Photography Web Marketing Guide talks about 7 essentials to web design to convert web traffic to new business. This post talks about clutter because it’s one of my favorites. In my own house the kitchen piled with dishes, toys for 3 kids, and laundry overwhelms my wife on a daily basis. It didn’t take me long to learn I could regain her attention and focus by removing the clutter. Your website should do the same for your users.
The first thing I do when consulting a photographer on their web design is suggest all the things they can remove. I look at every piece of a page and ask the photographer “Is this important for potential clients to see or engage with?”
Common examples of clutter to immediately remove:
- Text that says “enable popups” or “Flash required”
- Links that take users away from your site (blogroll, link to your website theme or designer, business directories)
- Lists of categories, tags, and tag clouds
- Traffic meters
- Login or edit links
Derek Halpern’s report Nonverbal Website Intelligence addresses sidebar clutter:
Your sidebar is one of the most important sections on your website because people will see it throughout the entire site. The problem is too many people overload their sidebars with widgets, badges, tag clouds, tweet feeds, recent comments, and whatever else their heart desires.
As you would guess, this creates visual clutter, which is both exhausting and stressful for Browsers, and contributes to analysis paralysis. To avoid this, you must de-clutter your sidebars. Ditch most of the widgets, badges, and other non-essential nonsense and focus on what truly matters to achieve your goals.
Think about what information is absolutely essential to show on all pages of your site. Consider that you will have more than 50% of your traffic entering the site on a deep page, skipping the homepage entirely. What will convince these users to hire you? I suggest using this information on as many pages as possible:
- Product information – get users to learn about your products and buy them as quickly as possible. This may be as simple as a link to a Pricing page
- Contact information – let people engage with you easily if they have more questions or they are ready to purchase
- Subscription information – capture the identities of people not ready to purchase, so you can market to them in the future via blog posts (RSS), social media (Follow me on Facebook or Twitter), or email. Remember to give a reason for them to subscribe, like “Sign Up for Weekly Email Specials” or “Follow Me to Get More Great Photo Ideas”
- Your Best Content – users don’t stumble on your best information unless you expose it. Link prominently to the pages and posts you want them to see, like “Popular Articles”
Photo credit Ella Novak