Layout and WireframeWebsite navigation (technical architecture) links your landing page to all other pages of the site. This is important not only to the visitors to the website but also to search engines as they decide how to rank your site. If your site has poor architecture, it can kill rankings, lower the amount of traffic and hurt your site conversion rate as well.

Minimal Navigation Methods:

This year our navigational methods will focus on icons, roll-downs and navigation that shrinks as you start to scroll down the page. This is influenced by the popularity of mobile design which is now being used in most web applications.

Which pages of the site are most important?

It will pay off to research your statistics to determine which pages of the site are being crawled by the search engine “bots” and which pages are not. Use this information as you develop your marketing method for the year and develop the pages that are crawled first for better results down the road.  The pages that have lower value can be deleted in favor of those pages that are relevant. This is also important because search engines will not scan duplicate content.  Check all pages of the site to make sure there is no duplicate content.
Newer layouts are developing navigation tools beyond the traditional main navigation bar.  The new layouts are allowing for more information in a way that utilizes the space more efficiently.  This keeps the menu from being too overwhelming. Creating menu options that offer clear paths to the information needed is now a trend. Colorful blocks and graphics lead the visitor to important information within the site. Using the “learn more” option on the block or graphic leads the visitor even further into the site offering more information to improve the site efficiency. This is referred to as “breadcrumb navigation.”

The importance of Internal Link Popularity:

Internal LinkingThe more pages you have in the site that link to other pages in the site offer a higher internal link popularity.  A site developed in this way will be easy to use and will offer lots of links to drill down further for more information. Using this marketing method will WOW the user and at the same time have the value necessary to be indexed by search engines.
Thought for the week from the Design Wizards at Inside Design Orlando!
Design Is a funny word. Some people think design means how it looks. But of course, if you dig deeper, it’s really how it works.” by Steve Jobs