I wanted to try and help you to visualise this concept which will probably result in you thinking how obvious it sounds but I am amazed by the amount of websites which still do not follow this principle.
To show you the theory, imagine walking into the Art gallery below:
The gallery has 3 different exhibitions and you automatically go to the first one. When you have finished this section, your go back to the main corridor and down Gallery 2, after this section you go back to the main corridor and visit Gallery 3. You have now decided you want to buy a piece of artwork and return to the entrance to pay.
It sounds like your visit went OK and if you were visiting a real art gallery, it probably would have been OK but we are talking about the online world and the fact that people do not expect to walk (click) around much to get what they want. People do not have patience online and we need to deliver what they want as fast as possible.
Take a look at the next diagram. In this gallery we have made sure that every corridor leads to an opening to another. The visitor is still seeing everything in the gallery but doesn’t have to turn back once and probably doesn’t even realise that they are in a different gallery. At the end of the last gallery we have the purchase counter. Ideally we could have a purchase counter at the end of each gallery.
Now think of the galleries as pages of your website and the purchase counters as ‘Call To Actions’. The end of your page on your website should never trigger the person to have to scroll back to the top to visit another page. People are more likely to click off the website when they have to do this. At the end of every page, have a link to the next section and a call to action to make it easier for them if they have already seen enough to make a decision.
All websites usually have a navigation at the top. I agree that this is important but just take a note when you are next browsing a website and see how often you actually use the navigation as I bet you use the links within the page content instead of scrolling back up to the navigation every time.
Please accept my apologies for the poor diagrams, my options are limited due to blogging from my Chromebook but I hope it gets my message across.
Let me know your thoughts in the comments and I hope you found it useful.