When you created your website to showcase and grow your business, did you focus on having an eye catching colorful design jam packed with every single thing a client may ever need to know, and then some? Some businesses focus too much on content and some do not focus enough. Some overwhelm visitors with content, while others lack to create almost any, to the point I can not even tell what type of business they are in! At the end of the day, you can tell a successful website from one that is failing by its bounce and conversion rates.
For the sake of your valuable time, let’s focus on websites that have too much content, which we like to call “Content Overload.” This frequently happens because a business wants to make sure their audience is made aware of everything the company can possibly offer. This is an example of a solution causing the problem it’s trying to solve.
To know if you have an accessible website you need to stop and look at it through the eyes of your target market and think about how people process information, whether there be too much of it, not enough, or just the right amount. Here are a few tips and simple steps to keep in mind:
Focus on what is most important for your particular clients to know. Does your homepage offer so many options that the visitor can’t even begin to choose one and so therefore chooses none? Consider the Pareto Principle, named after the Italian economist of the same name, which states that for most events, 80% of the effects come from 20% of the causes, a.k.a the 80-20 rule.
Apply that to your website. It is highly likely that only 20% of your content is responsible for 80% of visitor actions. The remainder of your content is mere fluff, so the trick becomes identifying what the effective 20% is. However, a sure bet is that it excludes those annoying pop-ups, brilliantly colored side bars with far too much information, and reams and reams of text that require the reader to keep on scrolling down the page.
Once you have a grip on where and what the good 20% is, start to trim down the ‘excess’ 80%. By no means should you lose critical information during this purge. It’s more about being concise, bringing the most important elements forward on the webpage, and having the elements that are less likely to convert users subtly placed out of the way. Don’t overlook those readers who may want to find out all the fine details about your products, but also don’t try to cram them all on the homepage.
As part of your purge, you should be able to lose some pages. It’s amazing what you can see when you revisit your website through new eyes. What were you thinking of with all those layers, and how come your website has so much repetition on different pages? Some pages can be summarized and condensed into one; others are completely superfluous. By being logical and concise you can really improve your website navigation and make it a far easier and more pleasant visit for your potential customer.
A top tip is to get your key points and call-to-action buttons above the fold. YOU know that there is a whole host of information below the fold, but you’d be surprised how many people will only quickly scan what is above the fold to determine if you can meet their needs. The less scrolling down is required to get to your call-to-action points, the more likely you are to have conversions.
You have a brand, so use it. If you have taken time to create a logo in corporate colors, stick to them on your website. As a must, any background, border or text should all complement one another and reflect your brand. Of course you can jazz it up with rainbow color images if you wish, but be sure to keep the brand identity strong on every page of your website. A misuse of color is completely off putting to the visitor.
By paring down and making your website design far simpler and easier to navigate, you will please more of your visitors. A happy visitor will enjoy browsing through your offerings and is far more likely to convert, whether it is by signing up for a newsletter, buying something, or contacting you.