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Is Website Clutter Hurting Your Conversions?

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What does clutter have to do with conversion?
"The cleanliness of a person's home/car/clothing is a good sign of how together they are as a person.
"
Whether we admit it or not, we do tend to judge people by the cleanliness of their environment.
Online, your environment includes your website and it's "cleanliness" affects people's willingness to do business with you...
Lacking in website conversions? Chances are your website is too cluttered.
Follow these simple guidelines to a clutter-free website and watch your visitors move into action.
Get rid of the useless clutter Things like Flash animations, distracting graphics, unnecessary photos and pictures, "beautiful" design and layouts that are there only for the sake of looking beautiful and polished.
All of these things usually do very little to advance the sale.
All bling and no ka-ching.
Not only do the above elements visually distract from the call-to-action but page load times can try a visitor's attention span when it's bogged down with flashing banners and graphics.
However (caveat time!), things like video testimonials and Flash or Camtasia video that demo a product can do wonders to advance the sale.
Text should be text Despite the occasional headline or sub-head, the text that is on your page should be text, not an image.
Turn text it into an image and you toss out quicker page load times, search engine friendliness and visitor usability.
Turn off that noise Rock out in your own home but on your website, leave out the sound effects and background music.
The only audio your visitor should hear (if at all) is the spoken word, designed to advance the sale or get them to opt-in.
A great tool for generating audio (and video!) on your site is Ultimate Web Audio.
Three-columns is a crowd It's not too often that a three-column layout works well.
Three-columns presents a lot of information crammed into a tight space and usually just distracts and confuses the visitor.
Presentation is key and trying to present too much at once tends to make visitor's turn tail and run.
Watch those outbounds The links on your site should be pointing visitors further down the funnel, not away from the goal.
If you must have links (e.
g.
to show a source that backs your claims), at least have it open in a new window.
Even better would be to copy the content to your own server (be sure to check the legality of copying the content...
if it's a graph or chart, you may only have to credit the source) and open it in a new window.
The goal with your site is to move visitor's forward...
not only does removing your website's clutter reflect well on you as a business, it makes it very easy for a visitor to take the next action towards a completed sale.
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