I needed a builder this week.
Like anyone who needs anything now, I trawled the internet to find one. I perused websites of independent guys, big companies and everything in between. For each site, I wanted to know one thing – do you do what I need you to do, and how can I contact you for a quote?
It was amazing how much digging I had to do. If I couldn’t find that information within 20-30 seconds, I bounced and went to the next of my thousands of results.
It reminded me of when animated gifs and flashing text were everywhere on websites. Google came along, stripped all that away, leaving a single box on a page asking you what you’re looking for. Undeterred, Flash-heavy websites developed in complexity at the same time. Their fancy images and text swirled and swooped a clever animation (sometimes even related to what the organisation did) your homepage into view. They often looked impressive. But where do i click exactly? How do I extract what I’m looking for from this rubble?
Now, the best websites are clean, text-based and have a clear and simple call to action. They use
Tim Ferris, in his best seller The Four Hour Work Week (great read), asks what you’d do with your work day if you only had four hours. Then, what if it was two hours? You’d have to focus on the absolutely essential, and let the unimportant fall by the wayside, just like so many flashy landing pages.
So, if you could only ask visitors to your website to do one thing, what would it be?
Chances are, a lot of what’s left is not only unnecessary, but actively distracting. So use big text, attention grabbing buttons, and put less popular pages to one side.
At the end of those 30 seconds, make sure your visitor is doing what you want them to, not bouncing to the next builder.