Navigation, Your Website, and Blog

Connie Seidel of Seidel & Associates told me at GiveCamp that he thinks blogs shouldn’t be in the top navigation of a website.

I had never heard this before, and I’ve been thinking of it ever since, wishing I had asked him why (we were in the middle of something at the time, so I didn’t).

Brian Whalley of Hubspot says, “If the only links in to your blog are from your ‘About Us’ section and nothing from your homepage or your website’s main navigation, you have already sent a strong signal to search engines that your blog is not very strong. On the other hand, if your blog is in the main navigation on your website, Google and Bing will treat it like one of your top pages.”

I’d agree, and since blogs tend to be important drivers of both traffic and conversions, it makes sense to me to spotlight them. In fact, the only reason I can see not to put your blog in your main navigation is when it’s your home page. Call it “News,” “What’s New?” or “The Latest Word,” but put it out there where people can find it.

Both the screenshot above and the one below show the blog in the main navigation, in vertical and horizontal menus respectively.

This isn’t your only option, though. I haven’t been able to find any books or articles advocating keeping your blog out of the main navigation, and I didn’t seize the moment and ask Connie why he feels that way, so I don’t know the thinking behind leaving the blog out of the main navigation, but I can show you some alternatives. The example below shows the blog link as a callout, a separate link with visual elements to draw attention to it.

This approach lets you leave the blog out of the main navigation without keeping people from finding it. America’s Depot uses this approach, too.

One more option is to have a blog feed on the homepage, showing the latest blog post or a portion of it.The new Puerto Rico Herald site does this, pulling the newest blog posts into the center column between the static content and featured article on the left, and the Twitter feed on the right. Often, this approach uses a sidebar or small callout box instead of a center column, and leaves most of the page static.

news website

Of course, the other reason not to have your blog in your main navigation is that you don’t have a blog. Read “The Value of Blogging” if this is your situation, and then give us a call at 479.966.9761 and we’ll help you out.

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