Web Content: Why Less Is More

One of the mistakes that many companies make when redesigning their websites is trying to say too much on their product pages. It’s understandable how this happens. Company insiders work in a bubble where much of their day is spent talking about product features – what they have now, how competitors stack up, and where they need to be when the next release or big customer comes along. From this vantage point, it’s easy to assume that outsiders want this detail as well.

Problem is, it’s mostly not true. Some readers may stay longer and drill deeper for information. But most prospects want the big picture. They want to quickly learn what business you’re in, what services you offer and whether you may have something to solve their business problem.

Trying to cram in too much content can be counter productive. Eyes glaze over and it becomes tempting to surf to another site.

Based on our experience, companies are better served when they follow a philosophy of “HTML light” for most pages. Liberal use of subheads to break up content blocks, short paragraphs and shorter, more conversational sentence structures generally work best on the web where attention spans are short.

That said there are some ways to organize your site better so that your pages can easily be scanned, but more details are still available for those that want them. One technique we use is to break up longer product pages into tabbed information buckets. Readers scan the top paragraph or two for the main messaging and drill into the tabs below for detail. The tabs keep the pages “clean” and easier to navigate. And they are less intimidating to the average reader. Here’s an example of a tabbed product page we built for client Covaris, Inc.

Another technique is to shift more of the “speeds and feeds” and other feature/benefit-type information to PDF downloads, such as datasheets, product brochures and white papers. The added benefit of this approach: When users want more info, they must fill out a request form. Leads, anyone?

Until next time….