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  • When Less is More – What to Delete from Your Website

    22 October 2010

    Delete from Your SiteThere are tons of websites packed with advice and recommendations for things to add to your website. Often times, these include things like: monitoring social media, starting a blog, optimizing your site for best search engine rankings, etc.  While all of these things are great ideas and can be very important, it’s time to think about things a bit differently.

    What things should you not incorporate into your website?

    The more ideas and actions we add, the more complicated a website can become.  Any time there is complication, confusion will follow.  Often times this type of confusion can lead to lower effectiveness. Instead of telling you to add things to your website, here are a few suggestions of things that you might want to remove from your website in order to make it as straight-forward as possible. Straight-forward not only for your readers, but for search engines as well.

    “Contact Us” Form - Do contact forms really work? One thing is for certain – they attract spam. Of course, having your business contact information on your website is imperative, but there is a better way to go about it. Try using landing pages instead of contact forms. A landing page will provide the reader with a dedicated form that is connected to a lead generation offer.  Why do this? Simple. When you use a landing page rather than a form, you know that submissions from the form are going to be related to potential customers.  When a contact form is used, this type of clarity is missing.  In addition, it has been proven that response rates for this type of dedicated landing page are much higher than for a contact form.

    Elaborate Animations - Any type of Flash based animation can not only be bad for your search engine rankings, but they can also complicate the website too much.  Never forget that when readers visit your site, they are there looking for something very specific. Animations are notorious for causing websites to load much slower, and this can result in readers abandoning your website.  Why not test the theory? Remove all animations from your site for a set period of time, and note how it impacts the length of time people spend on your site. You very well may notice that people are spending more time on your site now that you’ve removed the animations.

    Industry Lingo – Always write the content of your website for your visitors. Never assume that potential customers understand industry terminology.  Look through your site and replace words which are not commonly used outside of industry circles with wording that anyone who comes to your website will understand.

    Pages of Text – Research has proven that Internet users do not like having to scroll. If you’ve got a product page that is packed with text, it can take several scrolls to reach the bottom. By doing this, you are asking for the information at the bottom of the page to be ignored.  Try reading through your page and asking yourself if it is all pertaining to one specific topic. If the answer is, “no”, then it would be a very good idea to separate that page into a couple shorter pages which contain a single idea. By doing this, it makes your page much easier to understand for visitors and search engines, and it also gives a better idea of what your page is all about.

    By implementing these tips, you will please your visitors and likely increase your website traffic.  It is always a great idea to look at your website as though you had never seen it before. Be completely objective and look for things on the page which might confuse a reader, or cause a visitor to leave.

    Do you have other tips for things to remove from websites? Be sure to share with everyone in the comments below!

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    17 Responses to When Less is More – What to Delete from Your Website

    1. Catalin October 22, 2010 at 6:05 am #

      It’s always good to keep things simple, both in content and presentation.
      If you’ll actually analyze most of the successful organizations and companies you’ll notice the simplicity and smooth presentations they have, comparing to their rivals who struggle to get on top.

    2. Jamie Northrup October 22, 2010 at 6:19 am #

      Nice post Matthew, definitely agree with the flash part, flash has it’s purpose for games, video playing, etc but as soon as I see a page entirely made in flash or with flash navigation it turns me away.

    3. Printable Coupons October 22, 2010 at 9:23 am #

      Personally, i was never a fan of fancy graphics and design. I keep my sites as basic and as simple as possible.

    4. Brandon Connell October 22, 2010 at 7:14 pm #

      You mentioned pages of text. I like to space up larger articles with bullet points and images which draw attention away from the huge amount of text.

    5. Unlimited Reverse Phone Lookup October 22, 2010 at 10:44 pm #

      Tough I do not see too much of a problem with the Contact Us form but yes using too much of a flash may disgust your readers even tough Google has started indexing flash content these days but still they are not advisable.

    6. Catalin October 23, 2010 at 3:30 am #

      @Brandon well yes, formatting the text properly for a better user-experience is something that everyone has to keep in mind, however, the point was that, at least in the example of product description pages, too much text/flood of information can make the visitor uncomfortable, but yes, proper spacing and good typography can do wonders :)

    7. Jimmy Lewin October 23, 2010 at 7:48 am #

      Matthew, great job on this piece. I learned a lot. I thought the most important tip was the “Industry Lingo” paragraph. It seems to me that nothing is more annoying than coming to a website and having to figure out if this is really the site I want or if this is really the site that can help me. By the way, I work with entrepreneurs and I have the same problem with most of them. I tell all of my clients that they should speak to me (and customers and investors) as if they are speaking to their 9 year old nephew.

    8. car battery October 24, 2010 at 7:05 am #

      I had never thought about using landing pages instead of contact forms but it makes perfect sense. And I agree about flash being more of an annoyance in most cases than an enhancement. Few people seem to know the subtle ways of using it and end up overdoing it. It’s hard to stand those kind of sites for too long and people usually leave.

    9. xavier October 24, 2010 at 9:44 am #

      Thank you very much for your advice,It’s going to be extremly useful if you have the intention of making a blog more interesting and so that ,more visited.

    10. JohnAtBlogtrepreneur October 25, 2010 at 7:53 am #

      @car battery: Agree 100% with you on the Flash point. It seems like a lot of sites get this new “toy” called Flash and can’t wait to use it every chance they get. It’s great as an enhancement, but not so much as a primary focus of your site. You also have to consider those on older computers or without broadband. Although they’re getting fewer, there are still a lot of people with these issues, and Flash will just slow them down and frustrate them.

      Thanks to everyone for sharing!

    11. tickets to pakistan October 25, 2010 at 2:32 pm #

      totally agreed, I hate flash too i dont mind a bit of it but not the whole site, makes em look cheap in my opinion.

    12. Jasmine October 26, 2010 at 1:35 am #

      I use contact us form on my site too… hmm, should I remove it?

    13. SEO Services India October 26, 2010 at 3:00 am #

      I have few questions regarding your points.

      As you said remove contact form & use specific landing page. Then it means if i am offering 5 type of services then i have to create 5 specific pages for the services & then 5 separate landing pages with contact form or or you want us to create one 5 pages for each service with contact form where user can add contact information on the same time.

      Let us know your feedback for the same…

    14. Computer Tips Tricks October 26, 2010 at 3:39 am #

      The speed of loading a page is now a key point to SEO. I’ve once reconstructed the design of my site and remove almost all animations and scripts that are not performing well from my site. Btw, great tips up there!

    15. Morgan October 27, 2010 at 8:37 am #

      Definitely agree on all points. Make it clean, simple and easily readable. If I can’t find the ‘about’ page or ‘contact’ page within three seconds, I usually leave.
      It’s always a good idea to have an outsider test your site to make sure it’s up to par with the general populace.

    16. Andrew@ Audit Software October 28, 2010 at 1:27 pm #

      Great Post! I absolutely agree about texts. it should force visitors to scroll several times. that’s true. Sometimes in pursuit of good keyword rich content I try to put as much text as possible, but Yes, it’s not the right way, it may kill usability. Also your comments about Contact form – absolute truth.

    17. Waqas October 29, 2010 at 11:20 pm #

      I actually disagree with the notion that one should not use industry lingo in the blog posts. A blog is written for viewers and naturally you write for your industry(unless its a personal blog). For any business blog your audience are naturally people who belong to your industry and are aware of the basic terms used.

      Also for a contact form; I would not be too sure of removing that. If you are selling some products directly then it may be a good idea to have landing pages that feed into optin lists – but for a site that talks about “Power Plants and Green Energy” it would hardly be reasonable to sell those online or create landing pages for such products!!

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