Serve it in 60Imagine you run a large brick and mortar store. You have a wide array of products and a ton of foot traffic, but there’s a problem: People can’t figure out how to navigate your store. They wander around for a few minutes, scratch their heads, and then leave in frustration.

You could rearrange the entire store in an attempt to improve navigability. But that, of course, is a major undertaking, a major capital investment, and carries no guarantee of success. Alternatively, you could ask the intern to stand at the door, simply figure out what customers are looking for, and point them in the right direction.

Which would you choose?

The same premise applies on the web. Creating, and then changing, your navigation for all visitors can be complex and costly. But what if you could use a much simpler fix that can be equally effective?

In this “Serve it in 60,” we’re going to make a minor tweak to our navigation, replacing—for certain visitors—low value navigation elements with links to more “relevant” lines of business. It’s the online equivalent to placing an intern by the door: It’s helpful to your customers, but it’s also quick, easy and not nearly as costly as an overhaul.


  • A list of your 3-5 most popular, or strategically important, lines of business (say, credit cards, mortgages, student loans, and auto loans).

Prep (40 minutes):

  1. Determine if there are any extraneous, or non-revenue driving, elements in your navigation bar. (Typically, these include “About Us”, “Our History”, or “Home”).
  2. Optional: Have someone with basic HTML/CSS/JS knowledge create net-new additive navigation elements linking to your top lines of business, if they don’t already exist.

Execution (20 minutes):

  1. Target visitors who have previously browsed a specific line of business (say, student loans).
  2. For these visitors, replace an extraneous navigation element with one linking directly to your student loans page.
  3. Repeat steps 1-2, this time targeting people whose inbound channel (such as paid search or display) indicates they are looking for student loans.
  4. Repeat steps 1-3 for credit cards, mortgages, and auto loans.

Your old navigation:


Your new navigation for someone who searched for “student loans”:


This recipe’s KPIs are not surprising. A more relevant navigation bar will lower bounce rates, increase navigation interaction, and, ultimately, help improve conversions.

But the beauty of this recipe is in its simplicity. None of these KPIs need to produce massive lift to justify upfront effort and cost, and you’ll likely see payback with even the smallest movement of the needle.