A simple and clean website allows your readers to focus on the answers to their searches. Don’t make them think. Here’s how and why.
Less is more
I know that you are proud of your vast creations of categories, your catchy blog article titles, and your massive score of highly entertaining content.
You deserve to be.
I know you are proud to own a small business and that you want to show everyone how many great things you do for your customers.
You should be.
You worked hard to create all of that.
I also know that is is fun to arrange and organize a complex structuring system for your heard earned collection of content.
Make the reader the hero
You are not the hero.
You are only the guide.
As the guide you need only to focus on one thing – the readers needs – and a reader looking for a travel idea does not need to see that you also write great posts about taking great photos of cats.
At least not until they have heard what you have to write about what they came for, such as figuring out where to go on their next trip.
A reader that wants to get their taxes done or their hair cut is looking for a guide. Not another hero.
Treat your blog readers as if they have ADD
My 16 year old nice was over and she wanted to watch Netflix. She was asking about the original Jurassic Park movie so we put it on.
About an hour into the move she looked at me and said, “are you kidding me? Nothing has happened. This is the worse movie ever!”
I have to admit, I agreed with her. Thinking about it, it WAS going very slow, even for me, and I’m fifty years old.
My niece and I (and your readers) are only used to the fast-moving world of entertainment in which we now live. A place where YouTube videos are on demand and since there are billions of them, the one currently playing “better be good” or it’s click, click, click to the next one.
Simplify your blog navigation
You are hear to improve your blogging, get traffic, convert more customer leads, and make more money, right? Take a pause for a second and look to the left and the right of your screen.
What do you see?
That’s how it should be.
Note that if you are on a mobile device, you probably will not see anything anyway, but I hope you are getting my point.
There is no sense in trying to lure your hero to another category, a recent post, or the latest comments on your blog. The best navigation practice is to simply leave a breadcrumb or two at the bottom of your post to another post that is related to the posts subject.
If you are a business, be sure to have easy to see “calls to action” such as “contact us” links.
You can also direct readers to very significant articles within your post as you go, if it improves your hero’s experience.
Either way, the key here is to see your website through the hero’s eye. The hero wants to read about what they came for, and then once their search questions are satisfied, only then maybe something else (though probably not).
A widget in the footer with the major topics or categories of your blog is probably OK, but don’t crowd your posts with options that the hero does not want or need.
Please feel free to leave a comment.