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Menu Positioning
Should it be on the right?!
shady




msg:231672
 2:25 pm on May 30, 2004 (gmt 0)

When designing an ecommerce site we optimize product level pages so we receive traffic for visitors that have searched for specific product rather than just the area of commerce.

My thoughts are that it is therefore better to place navigational items (e.g. the category menu) to the right instead of the left and therefore towards the bottom of the html?

Regards
Shady

 

HughMungus




msg:231673
 5:09 am on Jun 8, 2004 (gmt 0)

I think people are conditioned to see menus on the left. People who read left to right, anyway. Just my opinion.

twoline




msg:231674
 5:15 am on Jun 8, 2004 (gmt 0)

I think it's better to put the nav on the right for SEO purposes as the main content text then appears towards the top of the page/html.

Another benefit for wide pages that might get printed is that the nav gets cut off instead of the page content. It's very annoying to try to print something that goes wider than about 600 that has the nav on the left. The content gets cutoff and you're left with the nav.

I agree that it's generally better on the left in terms of readability, so I guess it really depends on your objectives. There are tradeoffs that need to be addressed before finalizing the design.

sem4u




msg:231675
 7:59 am on Jun 8, 2004 (gmt 0)

At the moment I am putting the products/services navigation on the left, corporate navigation (e.g. about us) at the top and text navigation in a footer file at the bottom of the page.

4eyes




msg:231676
 8:07 am on Jun 8, 2004 (gmt 0)

I think it's better to put the nav on the right for SEO purposes as the main content text then appears towards the top of the page/html.

Only if you are stuck with a 'tables based design'.

If you build the site with css, you can keep the navigation system where you want it to be.

shady




msg:231677
 10:54 am on Jun 8, 2004 (gmt 0)

Only if you are stuck with a 'tables based design'

I've never used css for more than formatting text and maybe drawing a thin box around it. I must admit, that seems like a very good css use, doesn't it!

Is there a good place to go for examples of this?

PGBennett




msg:231678
 7:59 am on Jun 10, 2004 (gmt 0)

Hi there,

I've dabbled with this a little and used the following sites for reference:

[bluerobot.com...]
[glish.com...]

You can then use "printer friendly" pages for your ecommerce site using the same pages with a different stylesheet.

I found it quite difficult to get to grips with the css positioning and all the different "hacks" needed for the various browsers, but it was quite good fun learning.

However the end result was that I could a have a left and right column on a page but have all the relevant body text at the top of the source code. Nice and easy for the robots.

Hope this helps a little.

Paul

beakertrail




msg:231679
 2:58 pm on Jun 10, 2004 (gmt 0)

You can put the navigation and content where ever you like and position it using CSS.

SEO and content optimisation is a major benefit of using CSS for projects such as the one you described.

corz




msg:231680
 3:14 am on Jun 11, 2004 (gmt 0)

you can, of course, also use a combination of both tables and css for positioning. it's not either/or. ease yerself in gently!

As for left and right menu's, why not provide alternative CSS? even let users pick which ever side is most comfortable, store that in a cookie or something. For some things I like left, for others, right. Just whatever fits best on a particular page. Mine are mostly to the right, works well if you put good space around them.

print-friendly versions of pages are a great idea, whether you use CSS or Table-based layout, and fairly easy to code up, too.

finally, I suspect prominence in body text is less important than many folks imagine. stuff way down some of my big pages turns up unexpectedly in google refers. Google likes content. Don't we all.

;o)
(or

rogerd




msg:231681
 3:37 am on Jun 11, 2004 (gmt 0)

Don't forget the venerable "table trick" that lets you put a left navbar below the content in the HTML. (If you don't want to use CSS and if you prefer left navigation.)

ecomagic




msg:231682
 4:07 am on Jun 11, 2004 (gmt 0)

I don't think that table trick works on Mac IE browsers :(

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