How to Create a Responsive Navigation Menu

The art of the navigation menu is simple: people want to get to where they are going. The thing is, the humble menu plays a much larger role. With the proper design, it has the potential to greatly impact bounce rates, conversions and sales. 

Why? Well, what else is a visitor supposed to do once they land on the landing page? With attention waning quickly, it’s imperative to give visitors a clear visual of where to click to find what you offer. It needs to be navigational, appealing and instant. If not, all it takes is a click to lose them.

How can you design a stunning and efficient menu for your website? Here are some of the best tricks in the book

Get Wordy

Analysis has shown that descriptive labels in navigation is much more fruitful than the usual “Products” or “About Us” same old. Why? Because using key phrases can help you rank better in search engines. It shows even more that you are truly representing a topic or niche, and Google will recognize that. As well, descriptive labels make you unique. As soon as visitors land on your page, they’ll see what your brand stands for right away, through the tone of the menu. Using labels like “services” doesn’t focus on one specific topic, so it won’t rank.

Steer clear of dropdown menus

How many times have you moved your mouse to a menu label, ready to get to what you want, when all of a sudden, you are instead bombarded by a barrage of dropdown menus with even more pages to choose from? Not only are dropdowns difficult for search engines to rank, but it just isn’t visually appealing for visitors. They want to get to their destination right away, not drown in dropdown soup. As well, with so many pages, the important ones might get skipped over. On the flip side, if you have numerous products or services, using one mega dropdown has been shown to work well, neatly displaying pages all at once.

Lucky number 7

The pros recommend keeping menu items down to 7. That’s because fewer items makes it easier for search engines to rank and it’s easier for visitors to find everything quickly. The order of items is just as important, with the first and last being highest in relevance (the easiest for the brain to remember).