Are you turning away website visitors by doing this?

reduce-distractions-in-web-designHave you ever been to a website where there is so much information, to have certain information standout there are 10 different fonts, 7 colors of text, and 5 sentences that are in bold?  If you are like me, you have left the website immediately.

Today, I want to talk about…

The 100% rule

The 100% rule says that a website visitor only has 100% of their attention to give to a webpage (maybe less if they are distracted from other things).

Each paragraph, graphic, link, etc on a webpage shares that 100%.  Not that each item receives equal attention, but it will get some, even if it is only 1-2%.  But it does mean that if you have 15 items on your webpage (5 graphics, 5 paragraphs, and 5 menu items), that even the most important information might only receive 10% of the visitor’s attention.  10%!!!  Do you think that is enough attention to get your point across to the visitor?

So what do you do when you have so many ideas and thoughts to convey on a webpage? Here are

5 things you can do to keep your visitor focused on what’s most important:

  1. Review the page as if you were a visitor.  Put yourself in the shoes of someone going to your website.  Is there too much information to handle?
  2. Most important info at the top.  Don’t put the most important information towards the bottom of the page.  Determine the order of importance of what you want to convey to the reader and put the most important item on top.
  3. Use bullet points.  Bullet points are a great way to shorten the text on a page.  You don’t need to have complete sentences and viewing a page with bullet points makes it easier for the visitor to digest more information.
  4. Delete.  Think about all the information that is on the webpage.  Is it necessary to have it all?  Can some be removed?
  5. Create other pages.  If you have so much information that you cannot remove any of it, try separating it into multiple pages.  Besides the benefit of having less for the visitor to focus on when viewing each page, it also allows you to target more specific topics on each page, which will allow you to target additional keywords in the search engines.

What are your thoughts on the 100% rule?  Do you think it applies to church and ministry websites?  What are you doing to showcase the most important information on your website?  Please leave your comments and thoughts below.

Mark Steinbrueck is President and Co-founder of OurChurch.Com. He is a member of Generations Christian Church, a husband and father of 3. He is a huge Cardinals baseball fan and bleeds Garnet and Gold. Find on Google+.

2 Responses to “Are you turning away website visitors by doing this?”

  1. Great points on what leads people to the information that is most important (the information they want). One of the things that I started doing to keep visitors is creating a mental funnel of where people naturally enter the website and then promote content that leads them to more information.
    -Steven

  2. Thanks for the article… good stuff. I plan to go back over my home page and see what I can change… it is probably getting stale anyway… being the same for a good year or more. I know I don't like to read a lot of stuff when I visit a site and my site is loaded with text.