How should I design my website menu?

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Your website menu, often called “Tabs” or “Navigation” is a critical component for your website. Getting it right will help you accomplish two key goals. Your users will have a positive experience finding information on your website and Google will equally have an easier time crawling and ranking your website in search results.

User and Visitor Experience

As it relates design and user experience, it is generally a best practice to keep you top level navigation to a maximum of 7 or 8 items. That’s the max. This means when you get to that number in your menu, you are essentially pushing the boundaries of an efficient and effective user experience. If your website currently has 8 or more menu items, I would encourage you to assess whether you can reduce the number of navigation items into a smaller number of categories. When I walk through this process with clients, I tend to follow a model that is very similar to how a library would organize and categorize their books. If you distilled the process used to organize books down into a few steps, it essentially involves creating categories at the highest level, for example, Science, Business, History followed by sub categories. The key to creating these high level categories is to ensure that each category is mutually exclusive, that is to say, no overlap. If you’re able to follow these rules, this will help you reduce the number of website menu items and will also help your visitors find the information they are looking for.

Naming and Search

As far as the naming is concerned, I tend to recommend to my clients to try, as much as possible, the use of common page names. Using terms like “About Us”, “Contact”, “Products”, “Services”, as top level items can yield two benefits. For one, it helps Google better understand your page and eventually provide structured queries for your visitors when they search for you (these are the links that appear underneath your search results in Bing or Google). Secondly, it gives your users an easier way to find content. There’s no exact science to naming, however,  if you decide to deviate away from traditional page names, make sure it is evident what a user can expect to find in each portion of your website. If it’s confusing to you, chances are it will be confusing to your visitors. Lastly, try to keep the number of words and letters of your website menu items short. I’ve noticed on a lot of websites that have 3 or 4 words for a single menu item. This isn’t necessarily going to penalize you from a search standpoint and is more of an indicator that perhaps your categorization technique isn’t efficient enough.

The Longest Vacation

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The idea that vacations should be restricted to 1 or 2 weeks sounds like a good principle to protect the company when it is young and growing; however managing the line between firm policy and flexibility is important to successful growth.   Throughout our history we have decided several times to draft vacation policies that we believed would protect our precious company from a resource shortage at a critical yet undefined time. Usually right around that time one of our employees comes to us asking for a 3 or 4 week vacation because they are getting married, going to the world cup or going around the world for a great friend’s wedding. It’s moments like these which revealed our leadership culture by forcing us to consider how to balance our employee and corporate health.

Like most modern software shops, Veriday has a healthy and diverse employee culture formed by individuals who like to travel, have immigrated from elsewhere and maybe a few who need to significantly recharge their batteries now and then. All of those elements including significant life events that we often share with our colleagues make for challenging vacation scheduling at times and sensitivity to important life needs that supercede the value of the corporation.  So while we still have policies that are designed to protect the health of Veriday we have learned repeatedly to maintain a healthy amount of flexibility.

 

New Interactive Widgets for Digital Agent!

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We’re excited to launch a number of different interactive widgets to our library!

Google Maps has never been so easy!

Have you always wanted an interactive Google map on your website that your visitors can use to find your exact location? Well, look no further. As long as you’ve correctly typed in your address in your approved profile, you can drag and drop a Google map anywhere and as many times on your website!

Interactive Google Map widget

Twitter Widget

Do you use Twitter to communicate with your audience? Digital Agent now has an easy-to-use tool that that enables you to add a Twitter widget to your website. Marketing and Compliance, don’t worry, each Twitter widget created using Digital Agent will go through an approval and vetting process before being published on a Digital Agent website.

Twitter Widget Example

Interactive and Mobile Ready Calculators

our brand new interactive calculators to our inventory of widgets! And yes, they’re mobile ready! Choose from 5 professional looking calculators that will exponentially enhance the attractiveness and usefulness of your website! These interactive calculators have been designed to increase your visitors’ time on site thereby increasing the likelihood that they’ll read your amazing content!

Interactive Savings Calculator