Most e-commerce sites, and even non-ecommerce sites, have customer ratings and reviews. The ratings give people a quick view at how well a product (or content) has fared among people who’ve already purchased it, and ratings offer a more detailed explanation of a product’s pros and cons. If you’ve already gone to the trouble of having this content on your site, you should maximize its value by making sure it’s included in your site navigation. There are many ways you can go about this, depending on the lay-out of your site and the products or content you feature.

To get you started, below are a couple of suggestions to consider. You can find more by downloading the complete “Big Book of Navigation Tips” which we just released last week. And be sure to check back, as we’ll post more tips from the Big Book in the coming weeks.

1. Show ratings and review information in the navigation — You can add ratings and reviews as part of the product information displayed on the navigation pages. This highlights early in your customers’  interaction that you provide ratings and reviews, and it’s also good practice to show the number of reviews for each product to illustrate which products have reviews and to help put the ratings into perspective.

2. Provide options to navigate through reviews — If you have a lot of reviews for some of your products, it can be cumbersome for your visitors to read through them. To help your visitors find the information they’re looking for efficiently and improve their user experience, you should offer ways to navigate through the reviews. For example, you can help them quickly access the positive reviews. You can see in the Abe’s of Maine example that the site allows visitors to navigate reviews by pros, cons, best uses and to sort by newest, oldest, highest rating, or most helpful. This is extremely effective, and reduces the amount of steps visitors will take before making a purchase decision.