What is Navigation?
Internet Marketing Dictionary | Website Navigation

Navigation is the term used to describe the menus, links, breadcrum trails, buttons and other systems used on websites that enable people to move from one page to another. It also includes the way a site is structured to enable visitors to move through the site efficiently, particularly when it comes to converting visitors into paying customers.

A website with effective navigation tools is easy to get around and generally will get more page views than a website where navigation controls are obscure, counter-intuitive or difficult to locate.

An example of a bad website navigation tool would be a link in a web page that was the same colour as normal text: it wouldn't clearly be a link and may well be ignored by visitors. A good link shows up a a different colour and links that perform similar functions should be the same colour. Classically links are blue on sites with straightforward navigation controls.

Other poor systems include links that barely stand out from the background.

Web sites that are well designed have navigation controls that are easy to use and make it clear to the user what they do. So for example it helps to give links names that relate to the page they link to.

Avoid using link names like "page 2" or "next" unless they clearly apply to a sequence of web pages people are supposed to go through as part of a sign up or purchase process.

A more recent development has been the ability to place "hint" text behind links so that when someone hovers their cursor over the link, additional explanatory text appears to help the visitor decide whether to visit the underlying webpage or not.

For an example, place your cursor over this link to Master Resale Rights. Good use of this type of hint text can help your visitors get round your site as well as encourage people to take the action you want them to take.

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