It is very important to work your first impression with customers. If your website is unappealing to your audience and difficult to navigate, then it’s likely to increase the bounce rate. Your website navigation should instead help customers find the products they want quickly and easily.
Good navigation on your Easy Digital Downloads WordPress websites improves the online shopping experience and helps merchants increase sales and profits. Setting up your WordPress websites with Easy Digital Downloads could be your smartest move if you are into eCommerce and have excellent digital goods ready to offer for download.
Even relatively small differences in global navigation — i.e., the navigation that appears on almost every page of a site — may significantly impact users and their ability to find products. They have increasingly shorter attention spans, so you need to be able to quickly attract their attention – and make the shopping experience pleasant and easy.
Why improve your website navigation?
It can be safely said that navigation is one of the most critical parts of your store’s design. Good navigation provides an improved user experience leading to more sales and revenue. On the other hand, poor navigation frustrates the users leading to a higher bounce rate.
As mentioned before, poor website navigation has a higher tendency to increase the bounce rate. As a matter of fact, studies show that 76% of consumers say the most important characteristic of a website is ease of use. The objective is to help shoppers get to what they want faster and without running into unnecessary complexity that can clog up the path to purchase.
Navigation can make or break your website’s overall performance when it comes to retaining visitors, keeping them engaged and driving them through the conversion funnel. Strong site navigation makes it easy for visitors to quickly find the information that interests them. It also helps search engines index your important information efficiently and effectively.
So in summary, webstore owners need to once in a while check and optimize their site navigation because:
- Site navigation is very important to customers until they reach their purchase decision.
- Excellent Navigation leads to more sales and revenue for your webstore.
- Increased your Visit Duration and Decreased Bounce Rate
- Keep your clients and visitors happy and coming back for more, thus you won’t lose your customers.
- Good navigation makes the whole process easy and smooth. Bad navigation is frustrating and can lead to a loss of sales.
Although it may seem negligible, having organized and easy-to-follow navigation for a website is very beneficial and important for the overall user experience.
How to Improve Website Navigation for EDD
Even relatively small differences in global navigation — i.e., the navigation that appears on almost every page of a site — may significantly impact users and their ability to find products.
To improve your EDD WordPress site navigation, consider these suggestions.
1) Search Feature
Search is one of the most important tools for EDD WordPress website navigation. It should be included at or near the top of every page on a site. For this, you need to select a good EDD theme that already offers an on-site search bar or install a search plugin instead.
When using an in-site search feature, the search results page must always produce relevant results. It must compensate for misspellings, show related items and even produce results for products you don’t have while displaying similar products you offer.
2) Accurate navigation titles
Visitors should have a general idea of what they should find on a page even before clicking any navigational link. This is true whether it’s the main navigation link or an internal text link. Use accurate text to describe the linked page so visitors know what they’re going to get. Cryptic or misleading navigation text confuses and annoys visitors, possibly to the point of site abandonment. Make sure all link verbiage, whether textual or in an image, accurately portrays the corresponding pages.
3) Clickable links and pages on the navigation
When using multiple categorical divisions in your navigation, all heading elements should be clickable links. This is true even with drop-down menus where clicking a sub-category link may be the natural inclination of the visitor.
In order to add a navigation menu on your EDD website, an excellent and flexible plugin we have been using is the Nav Menu Roles. This plugin lets you hide custom menu items based on user roles.
4) Product Categories and Subcategories
Product categories are often arranged in a hierarchy that moves from the general to the specific. It is possible, however, that some products might naturally appear in more than one hierarchy.
5) Keep it consistent
Consistent navigation promotes ease of use and increases your visitors’ ability to find relevant information more quickly, and also so that people can find their way around the site from wherever they happen to be. If your navigation is constantly changing from page to page (except where absolutely necessary), visitors lose their on-site bearings and must reorient themselves constantly.
6) Follow Design Conventions
Although it might be fun to generate a unique and unusual form of website navigation, for eCommerce it is often best to follow common design and navigation conventions. With this in mind, navigation should either be at the top of the page or, for sites featuring left-to-right reading languages, on the left side of the page.
7) Filtered Navigation.
If you have tons of products on your webstore, Filtered navigation is essential. It makes for effective browsing by allowing the customer to narrow their product selection by eliminating results that are irrelevant to them.
8) Product Displays and Carousel Sliders
Carousels, or image sliders, and even simple product displays are commonplace on eCommerce sites which can be achieved by using shortcode for WordPress. Essentially, they allow your customers to promote several different products without using all of the space on the page, thus making it more user-friendly, creating an eye-candy, animated display. Fortunately, there is WordPress shortcode plugin out there that you can use.
If you want a WordPress shortcode plugin to enable product/vendors displays on your webstore, either a simple grid display or a carousel slider, you can try checking out the EDD Advanced Shortcodes plugin. This truly enhances website navigation and browsing capabilities of your products and vendor profiles in a more powerful manner using the advanced shortcode for WordPress provided.
9) Fix Broken Links
Always keep in mind to frequently check and fix broken links. Whether the page is yours or another website’s that you hyperlinked somewhere, 404 error pages aren’t helpful for visitors. Actually, they make them want to leave. WordPress has multiple plugins to check for broken links within your pages, posts, comments, directories, etc. but I suggest using Broken Link Checker since it’s one of the top plugins for this purpose.
10) Optimize for Mobile
As of 2017 Q1, mobile devices were found to be used for 49.7% of overall web page views globally. Make sure that everything you have on your desktop website version fits well with the mobile version. Choose either to create a responsive or adaptive mobile version depending on budget and what works best for your overall needs.
Keeping it simple and obvious will keep your clients and visitors happy and coming back for more. Be sure that your visitors are able to locate the necessary information as soon as possible, without searching through heaps of extra information. Navigation should assist the user in finding all the information they are after before a call to action can be made.
Conclusion: Make it easy for customers to find what they want!
Continuously thinking of new ways to attract more visitors to your EDD webstores can be very challenging. But what’s even more difficult is to keep and make your customers stay browsing on your website, how? That’s where good website navigation takes place. This should make it easy for your visitors to find exactly what they’re looking for.
Improving your website navigation also comes with improving your website speed. When it comes to page speed and load time, an improvement of just a single second can have huge implications for your bottom line. The result of this is faster loading times and happier visitors. You can read through this article “A Guide to WordPress Caching and the Best Caching Plugins” to learn more about WordPress Caching.
No one wants to go through leaps and hurdles to get to the endpoint, so make it easy and optimize your navigation for better user experience. Use any or all of these techniques above for your Easy Digital Downloads WordPress website, and you’ll be helping yourself and your visitors to move them toward your ultimate goal – conversions.