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Website Navigation Tips





Tip 1: Implement Fixed Scrolling Bars

Responsive fixed navigation bar

Embrace a user-centric approach to website navigation by opting for fixed scrolling bars over conventional nav bar interfaces. Unlike traditional navigation, fixed scrolling bars remain anchored in a designated position horizontally atop or vertically alongside the webpage. This steadfast presence ensures a stress-free user experience, enabling visitors to navigate to their desired destinations effortlessly without the hassle of incessant scrolling.


Tip 2: Embrace Simple Website Navigation


Strive for simplicity in navigation, sticking to the philosophy that less is indeed more. The abundance of drop-down menus can make it difficult for search engines to identify subpages, creating complex silos. Exercise restraint in menu and submenu options to avert such pitfalls and uphold an optimal user experience. Consider, where feasible, the judicious omission of submenus, a practice endorsed by seasoned experts.


Tip 3: Steer Clear of Format-Based Navigation


Break away from the common approach of format-based navigation, where user expectations are limited by the content type associated with a link. For instance, instead of using generic terms like "Blog," consider using more informative labels like "Fitness Industry News & Media." Visitors come to websites with specific interests, so it's important to use descriptive navigation elements that clearly indicate relevance and make navigation user-friendly.


Tip 4: Leverage Image Carousels


Carousel navigation


Improve your website's visual appeal and navigability by using image carousels, especially when confronted with lots of information to convey. Beyond their aesthetic allure, image carousels excel in consolidating information in a compact space. Featuring larger-than-life images, these carousels captivate users, offering an alternative to textual content. They serve as an effective tool for spotlighting products, blogs, or any featured content, presenting a dynamic user experience with seamless navigation to key pages.


Tip 5: Consistent Website Navigation Structure


It’s important to maintain a consistent navigation structure; suppose a user starts on the "Group Classes" page. The consistent navigation structure means that the user can expect to find the same menu options (Home, Services, About Us, Blog, Contact Us) in the same order on every page of the website.

If the user clicks on "About Us" to learn more about you as the trainer or the philosophy of your fitness services, the navigation remains consistent. They can easily navigate back to the main service offerings or explore the blog section for additional insights.

If the user then moves to the "Nutrition Coaching" section under "Services," the structure is consistent, providing a seamless experience as they explore various aspects of personal training.


Inconsistent Example (Not Recommended)


If, for instance, "Nutrition Coaching" suddenly became the main navigation item on some pages and a submenu item on others, it could create confusion for users trying to explore different aspects of fitness services.


Consistent Example (Recommended)


Maintaining a uniform navigation structure ensures that whether users are exploring personal training options, learning about nutrition coaching, or reading blog posts on fitness tips, they can do so through a familiar and user-friendly navigation experience, contributing to both user satisfaction and SEO optimisation.


Tip 6: Breadcrumb Navigation

Breadcrumb navigation

Implement breadcrumb navigation. Breadcrumbs provide users with a clear path back to the homepage and allow search engines to understand the structure of your site, improving overall navigation and SEO.


Tip 7: User-Friendly URL Structure


Use descriptive keywords in your URLs that reflect the content of the page. This helps users understand the content they are about to access and provides search engines with clear information for indexing.


Avoid Complex Strings


Steer clear of complex strings of numbers or symbols in your URLs. Simple and readable URLs are not only more user-friendly but are also favoured by search engines. A clean URL structure contributes to better indexing and ranking.


Example of a Personal Training Website


Consider a page on a personal training website offering tips for weight management. Instead of a generic URL like "www.example.com/page123," opt for a descriptive and user-friendly URL: "www.example.com/weight-management-tips".


Use Hyphens to Separate Words


When including multiple words in your URL, use hyphens to separate them (e.g., "weight-management-tips"). This improves readability for both users and search engines.


Keep it Short and Simple


Aim for concise URLs. While including descriptive keywords is essential, avoid unnecessary words or details that could shorten the URL.


Include Targeted Keywords


Incorporate relevant and targeted keywords that users are likely to search for. This not only helps with SEO but also aligns with user expectations.


Tip 8: SEO-Friendly Titles and Meta Descriptions for Media



Meta description and titles


In the context of a personal training website, optimising image and video descriptions is an excellent practice that enhances SEO and ensures inclusivity for users relying on assistive technologies.


Use Descriptive File Names


Use descriptive file names that convey the content of the media. Instead of generic names like "image001.jpg," opt for names that reflect the specific context, such as "strength-training-workout.jpg" or "healthy-nutrition-tips.mp4."


