Any business owner with a website understands the primary benefits of investing in search engine optimization (SEO) for that website: Improved search engine rankings, increased web traffic and visibility, higher conversion rates, access to valuable marketing data and more.
And any business owner with a website also knows that writing web content requires specialized writing skills to ensure the content is interesting, relevant and keeps the reader reading, while at the same time strategically placing keywords and key phrases throughout the text to meet minimum SEO requirements.
A well-done website includes visual appeal as well and makes effective use of a variety of fonts, colors, formatting techniques and graphics.
Where websites are concerned, however, it is possible to have too much of a good thing — or what you think is a good thing.
The truth is too much of something equates to clutter. And where there is clutter, the entire objective of having a website at all is ultimately defeated. Why? Because no one will look at content that is confusing, overwhelming or too busy. People will move off the website quickly. Users will get distracted with much clutter and a mishmash of content. The main message gets lost in the mix.
Worst of all, you will have lost potential clients, as they will not be inclined to visit your site again.
Let’s consider all this in technical terms.
Too much clutter reduces conversion rates
Congratulations! You were able to successfully attract a potential client to your website.
Now you just need them to buy, or convert, from a visitor to a buyer.
But, if your website is filled with charts, graphs, photos, a few words here and there, bold print in neon pinks and greens, italicized font, auto-starting YouTube videos and a pop-up box with a photo of a helpful customer service representative — in other words, clutter — unless that potential client is able to readily find what they are looking for and easily navigate to the information that interests them the most, they are not going to buy from you.
If doing business with you (online or onsite) is frustrating and inefficient because the user is overwhelmed or confused by all the clutter, they will find another company that is much more user and customer friendly and shop there.
Too much clutter increases bounce rates
Another objective of a well-designed website is to have a low (improved) bounce rate.
The bounce rate of your site is the percentage of users who leave your site from the first page on which they entered without doing anything further on that or on any other page on your site.
A well-written, well-designed website is inviting and entices the user to read more and interact on each page. But, if there is too much clutter, the person who just clicked onto your website may just as quickly click away because there is too much going on and they are confused and cannot find what they are looking for. The end result? A bounce rate that is too high, which then results in a loss of potentially lucrative clients.
Too much repetition hurts your site
We are speaking of using the same keywords and key phrases, which usually means the content writer is trying too hard, and is ultimately unsuccessful at improving your search engine ranking.
If my business is to build websites and use all the best keywords because I know Google ranks my clients higher when they have all the best keywords, I will always use the best keywords in every sentence and every header I write because I know the best keywords will get new business for my clients who also want me to use the best keywords from the list they provided me of what they believe are the best keywords. Get my drift? If not, read this paragraph again.
Consider the following example:
Cleaning and restoration companies generally provide services to a small geographic area. Depending on the length of some specific web content, a well-written website may list the cities, counties or major metropolitan areas of a company’s service area once or twice per page. What the company should not do is list every zip code they serve.
Contrary to what some content writers or website owners may believe, writing too many zip codes does not improve local SEO; in fact, this strategy backfires by reducing conversions. Customers know where they’re located. If a restoration website identifies their service area by state or general geographic region, the person reading that information will know if they reside within it.
How do you know if your website or a particular web page contains too much clutter? Here are a few things to look for. You might have too much clutter if
- Visitors to your site routinely skip clicking on what is supposed to be the most important item, link or feature on a page.
- Visitors miss instructions or a call to action on a page.
- Your site contains more clutter than you find on similar pages of the site of your most successful competitor.
If you recognize one or more of these symptoms, then your site probably has too much clutter and disorganization.
Some statistics indicate the amount of clutter on a web page should be less than 50 percent of the page’s overall content. There is benefit, after all, to having some amount of clutter intentionally designed into a site. Users like and appreciate a fair mix of words and images, attractively arranged and presented, as long as they are relevant and clear to the purpose of the site.
In addition to ensuring your site contains a reasonable amount of clutter, a well-designed, high-performing website will be all of the following:
- Neat and clean in appearance.
- Organized so the user is able to quickly and efficiently find the exact information they are looking for.
- Professionally written to ensure proper grammar, spelling and punctuation.
- Appropriate in its use and variety of keywords and key phrases.
In the cleaning and restoration industry, the target audience is often a home or business owner with a specific need. They may need the services of a fire or water damage restoration company on an emergency basis.
Keep potential clients on your site by presenting clear information in a functional and organized format — and you are more likely to turn them into new clients.
Sonny Ahuja is an internet marketing expert, specializing in high-conversion responsive website design, optimized mobile sites, Google AdWords and SEO. He mainly helps remodeling, disaster restoration and cleaning companies get more leads by developing their online lead generation systems. See how he can help you grow by setting up a free consultation at (414) 434-9557 or by reaching out to Ami Ahuja at Ami@SonnyAhuja.com. Read more tips and tricks related to Internet marketing on his blog at www.SonnyAhuja.com.