Q: WHAT SHOULD I PUT ON THE MENU OF MY WEBSITE? I HAVE SO MANY PAGES AND CATEGORIES AND IT LOOKS UNTIDY
A: A horizontal navigation bar is a standard, but fading, part of web design. Mobile-first layouts make them collapse into an icon, but on tablet and desktop having a bar with treatments, education and contact options looks formal and professional.
Clinics should include a treatments/ services page and a contact or booking page. From there, the choice can consist of: About us, Conditions, Gallery/Case studies, Patient journey, Testimonials, Media, etc. The treatments/services section could also be nicely divided into face, body and skin (or whichever categories are relevant for you). This leaves it down to what content you have available on your site and where could you gain or lose pages (e.g. using the homepage as an “About” page with testimonials on there too, so they don’t need their own space).
What works in a menu for one clinic won’t for another, so it’s hard to say without looking at your site, but the cleanest look would be to simply have the navigation menu icon ≡ in the corner of your website, but then you lose highlighting the key pages.
Small main menus make for easy navigation – between three and six key pages should be enough. You don’t need to clutter a menu with “Home” these days, as people know that clicking the logo takes them to the homepage.
Use the data on Google Analytics to show which search terms lead visitors to your website, and this could help you prioritise your menu. Make it easy for the visitor to navigate from the information they initially came to your site for to completing an enquiry or booking, and let that dictate your website layout and hierarchy. Remember, in the footer menu at the bottom of your website, you can highlight less important pages or those you might want people to have quick access to. Your blog, bookings policy, T&Cs, complaints procedure, shop and directions to the clinic can sit here, for example. The BBC website has 24 links here – it’s better to keep the main navigation menu succinct and add more links to the footer menu for a cleaner look.
Finally, remember that your website isn’t static! If something becomes more important, such as a “Careers” page when you’re looking for a new team member, that page can move up the menu, onto a temporary navigation bar or even onto the homepage.
Alex Bugg works for Web Marketing Clinic, a familyrun digital agency, which specialises in medical aesthetics. They build websites and deliver marketing campaigns for doctors, nurses, dentists, distributors and brands. Contact her: alex@ webmarketingclinic. co.uk or follow her on Instagram: @webmarketingclinic