Is Your Website Like A Jungle?Erin Ferree
November 29, 2011 — 1,435 views
The jungle is dark, humid and dense. Birds of all kinds sing and call, while other animals rustle through the underbrush. The adventurers hack through the plants with their machetes to blaze a passable trail. It’s hard work, and it had to be done so they have a clear path to get where they’re going.
Is your website like that jungle?
Recently, I met someone at a conference and wanted to learn more about them while following up. So, I carved out a few minutes to check out their website.
I was totally and completely unprepared for what I found there. 87 pages of information about their services. Not 10, not 20… 87.
This is a common mistake that small businesses make – they put all the information they possibly can about their businesses on their website, and make a mega-huge website!
They think that if they just make the information available, then maybe someone… anyone… will stumble upon it and hire them. That they have to put everything they have out there in order to get attention.
And then they’re surprised when their mega-website doesn’t bring them a flood of clients. But here’s what happens: their site becomes dense and thick, and people who come to the site get overwhelmed by all of the information available.
They take one look at your menu – with all the pages and sub-pages (and sometimes even sub-pages) and then they have to make a decision. Will they start to hack their way through the jungle of your website, or will they click away from your site?
You don’t want your client to have to make that decision.
Like those adventurers in the jungle that we talked about earlier, your website visitors need a passable trail through your website. They need that clear path to get them into conversation with you.
When your visitors come to your site, they need to make the transition from finding you, to learning the information they need to know, to contacting you and connecting further. And you want to do this simply and quickly as possible… while keeping their desire and need to talk to you high.
Here are a few quick tips to clear a path through your website that will make it easier for people to go deeper with you:
- Create your website with your ideal clients’ questions and needs in mind – what do they most want to know when they arrive?
- Dedicate some time at least every 6 months to review and prune your site as needed – and to identify areas where you could improve what’s there.
- Remove old offerings that don’t apply to your current genius or your clients’ needs.
- Strive for relevance – don’t treat your website as a trophy case for all you’ve done and developed.
- Keep page counts low, and navigation simple.
- Test shorter-form sales pages against long ones and see what works better for your audience (short is working well these days).
- Swap long ebooks and dense copy for short and snappy video.
- Choose a first step that you’d like people to take in your business and direct the bulk of your website’s energy towards making that happen.
- Be discerning with your copy – if it’s not impactful and interesting, then ditch it (if you don’t want to delete it forever, you can switch the page to a “draft” in WordPress).
- Put only your best work in your blog and/or portfolio. Weed out the rest.
- Focus your efforts on getting visitors to sign up for your mailing list so you can take your conversations further there.
Which of these tips will you start using today to create more connection with your website visitors, and to clear their path to working with you?
Brand Style Design
Erin Ferree is a branding coach, design genius and strategic thinker. She loves connecting the dots between passion and profit, mixing strategy and inspiration and shaking things up. She's branded over 450 small businesses in the last 10 years.