Declutter your website and keep it simple

clutterTV often has programs that report on hoarders who can’t throw anything away. Then there are all those self help books on how to de-clutter your life.

Or books and videos on how to organise your life so everything becomes easier and simpler to manage.But life isn’t all we need to declutter. Sheds and garages are often full of the detritus we collect over the years – things that were useful once but we can’t throw away because they might be useful again one day. They rarely are. and we cart all this junk around with us form one house to the next.

Websites can be like a garage. We keep adding things because they might be useful but never de-clutter. We don’t investigate things that are on the site but no longer serve a useful purpose.So you end up with sites that have a logo and tagline (which is good), and a phone number (also good) but then:

wines-header cruise-header

Lots of great information but it’s all in the header. There is just so much going on you don’t know where to start.

But if you could clear out all the deadwood you would have a much cleaner site which is easier for your visitors to use. And a simple site will convert more than one that has filled every square inch with junk. All you need in the header is the key message:

Terry’s Tuba Store

We sell tubas and tuba accessories. Call us on 01234 567890 to get your tuba bits.

You can add a logo if you want but it’s not necessary

Then add your navigation menu – but keep it simple. 5 or 6 links and no dropdowns (because they don’t work well on a small screen).

Navigation Guidelines

Keep it simple

Forms are another part of many websites which over complicate everything. I’m asked to fill in my title, first name and last name. Three separate fields when you only need one: name. I had a client who insisted on all three because their accounting software demanded all three. All it did was complicate things. I wrote a script that processed the single ‘name’ field and split it into three parts. So the customer got a simple form and the accounting software got its three fields.

So while forms are a good thing, only ask for the information you really need. If you need more data you can ask for it later when you have already closed the deal.

Less for the prospective client to do means more chance of a conversion.

If you take the same approach to rest of the page you can create a much nicer user experience.

For example, if you are selling widgets that’s all you need to do. Show me a picture of the widget, describe the widget (without tabs for specs or whatever), tell me how much it is and give me a nice big button to click on to place and order.

You can clutter up the page like this:

oxo-kettle

Or keep it nice and clean like this:
oxo-kettle2

As simple as possible.

And one more thought before we finish. Why do you need links to your social media pages? Surely you want people to come from facebook or instagram to your site not the other way round.

Why Social Media is bad for business

Hopefully this has given you something to think about.

Or of course you could ignore all this advice and do what Ling did. Warning: you may need to bleach your eyes after looking at this one.

Are you struggling with ranking, attracting visitors, generating leads or getting sales?

Or are you just stuck not knowing what to do next?

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