I’m going to tell you a story about a craving for a chocolate shake that I had a few days ago. This story has a direct bearing on the proper way that you should design your website. It may not seem to relate to your business at first, but bear with me, as it will all make sense shortly. Here we go…..
I was out doing errands last week when I suddenly had a wild craving for a big, double chocolate, malted milk shake from one of the more well known drive thru’s here in Chicago. But, since it was clear across town, and — with the bus and transfers — it would have taken over an hour, I opted for a Grande Mocha Frappuccino® from the local Starbucks near my house. I had eaten pretty light that day so I thought I could splurge. “Why not?” I said!
Anyway, I get to the shop to order my Frappuccino®. As usual, they were really busy that day, so I stood in line and waited. There were two customers ahead of me in line. As I watched the transactions between the employee at the counter and the person in front of me, there was a lot of back and forth. The customer didn’t want the drink the way the barista prepared it, so it got changed out. There were several drinks because it was a big order, and one of the other drinks was wrong, so that took more time. “That’s okay,” I thought. “I’m not in that big of a hurry today.” But, I was getting a little irritated.
Finally, they got their order right, and the next person ahead of me was now in line. This seemed like it might go faster because while standing in line, this person had told me that they had already called in their order. Well, not to my surprise, there was some conversation back and forth going on and from what I could detect, this order was completely wrong. Unfortunately, I ended up waiting another 15 minutes as the barista got it all straightened out. To top it all off, the guy behind the register….you guessed it…was new….his FIRST DAY!
Well none of this was really any real surprise since this particular Starbucks, the last two years that I have going there, has constantly been getting things all messed up. Now, I will give Starbucks a break because, as a whole, they do have consistent service in some stores. But, this one …well, it does need a little work.
AND SO THE STORY GOES…
Ok, NOW it is finally time for me to place my order. I am REALLY NOW wanting a Frappuccino®. As I stepped up to the counter, the new guy says: ” Well, What will you have today?” and I said “A Caramel Light Frappuccino®, tall with a drizzle, please.”
“Oh, miss, I am so sorry,” he stated. “We are all out of Frappuccino® mix today; can we get you something else?”
Well, needless to say, I was devastated. I politely said: “No Thank You,” and proceeded to walk out the door before my head blew off.
I would imagine you are wanting to know, “What does this have to do with a website?” I say, “Plenty!” How is your navigation on your website? Does it make sense? Are you losing valuable traffic to your website?
How Does This Affect Your Website
Your navigation design on your website is your lifeline to the success of your website. It acts like the veins and arteries connecting to your heart. Without these lifelines, your heart fails, and so does your website. It is a guideline for the user to know exactly where things are on your site. Most importantly, a sites navigation needs to be logical to the user. It has to allow easy access to where they are going quickly and effectively.
Your user isn’t on the website long enough to begin with, so the more impatient he becomes with how to get from A to Z, the user will likely leave your website. Similar to my experience getting my drink at Starbucks. It took too long for me to find out they didn’t have the Frappuccino® main ingredient in the first place.
Check your bounce rate in your Google Analytics if you have it set up. The higher the bounce rate, the more likely the users are leaving your website quickly. This is not a good sign and hows that you may have some problems, pointing right to your navigation. You definitely want to engage your users on your website. It also must be understood that a web design containing a good navigation does not mean one that is complicated. In fact, a good navigation is one that can be understood and used effectively by an average person with basic knowledge regarding the Internet.
An internet sacred rule is: “A bad bounce rate is the kiss of death and a sure sign that you need to fix your website.” Trying to dredge through a poorly designed navigation only to realize the information you need isn’t there is frustrating to your viewers. It is at the top of the list of complaints, and you don’t want to impose this on them.
DEVELOP A STRATEGY: Insider Tip
Sometimes just a few easy tweaks can make the difference to improve your bounce rate. Make sure your navigation is crystal clear. Keep it simple. Make the font readable. Make sure there is a clear purpose on your home page of who you are and what you represent. One of the biggest causes of high bounce rate is that the viewer is confused.