Part 5 of How to Plan a Website You Will Love
Clutter creeps up on you, builds a maze for your visitors and stifles results. Let’s identify how it happens and what to do about it.
A cluttered website feels just like a cluttered house. With a website, clutter is a result of many little decisions to “add something here that sticks out” or thinking “I’m not sure where to put it so just put it on the homepage or sidebar.” If you don’t fight clutter and actually prevent it, it will probably happen.
Clutter promotes confusion, hesitation and makes the visitor feel like the website is convoluted. They must clear their way through it to understand the points we talked about such as: Your difference, next actions and call to actions. Clutter makes it easy for the visitor to say to themselves: “Well…this looks like work – maybe I’ll do this later” while they are more likely not to do it at all.
How do you feel about this website’s old look versus the new look?
This new layout is straightforward, requires no investigation on the visitors’ part to figure out what to do and makes sense for their sales process. The other positive outcome is that because visitors will judge the helpfulness/professionalism/etc. of your company by these attributes of your website, visitors tend to generally believe at the get-go that this company, its services and products are probably as clean, straightforward and nice as their website.
Simple, practical steps to clean up your site
- Use the 80/20 rule: What are the main pieces of my website that 80% of people will use. The other 20% can be put somewhere where they are not in the way
- Ask yourself: If I only had 3 points I could communicate to a new visitor on the homepage, what would I boil it down to be? You can apply this question to any landing page.
- Ask yourself: What do I think when I see a cluttered website? Sometimes we have different rules for ourselves than we do for others. More specifically: we allow ourselves to less disciplined that we expect others to be.
- When a new request comes in for you to “Put this right there so people see it,” consider at which point in the visitor’s visit this new information would be most helpful, and put it there.
What changes have you made on your website that worked?
Did you make a change that had a clear positive impact? Share it with our readers and help them improve their results.