As we are testing our websites, we often focus on homepages, landing pages and funnels. These are the pages that “move the needle” and get results. However, there is one aspect of many sites that goes unnoticed by optimizers — the site navigation.
Site navigation is important because it gets your visitors where they need to be. Also, it’s usually one of the static elements of your site.
The navigation is visible on all of your pages and is often the one constant throughout the website.
It simply makes sense to focus your efforts on such a high visibility area that has such a great impact on your customers’ experience.
Now, you may be asking yourself, “What can I test in my navigation?”
To answer that question, I’ve constructed a short guide to help you start optimizing your navigation.
Potential navigation testing opportunities include:
- Changing link names that may be confusing
- Optimizing subcopy (if you give details in your navigation)
- Changing hierarchies or organizations
- Adding or deleting links
- Optimizing visual features (icons)
- Optimizing navigation indicators (hover and click functionality, lines, highlights, etc.)
Begin with goals and objectives
It’s important to have clearly defined goals and objectives when testing your navigation.
While you want your site navigation to drive conversions, you should always remember that this is ultimately a tool for your site visitors.
It should guide them where they need to go in a clear, concise manner. So how do you measure your navigation’s success? What would be your primary KPI? In many tests, our KPIs are conversions or clickthroughs. However, much more thought must go into defining navigation KPIs.