Make Your Website Sell

These days everything is about choice.

There are hundreds of TV channels, utility providers, mobile phone options, even web designers! And they all want your business.

The choice is endless and, therefore, better, right?

Well, life would be much simpler if we only had one choice to make (as long as it were always the right one!). In fact, www.confused.com and its competitors have built their businesses on the fact that what people really crave is simplicity in an over complex market.

People also crave simplicity on the websites they visit. They would rather only have a few easy choices, simply presented than hundreds of choices. A choice on your website isn’t just about which product or service your visitor wants it’s every single hyperlink, graphic, menu item, video/audio control, button, etc. they can click on. Each clickable element on your website represents a choice you are asking your visitor to make.

To illustrate this point let’s take two examples: Google and Yahoo!.

Here’s Google’s home page (as of 12/03/13):

Google - 12-03-13

There are 21 ‘things’ to click on. However, in real terms there are only three; the search bar, and the two buttons beneath it. Google knows that the vast majority of people will only click on the search bar and so that’s the focus of their home page. (Showing search results which contain paid advertising is how Google earns most of its money so it’s important to them that you see the search results more than anything else.)

Now let’s take a look at Yahoo!’s home page (as of 12/03/13):

Yahoo 12-03-13

The Yahoo! home page has over 190 things to click on. (So many, in fact, I lost count, twice!) Yahoo!, like Google, also earns the majority of its revenue from paid advertising which relies on the visitor seeing search results. However, the chances of them even beginning their search are pretty unlikely given how many other choices are screaming for their attention.

The more choices you bombard your visitor with (call now, fill in this form, click here, look at our products, etc.) the more likely they are to leave your website without taking any action at all.

Why?

Because people on the Internet make very quick decisions and if they are overwhelmed by choices they’ll leave in search of a website that offers simpler options.

So, consider your home page for the moment. Here’s what you need to do to make people take action.

  1. Decide on ONE or TWO choices you want to your visitor to take that will get them closer to YOUR goal.
  2. Make it REALLY obvious to them what they need to do (click, call, fill in form, etc.).
  3. CLEARLY tell them what the benefit is if they do.

I guarantee that if you simplify your home page so that your visitor has only has only a few easy choices to make then more people will take the choice YOU really want them to take.

Success springs from simplicity leaving us with this killer choice; which would you rather be a Google or a Yahoo!?

Jed Wylie is the author of Make Your Website Sell and works for Morgan Wylie a web design and digital marketing agency in the Midlands.

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