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Your Chamber of Commerce website should invite your members (and potential constituents) to interact with your organization and learn all about your services. How do you do this? Through great design and intuitive navigation.
Intuitive navigation means your website is designed with such strategy and intention that users are able to flow from page to page, seamlessly finding the information they are searching for. Navigation plays such an important role in how users interact with your site. Is your information displayed where people expect it to be and in terms they are searching for? Is your bounce rate increasing or above your industry standard? These can all be indicators that it might be time to update your navigation design and content.
Let’s discuss some ways you can make changes to your navigation to increase member engagement and improve user experience on your Chamber of Commerce website.
When it comes to navigation, it’s paramount that users get to the information they are searching for in 3 clicks or less. The last thing you want is for vital information to be buried on your site causing a visitor to get frustrated and leave. A good rule of thumb is to display your navigation categories in this format (see image below). For Chambers, ‘Join’ or ‘About’ are two of the most important and commonly used primary categories a potential member would search for when visiting your site.
Since the health pandemic doesn’t seem to be going away anytime soon, many Chambers have added, not only specific landing pages but a COVID-19 related category to either their utility or main navigation.
Charlotte Regional Business Alliance added ‘COVID-19 Portal’ to their utility navigation to display workforce, health and business resources, along with resources from investors and who is hiring in their surrounding areas.
Navigation categories can always be updated so don’t view it as something that is set in stone.
It’s extremely important that your website is up-to-date to include vital design aspects like a responsive navigation menu on mobile devices. Tulsa Regional Chamber has what’s called a hamburger menu (three horizontal lines) when you visit their site on a mobile device. This space-saving display is something your site visitors are familiar with seeing on other mobile sites and doesn’t take up premium real estate across the pages of your site.
If you’re looking for more applicable best practices to freshen up your current website navigation, we have a Free Downloadable Sitemap Tool with most used terms and categories for utility, main and secondary navigations from Chambers across the country. Here’s a preview of the Sitemap Tool with drop-down items to help inspire your navigation. When you open the Sitemap Tool document, please go to File > Make a Copy to access the drop-down categories like seen in the image below.
Feel free to reach out to us at any time if you have questions about updating your Chamber of Commerce website design, navigation or content.