Let’s go back to blogging basics today, shall we? Today we want to talk about your blog navigation bar. You know, the little menu area at the top of your website, above the fold, that helps readers and site visitors, you guessed it, navigate your website? You probably set this up when you first launched your website and haven’t evaluated it in a while. While a navigation bar and mobile menu are standard on almost all blog designs custom or premade templates, it’s such an important part of your business, and here’s why.
The navigation bar or mobile menu helps your reader navigate your content. And this is something you want to be easy and get your audience right into your best, most consistent, content. Let’s dive into what to include in your website navigation for a good user experience, and to help increase page views.
What To Include In Your Blog Navigation Bar
Most importantly, you want your navigation bar to be easy to read and understand. It should be able to provide anyone that visits your site easy access to the content on your website and highlight your niche. So after you read this blog post, head to your own website and do an audit of your own navigation bar and be sure you’re providing all the proper information and links necessary for success.
Your Main Content Categories
Be sure your navigation bar reflects the bulk of your content. For example: if you are a food blogger, your top food categories should be easy to find/click in your drop-down menu or navigation area. Don’t make people work kind to find the good stuff you want them to see. Same goes for fashion! If you have only written a handful of home decor posts, no need to put this in your main navigation.
You can utilize drop down menus to further expand on your topics if you write a lot within each one. This is great for a lifestyle blogger who may cover many topics. Put the main overarching topics like style, or life, in the navigation, and then you can further expand on the topics in a drop down. So your style may include “fall/winter” and “spring/summer”.
Leave The About Page, Press Page and Contact Page OUT!
First, it’s time to consolidate things. No need to have a separate page for About, Contact, Press, and so on. You can put everything together in one big beautiful page. You can see our About Page here which includes all that information and more!
Second, these pages shouldn’t be in your navigation at the top. Period. Move this to your footer as these pages are typically the least visited on a website. If someone is on your site, they should get a feel of what you’re “about” by simply consuming your content. And if they aren’t, then you’ve got to figure out your WHY! But these pages should not take up valuable real estate in that navigation. They are not popular pages on your site, so you should simply pop them in a footer menu. Many pre-made themes come with this option!
If you don’t have a footer, you can pop your ABOUT page in the navigation on the FAR right so it’s the last thing a visitor would click. No need for this to take up valuable real estate on your website.
A Search Button
A search button that is easy to find and works. Make sure you have this on both desktop and mobile. You want your visitors to be able to easily find what they’re looking for.
Social Media Icons
Make sure your social media buttons or icons are easily visible. If a brand or new reader comes on to your site and wants to learn more about you on other platforms, make it easy for them to find you! Also, be sure each of your social icons leads to the correct page. This is a simple audit you should be doing each season. And lastly, make sure you’re only sharing social media platforms that you actively post to. If you haven’t posted to Twitter in 3 years, time to remove it. And if you started posting to TikTok, time to add the icon to your navigation!
This may seem like a no brainer, but trust me, it needs to be said. Make sure your logo, site title, whatever it is that you call yourself, in your navigation. And make sure this is linked to your homepage. This should act as your “home” button so that if a reader is anywhere on your site, they can get back to your homepage by simply clicking your logo. When you can make your logo clickable, you can remove the need to have a “home” category in your navigation. Which is a big win if you cover home content because it does get confusing!
Don’t Forget These Navigation Bar Tips If You’re A Blogger
Check your navigation bar on both desktop and mobile so you can ensure it’s easy to use on both devices. Click on everything to ensure it all functions properly.
We like a sticky navigation which basically keeps your navigation at the top of the screen no matter how far you’re scrolling. This makes it easy to explore other categories as a reader.
Check the contrast of your text and background colors. This is often overlooked and can make a huge difference in the user experience. Ensure your text is easy to read and that the background color and text color don’t look too similar. We want to clearly see text!
What other items do you feel should be included in a navigation bar? Did you find any mistakes in your own blog’s menu? Let us know in the comments below!