8 Things You Should Remove From Your Website

When looking at a digital marketing strategy from the position of maximizing visitor engagement and conversion rates, there are just some things that you should make sure you remove from your site.

I know it may seem like a good idea to pack your site with all the great information you want to be shared about your product or service, but your site should serve the purpose of engaging a visitor looking for a solution and getting that person to take the desired action you want them to as quickly as possible.

This, of course, includes providing enough information to educate them on why they need to take such action.

I am sure there will be some who disagree with some of these ideas, but based on our experience, here are 8 things you should remove from your site.

So what are these 8 things you need to remove?  It’s a short list but could mean night and day difference in your conversions.

1. Random Non-Informative Headlines

If someone lands on your site they should know within just a few moments exactly what it is that you do and what the main benefits are.  If at first glance you can’t understand these points then you have some major work to do.

We, of course, have highlighted many different case studies here on the blog on the importance of a good benefit-driven headline.  I typically say that if you don’t test anything else, test your headline.  It is typically the first thing that someone sees when they land on your site and should do the job of capturing the limited attention that we have in today’s noisy digital world.

2. Social Media

I know it is great that you have a Facebook page and your Twitter followers are growing by the day but presenting all the social media platforms that you are on as one of the main focal points on your site adds nothing more than a distraction from the main purpose you are going after.

It is ok to have it in your footer and even on your blog to encourage people to connect with you on social, but if you have big bold social media icons at the top of your site (home page or landing page) you are probably losing some precious conversions.

One other element that we see here too, particularly in e-commerce, is having social media icons on your product pages. STOP IT!  We have shown in multiple tests that having them present can reduce conversion rates as much as 40%. It is distracting your visitors (customers) from the main goal and that is to add a product to the cart and checkout.  The increased conversion will far out-weigh the handful of people that post a picture of your product to Instagram.

3. Multiple Calls To Action

This should go without saying but I have come across this far too many times doing site critiques.  Put your main focus on a singular call to action.  Your visitors want a solution when coming to your site so stop presenting them with 15 different options and paths to go down.  If your main KPI is to get people to sign up for a free trial then don’t present them with an option for a demo, a registration link for your next webinar and a download link to your latest white paper.  Focus on the main goal and hold your visitors by the hand on the path to that goal.

4. Un-necessary menu items

The old KISS saying.  Keep it stupidly simple.  That is what your menu should reflect.  Your menu is a BIG focal point for visitors and how it is presented could deter visitors from doing what it is that you want them to do on the site.  The menu should support the end goal.  It should be used as leverage and yet another way for them to become educated and led down the path as easily as possible.  Having 10 menu options each with 50 sub-menus is distracting.  If it seems overwhelming that means it must be 10X worse for your potential customers.

5. Too much text (long paragraphs)

Again I know you want to shout from the rooftops on how great your product is and pack your site with as much information as you can about the product or service but the fact is that with attention spans online diminishing, people don’t read, they skim. Instead of having those long paragraphs try breaking them up so they are easily skimmed and digested.  Emphasize the main elements and back them up with benefit-driven bullet points.

The same goes for leveraging using slang or technical terms that only people in your organization may understand.  Try to think like your visitor and how they will respond to seeing all that technical language.  All they care about are the benefits.  Let me repeat that.  Your visitors ONLY care about the BENEFITS your product or service can provide.

6. The same stock photos as every other website on the planet

Sure the stock photo of the blonde woman wearing a headset is a great representation of your quality customer service but I am here to tell you that this woman is the representative for about 10,000 other companies.  Please, please, PLEASE be creative with your use of images.  They matter more than you think.

Stock photos are to be used as a starting point only.  Get a designer to make something custom using those images and TEST them.  The out of the box photos are boring, they have no personality behind them so refrain from using them.

7. A separate testimonials page

“But Justin, I have so many happy customers I want to showcase all the great things our customers have to say about us.”  I tend to agree with you and am a big proponent of the use of social proof.  We have many case studies supporting it.  But making your visitors click to see all the great things to say, again adds friction and distraction.  Instead, try mixing in your testimonials with the rest of your marketing message.  It flows better and the right testimonials can actually help support all of your other marketing efforts and your marketing message if done right.

8. Crazy Long Forms

The last thing I want to do when I am interested in a product or solution is to fill out a crazy long form just to get more information.  Sure it is great for sales and the quality of a lead when you get all the information you can. But nobody wants to enter the color of their hair and their mother’s maiden name into a form.

I am sure I am not the only one that simply leaves a site when asked for a ton of information that is all “required” in order to continue.  Instead try asking for the minimum amount of information you need to get, then qualify and nurture after you have the information.  It does you no good to have awesome potential customers on your site if you have no way to connect with them.

We had a recent case study that increased the contact form submissions for a company over 1800% by just removing ONE simple form field to make it even easier for the visitor.  Another case study we conducted showed an increase of almost 1100% by asking one question at a time instead of having one big long form. Visitors want simple, so give them that.

There you have it.  8 things you MUST remove from your site.  Of course with a disclaimer.  Remove them strategically by testing of course.

Have something you want to add to the list?  Leave a comment.

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