Use Relevant Alt Text for Images


Alt text, or alternative text, is a concise description of an image that serves as a textual representation. For personal training website images, create alt text that provides a brief and meaningful description of the visual content. For example, if the image depicts a trainer demonstrating a particular exercise, the alt text could be "Personal trainer demonstrating a squat exercise for strength training."


Example for Descriptive Names and Alt Text


Suppose your personal training website features an image of a nutritious meal as part of a blog post about healthy eating. Instead of a generic file name, you might use "nutritious-meal.jpg" as the file name and provide alt text like "A colourful and nutritious meal with a variety of vegetables, lean protein, and whole grains." This helps to ensure that those with visual impairments can comprehend the content of the image.



Compliance with Web Accessibility Standards


In addition to benefiting users, optimising image and video descriptions aligns with web accessibility standards, such as the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG). Following these guidelines ensures that your personal training website is accessible to individuals with disabilities, fostering an inclusive digital environment.


Tip 9: Mobile-First Responsive Navigation Design


Prioritising mobile devices in your design process and progressively enhancing them for larger screens caters to the growing mobile user base and aligns with search engine preferences for mobile-friendly websites.


Condense Navigation Options:


Streamline your menu options for mobile users. Prioritise essential categories and consider consolidating submenus to avoid clutter and confusion on smaller screens.


Touch-Friendly Buttons:


Design navigation buttons with touch-friendly dimensions to accommodate mobile interactions. Ensure that buttons are large enough to be tapped easily, preventing user frustration.


Media Sizes and Adaptability:


Adapt the navigation layout based on different screen sizes. This ensures that the navigation remains user-friendly and visually appealing across a spectrum of devices.


Test Across Various Devices:


Regularly test your responsive navigation across a range of devices and browsers. Identify any issues or inconsistencies and address them promptly to provide a consistent experience for all users.


Loading Speed Optimisation:


Optimise the loading speed of your mobile navigation. Slow-loading menus can deter users and negatively impact SEO. Compress images, minimise code, and leverage browser caching to enhance overall performance.


Tip 10: Mobile Navigation with Icons and Hamburger Menu



Icons and hamburger menus


Embrace a streamlined approach to mobile navigation by incorporating intuitive icons and a hamburger menu. Replace text-heavy navigation with universally understood icons, conserving space and enhancing visual appeal. The inclusion of a hamburger menu, a widely recognised mobile navigation pattern, facilitates one-tap access to the full menu, minimising visual clutter and ensuring a more user-friendly and efficient mobile interface. This integration optimises both space utilisation and user experience for mobile visitors, but read on as there are some SEO compromises.


Positive Aspects:

  • Improved User Experience (UX)

Visually intuitive Icons enhance the overall user experience, especially on mobile devices with limited screen space. Users can recognise and understand navigation elements quickly, contributing to a more user-friendly interface.

  • Faster Load Times

Icons generally have smaller file sizes compared to text, contributing to faster loading times. Users prefer faster-loading pages and can positively influence SEO rankings.

  • Visual Appeal

Icons can add a visually appealing aspect to your navigation, making it more engaging for users. Positive user engagement metrics, such as longer time spent on the site, can indirectly contribute to SEO.

Potential Considerations:

  • Crawler Interpretation

While modern search engine crawlers are increasingly sophisticated, they may still have limitations in fully understanding the context of icons. Text provides explicit information about the content, which can be beneficial for search engines in terms of content indexing and relevance.

  • Accessibility Concerns

Some users, including those with disabilities, may rely on text labels for navigation. Using only icons might present accessibility challenges. It's crucial to ensure that your website remains accessible to all users, and this may require providing alternative text or other accessible elements.

  • SEO Metadata

Text-based navigation allows for the inclusion of SEO-friendly metadata. Search engines use this metadata to understand the content and relevance of each page. Icons alone may lack the descriptive information needed for optimal SEO.


Mitigation Strategies:


  • Alt Text for Icons

Include descriptive alt text for icons. This ensures that the alt text provides relevant information even if crawlers do not fully interpret the visual aspect.


  • Strategic Use of Text


While emphasising icons, strategically use text for critical navigation elements, especially on desktop versions. This helps ensure that search engines can easily understand and index important content.


  • Structured Data Markup


Implement structured data markup, including JSON-LD or microdata, to provide additional context to search engines about your navigation elements. This can help improve the visibility of your site in search results.



Get In Touch


Want help with your fitness website or marketing strategy for online expansion?


doriel.alie@aesticwebdesign.com



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