The sad truth is that MOST people don’t want to spend hours pouring over every detail of your website. As a copywriter, this is hard for me to hear, too! But most people just want to get to the information that they need and then get going.
While you want to give users all of the information they may need so that they can make the decision to work with your business, you don’t want to overwhelm them with too much in either your design or your content.
Follow the Inverted Pyramid Style
I have a background in journalism, which means I was taught to write in inverted pyramid style. This basically means you start with the most important information on a page, and then work down to the less important information. While this is used to make sure the most important information is “above the fold” in a newspaper, the fold doesn’t mean much online anymore, as the fold varies between mobile, tablets, PCs, and Macs. Inverted pyramid style on the web is just best practice because people tend to only read the beginning of the page. Make sure they find what they need right away – because they might not go digging for it.
Give Them Options
Some of our clients like to have a lot of information on their site so that they can serve as a complete resource for their clients. But know that you will have two kinds of clients – the kind of people who want to browse and the kind of people who want to bolt. By using overview pages and second and third level pages to allow people to look for only the information they need, you guide them without confusing them.
Make Forms Simple
Filling out a form takes some dedication – or it can at least feel like it sometimes. Don’t make your customers fill out form fields that aren’t actually necessary. You can always ask them for more information when they contact you. Saving yourself some time is smart, but cutting down information you require on a form might be saving a sale for yourself.
“Cut it in Half”
When I first started writing web content, I was given the advice to, “Write your content, and then cut it in half. And then keep cutting it in half.” While this might not work LITERALLY, as you would end up with a one-word website, it’s a good reminder to keep your page content as short as possible while still telling the whole story.
Give Contact Info
Always remember that you don’t need to give ALL information up front. You need to give enough so that someone wants to call you to learn more. So make sure that it is extremely easy to contact you by including your phone number in content, in places like the header and footer, and having a complete contact page.
Sell… But Don’t Only Sell
Obviously, you run a business to make money. But your clients need to know that you actually care about them and their needs, too. Clearly point out your benefits so that your clients or customers don’t have to spend too much time trying to figure out why they should choose to give their money to you. Because if you make them dig too hard… they won’t.
Clear Calls to Action
When it comes to your business, don’t play hard to get let customers know if they should call, email, or stop in, in order to find out more information. Make calls to action clear and easy, and don’t confuse customers by providing more than one.
If you feel like your website is too complicated or just not as effective as it could be, give us a call at 412-441-0930.