It’s Spring! Well, it’s actually almost four weeks into Spring, which means you’re probably a little behind on clearing out that garage. But there’s something else you should be cleaning up this Spring — your website.
Why you should do a site clean up
Websites might not get dirty, but, like a garage, they can get extremely cluttered. You might release new products, which can complicate your messaging. Over time, you might have a suite of products and services, and all of them are getting real estate on your home page.
Even though cleaning up your website is trickier than going through your garage and throwing out the Big Mouth Billy Bass you got during a Secret Santa 10 years ago, it’s well worth it. Tidying up can lead to a better visitor experience, which often means more conversions and sales.
Here are 5 simple ways to clean up your site
1. Say your value prop loud & proud (and don’t say anything else)
You only have 1 value prop. Just one. It answers the question, Why should I buy from these guys and not someone else?
Above all, it should be about what’s unique to you. Do you have the best selection? Unbeatable expertise? Whatever it is, it needs to speak directly to your customers about you. If it’s not unique to you, write another value prop.
Check out how Casper, a mattress and bedding retailer, positions themselves:
Simple, right? The copy is clean and direct, and the customers know exactly what they should be shopping for (the perfect mattress, sheets, and pillow).
2. Strip your upper third down to the bare minimum
Your upper third is the very first thing that almost all visitors to your site will see. As such, it needs to do a lot, right?
Your upper third needs to do one thing — it needs to make obvious the next action you want your visitors to take.
Whether that action is going to a product page or signing up for your newsletter, you need to throw out anything else that distracts visitors from it and place it somewhere else on your site.
Check out this before and after below (of a fictional site):
Notice how in the before image, there’s social media links, no prominent value prop, and a conspicuous lack of a CTA (highlighted in the red arrows). In the after image, the upper third reduces its purpose to just one thing — and ultimately that’s why it’s more successful than the other.
3. If it’s not obvious what’s clickable, you’re doing it wrong.
Check out the site of Everlane, an ecommerce fashion brand:
Anything stand out? For one thing, it’s incredibly obvious what’s clickable. There’s a button at the bottom, and a nav bar at the top. And that’s it.
Why would you want to do this? Because ultimately, a click is what you want your visitors to do. In a sense, a click is visitor currency. You want them to spend it at the right places.
If they try and click around to find what they’re looking for, they’re expending mental energy (and goodwill towards your site) that you want them expending elsewhere.
So if it’s clickable, make it obvious. Put a box around it. Make it brightly colored. Make it stand out.
4. Make your product images bigger
Humans are visual creatures. A great line of copy can pique people’s interest, but ultimately, they like to see what they’re getting. That’s why we recommend making your product images bigger.
Not only do bigger product images help reduce clutter by lowering the amount of real estate for other things, they also help increase sales.
5. Follow web design standards
Who says being a follower is a bad thing? Web design standards exist for a reason: they help people figure out where to go on websites, even if they’ve never been there before.
That’s why you know that a nav bar is going to be at the top of a site, a magnifying glass indicates a search bar, and social media links are probably going to be found in the footer.
Take a look at this list of web design standards. See how many you’re conforming too. If you’re missing out on any of the big ones (used by over 50% of sites), consider making changes.
Those are some painless ways of getting your site looking fresh without going through a massive redesign hassle. If you have other quick ways to clean up a site, tell us in the comments below!