're looking for a dog squeaky toy, you shouldn't have to go through more than a few clicks to get there.
Here's how your clicks might go:
Dog Toys - Small Squeaky Toys ... you're there.
Unless shop has too many of that type of squeaky toy and you have to click for more squeaky toys to view, you should get to squeaky toy section or directory within a few clicks.
A large website should have a site map. (Our site map should be up and running this week) A site map is a page that will direct your customers to any place they want to go.