This is one of my favorite guidelines for a successful website. A site should allow a journey of exploration, learning, and discovery. Your site visitors need a clear and well-curated path that includes options to continue their exploration on every page. There should be no pages that feel like a dead end.
What’s a dead end? Let’s say you visit ABC Insurance, then you click on “Business” in the top navigation bar and pick “Auto.” The page you land on (screen shot below) is text only and the underlined words are not links. There is no call to action on this page, no link to a page to request a quote, no links to other business insurance services available.
Why make the site visitor sift through your navigation to find the next step they need? Instead, offer the best next steps (links) on the side of the page, or the bottom of the page. You need to consider the most logical and relevant next steps based on each page on your site.
This is a simple idea, but it is very important. When you help visitors on their journey through your site you are more likely to get engagement, contact, a sale or whatever you desire.
Keep offering the most relevant options to navigate off the current page they are on. That is what having no dead ends is about.
You should be the Sherpa – help your site visitor along the path. Take a look through your site with the eyes of a customer. On every page of your site are there clear next steps (clicks) offered? Is it clear where the click will lead them and what it would offer them? Are there dead ends (or seeming dead ends)? Ask someone who doesn’t know your site to try and find something that is commonly needed by your customer base. See how many clicks they needed and how clear it was for them to find it. It could be very revealing – and it costs you nothing.
Repeat with me, “No dead ends!”
See My #2 Website Rule: Sip, Cup, Bath