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Mega menus for SEO and UX. 7 advantages and disadvantages 0

Posted on November 24, 2019 by Rob Petersen
mega menus

Mega menus

Mega menus are drop-down interfaces triggered by the user hovering over a link or defined area. This dropdown usually shows all options in one main, mega-panel and oftentimes groups related topics into categories.

Mega menus make it possible to show viewers everything available in a specific category and can include images. This makes it easier and faster for an interested visitor to get where they want to go, improving User Experience (UX).

Google algorithms are designed to get to know your website and serve the most relevant content. So, mega menus can also benefit Search Engine Optimization (SEO).

But they are not right for every business. Groupings should be done according to business goals. And implementation requires development skills. Here are 7 advantages and disadvantages of mega menus.

7 advantages

  1. MORE TRANSACTIONS: As the image above shows, mega menus have the greatest use among e-commerce retailers. That’s because they provide a broad snapshot of what’s available with itemized detail to quickly take the visitor to their area of interest
  2. MORE LEADS: If you are a B2B business, you can improve lead generation and SEO by listing articles in your mega menu. This can be a highly effective way to take viewers to key information and actions.
  3. GROUP LARGE AMOUNT OF CONTENT: Mega menus assist with SEO rankings by way of grouping subpages and keywords, creating silos. Silo architecture, by definition, isolates groups of pages that are all relevant to the same keyword. It gives your site an extra layer of organization. 
  4. IMAGES CAN BE ADDED: They are a good way to introduce images in navigation. This can show as well as tell what the menu item is about. And this can increase click-throughs and conversions.
  5. MOUSEOVER VS. CLICK: The interface works upon mouseover. They usually span several columns and are a good way to streamline content and images.
  6. MORE EFFECTIVE THAN LARGE DROP-DOWN MENUS: Jakob Nielsen and Angie Li did a study showing that for large navigation menus. Mega menus enhanced UX compared to drop-down menus. This is because a drop-down menu with lots of content will require the user to scroll down or sometimes scroll down and then back up again. This takes longer, puts more strain on short-term memory, and can be confusing.
  7. UPDATABLE: For a news site, content aggregator or business that frequently announces new offerings, mega menus can and should be updated regularly. This type of dynamic function can have advantages for SEO and UX.

7 disadvantages

  1. NOT MOBILE-FRIENDLY: Mega menus are not practical for mobile display. If a company has even a modest percentage of mobile site traffic, it will need to devise a separate navigational structure for mobile display, which creates all sorts of design and development challenges.
  2. TOO MANY LINKS: As mega menus work through mouseover with links, they end up putting lots of links at the top of the page. Google itself says in its Webmaster Guidelines that webmasters should “Keep the links on a given page to a reasonable number.” Google’s official Search Engine Optimization Starter Guide (PDF) recommends that webmasters should avoid “creating complex webs of navigation links.
  3. DON’T LINK TO A MEGA PAGE: Do not ever include a link within your mega menus (or anywhere, for that matter) to a page that just lists everything on a single page, like a mammoth sitemap page. That flattens out your site hierarchy and removes your ability to “spotlight” or prioritize.
  4. SLOW PAGE LOADING SPEED: A massive collection of links in the navigation will slow load times and rendering. Maybe, not as much as a large image or video, but this is a factor to consider.
  5. DUPLICATE CONTENT: The implementation of mega menus can result is a huge markup to the site navigation. Content from other pages is often transferred through the coding causing duplicate content. Google discredits duplicate content for SEO. For UX, it makes it harder for search engines to send viewers to the most relevant page. Google’s official definition of duplicate content: “Duplicate content generally refers to substantive blocks of content within or across domains that either completely matches other content or are appreciably similar.”
  6. OVERKILL FOR SITES WITH LIMITED CONTENT: If your site doesn’t have a lot of content, they are going to be overkill. This would include sites with a limited number of pages, blogs with a singular focus and websites that provide tools and calculators.
  7. SCREEN SIZE AND READABILITY: While the advantage of grouping large amounts of content can be an advantage, it can be a disadvantage if items on the menu are too small to read.

The takeaway is mega menus, whether advantages or disadvantages, should be evaluated based on business goals. And the resources available to properly, implement, update and measure their impact and improvement.

Does this help you understand mega menus and the appropriateness of your business?

12 facts and studies show why website sliders suck 0

Posted on April 21, 2019 by Rob Petersen
website sliders

Website Sliders (a.k.a. carousels)

Website sliders are a web design term used for a slideshow added to a web page. There are considered a staple for many web designers and businesses to create graphic presence and make a bigger statement about their brand.

Many website plugins are now available that make it easier than ever to create sliders and carousels on a website.

But is bigger better? Here are 12 facts and studies that show why website sliders suck.

  1. Only 1% of people actually click on a website slider. Many confuse them for ads.
  2. Of that 1% of people who click, 89% click on the banner in the first position.
  3. Only 22% of Call-To-Action (CTA) clicks are on graphics; 78% are on text and headlines according to a study by KissMetrics. By using a slider or carousel, you’re lowering CTA clicks and conversions.
  4. 23% increase in sales for the website without a carousel in an A/B test that compared the same websites with and without a carousel.
  5. 47% of people expect a website to load in two seconds or less and sliders and carousels slow down the site.
  6. 53% of mobile users abandon mobile websites that take over three seconds to load and website sliders often don’t work well on mobile sites.
  7. Between 0.4 seconds and 5 seconds is the amount of extra time that a slider or carousel can add to your webpage studies have shown.
  8. 0.65% is the Click Through Rate (CTR) or 32 clicks out of 5,000 visits from a survey by Search Engine Land of B2B sites.
  9. No matter how much you brand your slider, if they look like ads (and they almost always do), there’s a high possibility they will be ignored. Eye tracking studies conducted by Neilson Norman Group found as soon as visitors perceived something to be an advertisement they turned their focus away from it.
  10. You take control out of your user’s hands and give it to the slider.
    Image sliders keep rotating, which is not only frustrating, but is terrible for usability according to the folks at UX Movement.
  11. Website sliders push key content down. Google has stated, since 2012, that pushing down content is harmful for SEO. When users search for something and click on a website, they are frustrated when the content is not readily available. Having to scroll past a slider lowers UX and Google may penalize.
  12. Website sliders are vulnerable to hackers. The most common ways that hacker enters websites are through website theme and plug-ins. Since sliders are carousel are often made available as plug-ins, hackers have easier access to a website.

If you’re thinking of using a website slider on your website, you might want to rethink it. Do these facts convince you? Does your business need to create a website that get results?

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