Just like the floor of your closet or your medicine cabinet, your website collects clutter and needs to be cleaned up periodically. As your business grows, you add new pages, new features, new products to your sites, and each one demands attention. Before long, your home page is crowded with links, buttons, calls to action, partner logos, and 42 very important products.
Have you ever thought about how you feel in a small room crammed with knick-knacks and over-sized furniture? Or maybe a room with magazines and papers stacked on dirty dishes and old takeout containers? Probably not good, and not clear-headed.
If you want your website to function as a lead generating tool or a 24/7 sales associate, you have to give it a fighting chance.
Reducing the clutter on your site is like cleaning up your room or sorting through that medicine cabinet. You get rid of the trash, you pack away things that aren’t used very often, and you move your most often used items front and center. A clean website will feel clear and easy to use to your visitors.
Example of a cluttered site
As I was researching for another post, I came across this site for an Atlanta area Toyota dealership. The slider at the top moves so quickly and is so distracting, it’s hard to even read the menus. I certainly can’t focus on what’s on each slide. There are just so many different options on the multiple menus and on top of that, a chat bot blocks some of the screen.
It’s just too much, and I definitely don’t want to try to search through this mess! It’s to hard to figure out in an instant, and so I’ll just move on. You really don’t want that happening with your site. Give your visitors’ eyes a rest with some white space.
How does a clutter-free site increase conversions?
- Hick’s Law – Hick’s Law says that the more choices you present to a user, the longer it takes for the user to make a decision. The longer someone takes to make a decision, the more confused and frustrated they become. And no one makes the best choices in that situation. So, presenting fewer choices can speed up decision making, and make the process easier for the user.
- Overchoice – Similar to Hick’s Law, overchoice happens when people have too many choices and avoid making a decision at all. If you reduce the number of available choices, you increase the likelihood that the user will make a choice.
- Visual clarity – reducing clutter makes the remaining items on the page much more visible. If your kid has ever read a Where’s Waldo? Book – you know that he can be nearly impossible to find in those intricate, busy drawings. But put Waldo on a white background and those red and white stripes stand out. So, surround your most important site features with some white space to bring them attention.
How can you declutter your own site?
Pick your favorite way for leads to contact you. Feature that in your header. If you must include more than one contact method, make sure that one stands out. You can be most effective picking just one and including the rest on a contact page and/or on the footer.
Main Site Menu
Limit the number of options in the main site menu. You don’t actually have to link to every page on your site from this menu. If you do need to link to many pages, group the pages if at all possible to use drop down menu functionality. Too many choices gets confusing to users. And in the interest of tidying up, clean up your menu item names. Don’t get too cute or esoteric. Make sure people know what they’ll find if they click on those menu items.
Give your value proposition a little more white/negative space to make it easy to read. If someone in your ideal audience lands on your page, you want them to recognize that your product/service is for them. Nothing’s worse than not being able to read fussy text over a busy image.
Put some space around your main call to action as well. You want that CTA to stand out and to be one of only a few choices.
Reduce the number of pages
Sometimes, websites collect pages like kitchen counters attract papers. Most of those pages can be thrown out – they’re old, no longer relevant, or sometimes only relevant to the business owner but not to any site visitors. I’ve seen links from a home page to pet memorial pages. Very sweet, but also very distracting. Purge the pages that no longer serve your visitors. Then if there are some rarely used or fringe pages that must stay, link to them from a footer menu or from an interior page.
It may seem obvious, but show the product and list the key benefits as well as a way to purchase. You can include links to a full features list and product specs, but if you include it all on one big page, you can distract your visitors from purchasing. You also don’t want links to ads or irrelevant information. Keep the visitor focused on the product and the decision to purchase.
Take a look at the pages of your own site to see if you have any opportunities to streamline your pages.
You're a business-owning mom, so you use this guide to prioritize your tasks in 2 minutes, and have 41 minutes left to knock out a task.