Drop down menu and other navigation mistakes

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I would be interested in the communities thoughts on the benefits or lack thereof...of drop down menus.  After reading the following articles it certainly brings into question the value of a feature many of us have been asking for years.  So the question is...now that we have it...do we really want it?

The full artical can be view at  https://blog.kissmetrics.com/common-website-navigation-mistakes/

The segment on Drop Down Menues:

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david2953

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Posted 3 years ago

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Brian4612, Champion

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David, a very good question, sometimes we "think" we need something when it turns out, actually we don't. ( annimations is a good point.. loads in the new builder but is it really any good)  Its probably like most things in life where less is more. I have read the article, Thank you for that and it raises the point that its bad for SEO... is it?  I don't know, but would certainly read with interest others opinions better versed than I in Search Engine Optimisation. My opinion is, a drop down menu is a handy tool for specific applications. The article also says that too many navigation headings is also a bad thing. I would deduce that, if you can keep your website to just 5 pages, its a winner, but some websites are much larger and need more links, I have several tutorials on "how to" projects that I want to add to my  website and will use a drop down menu, the main link being, DIY Projects. ( sadly Websitebuilders offering doesn't cut it). BUT!!! it would be the only one I would use.  I guess in the end we will all have to comply with what Google decide they prefer. Thank you for raising the question.
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david2953

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Hi, Brian...I'm glad you enjoyed the article.  it's interesting, one of the sites he points to as having done navigation correctly is https://www.eurofurniture.com/  Their drop down is massive...and similar to those available on www.dropdownmenugenerator.com If you look at the products they are selling it's easy to see that drop downs are the only way to go.  I can't speak to the SEO question either but from a navigation, perspective having the ability to present all the options within a specific category or navigation heading is certainly more desirable than the tree approach that's a standard feature in WebsiteBuilder. The message I take from the post is to simplify the navigation bar and allow the user to branch out in the direction they want to take with the fewest amount of decision points as possible.
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susan2829, Champion

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Yes, No, Maybe.  :)
The age of the article kind of dates some of the points brought out by the author ... things change so rapidly on the web that today's latest and greatest is tomorrow's dinosaur.
Personally I think the biggest drawback on the new drop down is well-stated by one of the comments from that article.
"One thing I find confusing in dropdown menus is knowing whether just clicking on the top-level menu item itself will bring up significant content or not. I’ve seen important information lost on a main section page because it looked like I was supposed to click a submenu item from the dropdown. I think the brain expects to have to choose a submenu item, so it doesn’t always realize there’s content connected to the main-menu item itself."
And that's it in a nutshell ... and the developers REALLY need to address this issue and quickly or they need to tell us they can't design it so we can choose to make the parent static. (Which is baloney as I've seen it done with other programs).
From an SEO point of view I'm not sure it really matters. Look at all the top tier sites out there that use drop downs and the author saying we should limit the navigation to 5 items is a pipe dream for most people. Yes, you can do secondary navigations on the main page of that particular subject, but you run the risk of loosing visitors. If it isn't in their face they probably won't spend the time trying to find it, which is where drop downs come in.
As long as you have a good internal link structure, use common sense about how you direct the visitor through the site, have good meta tags, descriptions and have a decent amount of content that utilizes your key words and phrases I think the Search Engines will still love you regardless if you have a drop down or a ten link menu.
JMHO

Thanks for sharing the article David! 

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