You’ve heard me talk about the 3-second rule before. When someone visits your website, you have about 3 seconds to convince them that they’re in the right place. That’s it. If they searched on baby buggy bumpers and clicked on a link to your site, they better immediately see something about baby buggy bumpers or they’re out of there. If they land on a site and are so overwhelmed by links to Google Adsense ads and affiliate marketing programs, they’re probably out of there too. (I would be.)
With the abundance of good content that is available online, why would someone stay on your website long enough to complete your call-to-action. You do have a call to action right? If you’re selling a product or service, you want them to “buy now” or “request more information”. If you’re building an authority site, sharing information or building your email list, you may have a “download now” link for a free product. If you’re building awareness and trying to increase your website traffic, you may want to encourage commenting. If you provide a service, you may want your visitors to contact you or hire you. Whatever your call-to-action is, it should be clear to your website visitors and blog readers.
Cluttered Noisy Websites Don’t Get the Job Done
This week on one of the LinkedIn groups that I participate in, someone asked for our opinions on their new blog. When I read the message thread, one person had offered their opinion and the person who had asked the question was offended by their answer. So, I took the time to check out the site.
I agreed with everything the first person had suggested. Below is my response:
Hi Steve, I agree with Alexis as far as the overall impression that a website visitor will have of your website. The design is pretty overwhelming. I think the background graphic (colorful books) isn’t adding any value and is actually adding to the “noise”. Your social sharing buttons don’t stand out at all because of it.
I also agree that you have way too many links on your home page and not enough content. I have no idea who your target reader is. The first post I saw was about MATLAB Tutorials and the second is about Oracle. I also saw a link that mentioned having a date, something about restaurants, cats…… calculus…
I can offer several tips but for starters, you need to identify what niche you’re targeting. Who is your ideal reader? What keywords will they be searching on to find your site? What do you actually want them to do? Is your intention to direct them to affiliate ads? What type of products does your niche customer need/want? If you’re blogging to people interested in MATLAB tutorials and calculus, that’s a focused niche. If that’s who you decide to blog for, don’t talk about cats, dating and restaurants. That’s for another blog.
Other overall suggestions would be to write more meaningful content for each post. Check out my blog (keepupweb.com) as an example of a blog with keyword rich titles and concise descriptive paragraphs on the home page. If you’re new to blogging and just trying to build awareness, you may want to consider not having ads on your site. Unless a reader is already convinced that you’re an authority on those products, there’s really little incentive for them to click on any of those ads and buy from you. Ads will turn off a lot of potential readers before they even read their first post. – Just my two cents.
A Quick Review of Your Website or Blog
Does your website/blog (yes, a blog is a website) clearly represent your brand? Is your navigation consistent? Is your website “noisy”? To me a noisy site makes me feel uncomfortable. If there are lots of ads and links , I personally find it stressful. I’d much rather spend time on a site that feels homey – the sort of site that makes me want to pull up a chair and share a virtual cup of coffee.
Do you agree with me? Are there certain sites where it’s okay to have a lot going on? How do you feel about sites that are loaded with pay-per-click (PPC) advertising and Google AdSense ads. Do you stay or bail? Do you think your site could use a little sprucing up?