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Franchise Website 101: Crafting The Perfect Navigation Menu

Want to take your website's navigation menu to the next level? Keep these 10 tips in mind.

By Ahmad Yilmaz1851 Contributor
SPONSOREDUpdated 2:14PM 08/25/16

Brands rely heavily on landing pages to tell their story effectively and, ultimately, use it as a means to generate solid leads. A poorly crafted navigation menu, however, can easily undermine that.

Here are 10 tips that will help elevate your navigation menu game to the next level.

1. Placement

Position your navigation menu so that it sits above all of the layered sections that make up your landing page.

2. Scale

The height of the navigation bar should be no greater than 150 to 200 pixels. This should provide enough space to house your logo, menu links and contact number.

3. Your Logo

Ideally, your brand logo is positioned to the far left side of the navigation bar. Pay particular attention to how the logo is sized. Above-the-fold real estate comes at a premium on a landing page and a massive logo can easily swallow it all up. Conversely, a minuscule logo is just a poor design decision and one could argue that it may, subconsciously or otherwise, reflect the confidence that you have in your brand identity. Small logos are also not good for legibility, especially for logos with tag lines.

4. Hamburgers Are Not Good For You

As an alternative to horizontal navigations bars, some landing pages have a “hamburger” button (or side menu) that opens up a drawer with all of your navigation options. While this makes sense for mobile use and on sites with a lot of pages, this has little practical purpose on a one-page franchise site — you are essentially hiding the most important navigation options from potential franchisees. They are also less efficient since it is an extra click or tap for the user to get to where they want to go. For a more fluid user experience on a one-page franchise site, toss away that hamburger!

5. Navigation Links

Think of your menu links as buttons on an elevator—each link click should guide the user up or down to their desired sections. For the sake of consistency and clean design, the links should be aligned horizontally, on a single line. Avoid having too many menu options as you may risk overwhelming users with too much information. We recommend sticking with the basic essentials: Contact Form, Why Choose (Insert Your Brand), Financials, Available Territories, The Process and Testimonials.

6. Who You Gonna Call?

The top right side of the navigation bar must have a clear space for the contact phone number. The number, obviously, should direct your prospects to your development/sales team. Remember that, oftentimes, users visit your site just to take down the phone number, so it’s imperative that it’s easily visible as soon as the page loads. Also, consider using a larger font size so that the number doesn’t get lost with other text elements on the menu.

7. Make It “Stick”

Ensure that the navigation bar is fixed—meaning that when the user scrolls down, the navigation bar will remain fixed to the top of the website. This is a great way for the user to easily access your navigation links and jump to any section without frantically scrolling up and down.

8. Kill The Drop Downs

In keeping with our tip about limiting the number of menu links, the ideal menu bar steers clear of drop downs. Aside from them simply being annoying, they can inadvertently divert users away from your more important main menu options. Also from an SEO perspective, drop downs are a bit of a hurdle for search engines to crawl.

9. No Need For A Home

Oftentimes websites will have a “Home” link that transports users back to the main page. On a franchise landing page, let alone a vertical one-page site, the “Home” link is futile and, if anything, contributes to the clutter. For users that want to jump to the top of the landing page at any given time, they can simply click on the logo or a “take me to the top” button icon (an up arrow usually does the trick).

10. Download e-Brochure Button

A digital brochure is a great way to provide your more serious candidates more information about your brand. If room permits, create a “Download e-Brochure” button below or next to the contact phone number. Bonus tip: A great way to collect the prospect’s information is to require that they fill out their basic contact information before starting the brochure download.