Your website navigation strategy is an important part of providing a pleasant user experience and can aid your SEO efforts. Navigation refers to the way in which a user moves through the content of a website. It is vital that a clear and simple navigation system is used. It should answer these three questions for the visitor:
Where am I?
Where have I been?
Where can I go?
You need to make it as simple as possible for visitors to navigate your site, and access your content and products. Preferably, visitors should be able to find any page within 2 to 3 clicks of any other page. To achieve this, providing them with multiple ways of navigating the site is important.
Just like external links, the site’s internal linking structure is a major ranking factor – a factor that is under your complete control. Search engines view pages that require fewer clicks from the front page as having higher importance than pages that require more clicks. They also take into account the anchor text used in the links and how well your pages are interlinked.
Website Navigation Strategy & Main Navigation
The main navigation system usually takes the form of a menu containing links. This menu should be clearly visible above the fold and remain consistent with the same format in the same place on every page—either to the top left, top center or top right.
If your site is large you should include a search mechanism to help visitors find what they are looking for faster. Place the search box in a prominent place so that it is easy to find from any page.
If you have a group of pages that can be sequenced you should provide links from one page to the next/previous ones, so that the visitor can navigate through them more easily.
Breadcrumbs—such as Home -> Products -> Books—allow visitors to see their location relative to the front page. They also provide links back to each parent page in the site hierarchy. This gives you an additional place to include keyword rich links pointing to each page of your site. Breadcrumbs typically appear horizontally across the top of the web page.
Be sure to include internal links from within your content to other related content or reference content on your site. This is a simple and clever way to increase the reputation of other pages within your site with targeted keyword phrases.
Note SEO Smart Links§ – This WP plug-in automatically links keywords to any relevant pages on your site.