Magento eCommerce Store Navigation
Navigation is the cornerstone of any eCommerce store.
Every online shopper uses site navigation patterns to find the desired category or product page. Also, besides improving the search experience, a well-planned navigation has a big impact on such important aspects as conversion rate and SEO.
Hence, website structure, menus, internal linking architecture should be optimized even before you launch your Magento 2 store.
Let’s take a closer look at various onsite navigation elements in Magento 2.
Magento menu plays the role of a navigation anchor. It lets users quickly get to main site categories and other main pages from any place of a website.
Basically, Magento 2 menu is a static block with a number of links. It has a horizontal design for a multi-level drop-down structure, and can contain links pointing to most important store categories, products, and even non-catalog pages.
Also, in Magento 2, you can add temporary menus for each section. This will improve navigation and ease the shopping process for your customers.
Internal Linking Architecture and Cross Links
Links that are included into your main site navigation menu are only one aspect of building an effective navigational structure. Also, links that are placed in your website footer, as well as the links incorporated into your content, can make a huge contribution into enhancing your website navigation.
Footer links usually direct shoppers to key store pages without interfering with their primary shopping process.
While links added to site content (aka cross links) can take users to the other site pages, and, as a result, will increase the amount of time spent on the website.
Breadcrumbs are visual indicators that help shoppers get a good sense of a website direction. This navigation tool lets you quickly jump to the main product category (or some of its subcategories) without the necessity to search it from the main menu.
The platform is equipped with the Breadcrumbs feature by default. Also, there are a number of 3d party modules that let you extension the out of the box functionality.
Although an HTML sitemap is now treated as a played-out SEO element, it still remains a great site navigation tool. From a user standpoint, this type of a sitemap helps to ease understanding of a website structure, and get a birds-eye view of the site architecture.
Yes, this sitemap doesn't deliver as much SEO value as an XML one. However, a well-planned HTML sitemap helps the search engine spiders better crawl your website, and hence, optimizes the process of its indexation.
Unfortunately, the HTML sitemap functionality was removed from Magento 2. However, you can still add it with the help of 3d party extensions.
This HTML sitemap article will tell you more about this topic.
Another way to drag shoppers attention to a certain group of products is to create a 'Related Products' section. This section can include a number of links to similar products, accessories for the chosen product, etc.
E-commerce site owners have to constantly fight with the challenge of managing internal linking structure while giving customers options for filtering products.
Here is where Layered Navigation comes to help. It lets your customers search through products by using different filters located in a special block on the left site of the category page.
This option is supported in Magento 2 by default.
By combining all the navigation tips above, you can improve onsite navigation to fully satisfy your customers’ search requirements.