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Clear the decks

I’ve mentioned before that your website’s product pages should be more of a brochure than a data sheet – after all, they’re your company’s most prolific salesperson. It’s essential that they sell, and sell hard. Yet even companies which acknowledge this often completely overlook the clutter on the page which distracts from the message. On many business websites, the header, navigation menus and footer take up more space than the actual page content. The companies have got prospects as far as “demonstrating” an individual product, but they seem just as concerned with tempting them away to visit other parts of the site, most of them completely irrelevant. When somebody is voluntarily reading about the product you’d like to sell them, why are you offering them distractions? There is no need to have a site-wide page template. Sure, if visitors are looking at your home page, or the “about us” page, you need to be flagging up everything on the site as clearly as possible. When they’re looking at a specific product, clear the decks of everything except the call to action you wish them to take.

Think about one of your company’s product pages and have a guess how many links there are on the page. Now count how many there really are (for best results, view the source and use the find function to search for “a href=”). I bet it’s an order of magnitude higher than you thought.

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