Set Sail With Good Navigation
In the early days of nautical discovery, navigation was a matter of line of sight and drifting with the tides. Then man figured out how to use the stars to track their position, and the oceans became our highway to exploration and riches.

When it comes to the internet good navigation is just as critical, without it your core message can literally miss its mark or get lost at sea.

1. Keep it Simple
A Website with poor navigation, will soon cause the viewer to abandon it.  Having to wonder where they are or how to get back home is frustrating and can create angst. Chasing drop down menus around a screen or just plain having to think too hard about how to get to the content wanted can literally sink the ship. Keep the navigation on every page the same so it "simple." One click, concise and clearly displayed navigation links displayed at the top of every page are always best.  

2. Less is more...
Try to keep you text, the number of pages and the number of navigation options to a manageable number. Main page/menu choices are best kept down to 7. Provide links to sub pages off your main pages if you need more.  That way people can drill down in the areas that apply to their needs, rather than being overwhelmed with choices and reams of information.

3. Keep it clean.
Your designs and content should offer non-cluttered page layouts. Give the eyes a place to rest on each page by providing lots of white space. Busy creates stress, and stress leads to a click out! Make it easy to navigate back to home or drill down and fine more detailed info. Galleries and bullet lists that link are good ways to display a lot of information without complicating or cluttering a site.
4. I took the road less traveled by.
Never assume that each person will travel the same path or seek information in the same manner that you might. Do your best to offer two ways to find what you feel is the main or key information on your website.  Two roads that lead there, mean twice the number of people will find and see the important information you are wanting to impart.

5. Call to action, without it- all is lost.
We all need to pull over and ask directions on occasion.  Every page should've a clear one sentence statement that tells your visitor what to do next.  Don't underestimate the power of action statements like "Call today for your free estimate." or "Call now and put us to work building your new outdoor lifestyle!"

6. Don't play hide and seek with the phone number!
Every website should've a contact page, but do not stop there.  Put the phone number at the top of every web page. Silly as it sounds, proof it, and then proof it again. You can waste a lot of effort if it's not the correct contact number. Add your email address to the header or footer so your prospective caller has what they need to take action and contact you. It is hard to sell the benefits of your goods or services to a prospective client, if you do not get a chance to talk to them.

The most productive websites are easy to navigate. Keep your navigation simple and you will help your viewer find the solutions they are looking for. Prompt them with a strong call to action and make it easy to get in touch with you and your website's performance will improve.

-Rick Merlino

Rick Merlino is the co-founder of a dba of, Inc. He has an extensive background in sales, training, marketing, and website development.