When was the last time you sorted through your blog’s menu and prioritised its items?
As bloggers bursting with ideas, we love to make our blogs easy to navigate, interactive and filled with unique features that no other blog offers. We do this by creating a cool category or a pretty page displayed on the menu for our blog. But, while you think that doing this will make your blog better, it could have the opposite effect.
What I’m trying to say is that something we do a lot is add MORE. When really, less is more. Marianne has talked a lot about de-cluttering your sidebar as well as reducing file sizes. And it’s true, the simpler, the better.
No one wants to click on a site and be bombarded by information, hundreds of sign up forms, 35 widgets and loud music playing in the background. Instead, we want to come to a calm, clean site where you know exactly where or how to get started.
Having too much is a common mistake a lot of bloggers make. And it’s a mistake that could cost you a lot.
It may seem like tweaking your blog’s menu can’t do a lot, but you’d be surprised at how much of a difference it makes. Whenever someone visits your site for the first time, they want to know whether or not it’s worth clicking around. So they hunt for the About page or maybe the Home page, but if they encounter a huge and crowded menu, they click the close button without a second thought.
You’ve just lost a potential customer or follower. And that is why I’m here to tell you about one of the things that will keep readers coming back: prioritising your menu items.
Compare the two menus below. The first menu is messy and throws too much information at people all at once.
This second menu is simpler and straight to the point. You can easily find what you need and quickly.
So, let’s crack on! Now that we know the basics, let’s talk a little more about how to actually de-clutter our blog menus.
Items You Need To Prioritise in Your Menu
Humans are curious and impatient. They want to know more about the person behind the content. Having an About page helps your readers get to know you. It also gives them an opportunity to see what else you have in store and really draws people in. Write a dazzling About Me page!
I’ve wanted to contact so many bloggers but I simply couldn’t. Sometimes there wasn’t just a lack of an email address but a lack of any social media links. A Contact page is important for readers who have a personal question or for potential partners who’d like to collaborate to get in touch.
Give them the opportunity to network with you. If you don’t have a Contact page in your menu, you could be missing opportunities.
You know, I didn’t actually know this was important to have in my menu at all! Just click on my header image and you’ll arrive at my main home page, right? Unfortunately, many people don’t know this so adding a quick home link item in your menu makes it so much easier for them to get there.
Start Here Page
A Start Here page is a great place to give further directions to newcomers. You can tell them a bit more about the different parts of your blog and let them choose which path to take from there.
This is a great place to talk more about the different categories you write about.
Items You Should Probably Remove from Your Main Menu
Every Single Category
Having every category as a top level item in your main menu is too much. Use a drop down or put them in your sidebar.
Social Media Links
This is a pet peeve of mine. Letting your readers find you on Social Media is absolutely fine, but having an item on your menu listed as text is too much. Maybe a link to your Etsy store, but things like your Twitter, Facebook and Pinterest can be put in your sidebar or added as simple icons to the right of your menu.
Your blog is personal and is yours so your needs will differ from everyone else. You might have a book blog so you have a link to your Review Index. Or you may have a link to Recipes on a food blog.
But things like Best Post Ever and My Story and Life need to go. Keep your blog’s main menu tidy.
TOP TIP: Update Your Page Menu Regularly!
Where To Place Your Menu Items
Place your menu somewhere visible. At the top of your page is most common. It’s the place readers’ eyes are pulled to immediately.
You can also place it at the top of your sidebar. Either way, it should be immediately visible near the top of the page.
Order of Items
The order and position of your blog’s pages may not seem like a big deal, but people are more likely to notice the pages at the beginning and at the end of your menu bar, not in the middle. So, put your most vital pages at the beginning and/or at the end.
Your page’s should be short and to the point. It might be friendly saying Get In Touch but people are usually searching for the word “Contact” so keep it simple and purposeful.
It also looks untidy if the page names are too long and take up the whole menu bar! Short, sharp and punchy names are the best.
Alternatives to Having Too Many Menu Items
Drop Down Menus
Drop down menus let your space look less cluttered whilst still including all the important information.
A simple solution can be to add another menu.
You can have two horizontal menu bars divided by the logo like Marianne has above. One is for her basic pages, the other is for her content. Or you might have one for pages and another for social icon links like I do on my blog.
Another idea is to have main pages in the header and a category menu in the sidebar.
Whatever you choose, do what works best for your layout and your readers’ needs.
Let’s Wrap Up
So now that you know all the best tips and tricks to prioritising your blog’s menu items, you can get to work. Start making your blog simpler and easier to navigate now!
Have you got too many links? Have I missed out on a must-have? What links do you prioritise on your blog? Let me know all about it below.
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