One of the “actions” I did in response to recession-slowdown was re-tool www.clear-writing.com. Nothing radical, mind you, but I spruced things up, change the messaging a little, and most importantly, I cut down my navigation by a third. I eliminated two links in the nav bar, and an entire set of sub-categories.
So far, I have noticed a marked increase in conversions – most of them coming after I chopped things up.
I have always somewhat suspected this – a smaller, more targeted site increases conversions. That’s because it’s easier to understand, easier to navigate, and doesn’t take too much thought. The more links you throw out there, the more choices you have, and then a web visitor becomes like my wife in one of those chain restaurants… completely lost in choice.
Really, while I sit there in Ruby Tuesday’s, having decided upon my meal (Cheeseburger*) in six seconds, my wife spends a good ten minutes debating nine different things. Then the server really messes my wife up when she says “what do you want to drink?” At least here I can order my beer and tell the server to come back.
Anyway, my point is, if the menu was smaller, I could eat a LOT sooner. Oh, and your website… if your site is smaller and easier to navigate, it makes someone more likely to contact you.
I think one reason sites got so big is the SEO people told us to do that – more pages of “stuff” and the better you’ll rank. Maybe so, but smaller / easier = better conversion. I’ve seen proof, and am sold (but like I said, I always suspected this.) In regards to “lots of info” vs. “easy to navigate”, I’m going to start looking into ways to have my cake and eat it too (hey, I’m hungry – will you hurry up, Maryellen!!)