Pick One Thing You Want Visitors To Do
I often visit a website that has me doing 9 things. I have a choice and that is ok, but most websites give me TOO much of a choice. Since I am in the web design business, I can easily pick some element to engage with on any website, but the general public simply cannot do that. We give people too much of a choice. As a result, they get confused and then times leave your website without doing anything.
Stop Worrying About How Busy Your Home Page Is. You Have More Worries Than That
Most website owners get concerned about a website being too busy. That was the cool look in 2000 when web designers were able to use multiple columns on any web page including their home page. That is a natural concern, but what most business owners and website designers do not realize is that the busy look is the LEAST of our concerns. Instead, we simply have to add one element to the top of our website to get people to take action when they arrive. All the gunk under your header usually does not get read anyway. Most website owners (and web designers) make this mistake and assumption.
Do you think that being on the first page of Google will get you more traffic? Maybe it will, but the truth is that having a high ranking on Google is not enough. We need to keep people on the home page, not drive them away. We want to drive people to the goal. We have to think like our visitors. Most website visitors are impatient, lazy, and stressed out. They do not want to look for the one thing they need. We need to give them what they want as soon as they come to our website on ANY web page and not just the home page. As a matter of fact, although the home page is most visited web pages for any website (unless your visitors have an inner page bookmarked in their web browsers or mobile devices) it is usually the most confusing page, because it has only broad general information. This makes it more important to realize that our home pages need to drive people to the contact page, the phone number, the e-commerce shopping cart or whatever action we want them to take.
Website Visitors Do Not Need A Choice
Most websites have everything from Facebook likes to social media shares to forms that ask people to join their mailing list. If we give people too much of a choice, they will not do anything. Don’t make them think. Simply put one element on top of the website in the header. I call this the primary task. Everything else is secondary and can be placed them anywhere else on the website, but if you have more than one action or actionable element in the non-scrollable part of the website, such as the header, move all of those elements out of the header except for one thing. Do you want people to call you? Is that the primary task? If so, add your phone number to the top. We prefer phone calls at Hot Web Ideas, so you will see nothing else at the top of our website other than our phone number. Yes, it is cool that people read and subscribe to my blog. It is flattering that they listen to my podcasts and like my Facebook page. We want phone calls so we can get the information we need from the potential client. Phone calls are what makes Hot Web Ideas successful, not particularly our Facebook page or my Twitter profile.
Author: Bruce Chamoff
Bruce Chamoff has been in the web design and development business since 1995 and has worked on over 1,000 websites since then for businesses of all sizes from Fortune 500 companies to small businesses.
He is a regular speaker at WordCamps (the official WordPress conference) across the United States and teaches over 12 Udemy.com courses on web design and development.
Bruce never stops learning and teaching web development.