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Developing Search Engine-Friendly Drop Down Menus

Posted at Jul 14, 2011 7:50:40 AM by Joey Wolff | Share

The goal of any site, whether it is commercial or not, is to provide a user friendly experience. Navigation is crucial, and visitors need to be able to locate the information they need quickly and easily. Or they will leave. It’s just that simple. Drop down menus, while not typically a favorite of developers, can help organize content and present it to visitors in an easily navigable way. The menu needs to be not only user-friendly, but also search engine-friendly.

Drop down menus have never been very search engine friendly. Search engine algorithms are designed to troll for plain text, and the complexity of code is off-putting to spiders. In the past, developers were warned away from using Javascript, but today, there is a variety of ways that you can make your menu more attractive to search engines. The jQuery Drop Down Menu tool, for instance, allows you to develop clear, unordered list structures and features search engine optimization and full cross-browser compatibility. With the jQuery-powered tool, you can add custom styling with CSS to make your drop down menu look and act the way you want.

Pure CSS Menu is another free online tool with which you can develop drop downs. You don’t need to know HTML or CSS coding in order to create your menu, which is helpful for non-developers. Your menu will feature cross platform compatibility, small size, immediate loading, and disabled Javascript, and the content of the menu is readable by search engines.

Other useful menu tools, depending on your needs, include:

• SoThink DHTML Builder 9.6
• HTML Menu Buttons
• Dreamweaver Menu Extension 5.5
• Deluxe Menu 3.17.3
Sites typically get most of their traffic via search engines. You can satisfy both the engines and your traffic by providing optimized drop down menus.

Tags: SEO, Web Development, Web Design

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