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Make that navigation tell a story

How do website visitors see, at a glance, what a company does? I’d argue that it’s not the ‘About’ page, or even the big all-encompassing headline on the home page. It’s the navigation labels. And on many websites, those labels don’t even make an attempt to convey this information.

What do I mean by this? Take a look at any website: do the navigation labels list what visitors have come for? Or do they say something like: “Products – Services – About Us – Latest News – Contact”?

Visitors aren’t looking for ‘products’. Or ‘news’. They’re looking for specific coloured Widgets. Or they’re looking for the company address. So navigation labels that say “Blue Widgets – Red Widgets – Green Widgets – Company Info” are not only more helpful, they communicate in a fraction of a second the breadth of the company’s product offering.

For example, imagine that your company not only sells Widgets, but also the associated instruments and control software. Why hide that breadth of offering in perhaps the first thing that visitors look at? Which of these works better?