Have you ever gotten lost on a website?
Some of us expect to get lost while driving to a new location. I know that I certainly have had to ask for my fair share of directions. But very few people expect to get lost on a website. In the process of searching for a birthday gift, I stumbled upon one too many websites that were difficult to navigate.
A few websites were somewhat easy to navigate, but were simply sensory overload. Flashing banners, numerous ads, web copy in a million different locations. Do you see the problem? Consumers won’t know where to look and become confused. Confusion leads to frustration and eventually to the clicking of the “back” button on their browser, which happens to be where the majority of clicks occur.
One of the metrics that we track at The Discovery Communications Group is something called the “bounce-rate”, which is the percentage of visitors that click the “back” button from the page that they landed on. The bounce rate is usually quite high for websites that lack intuitive navigation and a clear, concise message.
What some people fail to realize is that a website is a marketing message, and it should be constructed as such. You wouldn’t construct a marketing message that people can’t understand, so why should a website be any different? As a consumer, I don’t want to spend time figuring out how to navigate a website or what it’s trying to tell me; it should be clear and intuitive.
If marketers/website designers would take the time to construct websites from a customer’s perspective, then maybe websites wouldn’t have issues with clutter, misunderstandings, or high bounce rates.
Here are a few ideas from The Discovery Communications Group for creating a clutter free website:
1. Take the perspective of the customer
2. Grab your visitor’s attention quickly and make them want to explore your site
3. Keep the navigation of the site intuitive; you don’t want your visitors to get lost
4. Make your message(s) quick and impactful