July 2018 – Assessing Access to Site Sections: Advisor Site Navigation

The most detailed client information, brochures and tools are useless if advisors cannot find them. Strong navigation
ensures advisors can access these key resources and tools easily. In addition, clear organization and intuitive menus
lessen the need for search, guiding advisors to more valuable dedicated pages instead of disorganized lists of search
results. Comprehensive navigation menus also overview site content, helping advisors understand the breadth of
firms’ offerings. To craft superior menus, firms should group related pages together, employ suitable labels, maintain
a consistent navigation appearance, and strike a balance between linking to enough pages and overwhelming
advisors with too many options. We covered navigation briefly in a September 2017 report on homepages but return
to the topic in more depth in this report.

All firms in this report offer a horizontal main navigation menu, and most (80%) employ flyout capabilities. Depth
and organization vary significantly, however, with some firms offering detailed menus and others complementing a
simple main list of links with secondary sidebar menus. Main menu content also varies as 93% of firms link to annuity product information while only 64% link to related marketing materials. All firms have at least one tool or capability that uses a separate navigation, presenting inconsistencies as advisors move through the site. Still, the range of organizational approaches included in this report offers examples for firms looking to improve their navigation.

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