As a user interface designer, part of my job is to pique the interest of website visitors, usually starting with the homepage. Often times, an advisor's main goal on the homepage of their site is to sell themselves and I find that they do this by piling on heaps of information and images. While it’s necessary to let your visitors understand more about you, I also believe that dialing it back and considering what we can take away instead can produce a similar outcome, if not a better one.
A clean clutter-free website can speak more about your company than any amount of words or images could ever say. Here are some reasons why reducing clutter is crucial to your advisor website success.
You don’t want your visitors to get worked up. Steve Krug once wrote a popular web usability book called Don’t Make Me Think. The whole idea of the book is to get visitors to navigate through websites without having to think too much. If you're anything like me, you would appreciate that. Having too many options, links, texts and images create clutter, which forces them to stop and think about how to proceed. Doing this too often gets frustrating and the visitor will likely hit the back button and go to the next result on the search page.
Reflects Your Company
The best service websites know what their visitors are looking for and they make it easy for them to find it. They demonstrate their service through their website. If visitors are able to find success quickly on your website, they will have more confidence in your company already, even if they’ve only been on your homepage. An effective website is one that shows the visitors that you understand them and this requires research on your part on who your audience is and what they’re looking for. By making it easy for them, you have also just demonstrated a level of service that’s more powerful than just stating it.
Keep in mind that you will not be able to cater to every single one of your visitors. You know your business and its target audience, so you need to understand their general needs and why they’re on your website. Emphasize what they may be looking for and remove the things that prevent them from finding it. If you can do that, then you’ve already done something nice for them and they will take notice.
To boil everything down, your website and especially your homepage should create a positive lasting impression. Whatever impression your website leaves, chances are your company will be left with the same one. Even if the website is not a good reflection on your company, realize that for many it may be the only time they see you. Bad impressions last, so if your website leaves them with a bad taste, the chances of them returning are not good. At that point, your best option may be to hope that the next few pages they visit are even worse, but let’s not count on that.
Don’t leave the success of your website to your competitors. Take control of yours by reducing the clutter and helping your visitors find the results they’re looking for. Do your research on your audience and then tailor a website that really speaks to them. Then you will leave your visitors with a lasting
impression that just may be the difference.
About the Author
Chris Li is the newest member of the development team here at Advisor Websites. Chris specializes in usability helping your advisor website be the best it can be. Look out for more tips from Chris on how to optimize your site.