When Less is More – What to Delete from Your Website

By on October 22, 2010

There 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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Matthew Toren

About Matthew Toren

Matthew Toren is a serial entrepreneur, mentor, investor and co-founder of YoungEntrepreneur.com. He is co-author, with his brother Adam, of Kidpreneurs and Small Business, BIG Vision: Lessons on How to Dominate Your Market from Self-Made Entrepreneurs Who Did it Right (Wiley). He's based in Vancouver, B.C.