The Golden Rule Of Internet Marketing: Keep it Simple

Posted by Jesse Willms on August 15, 2010

Today I want to talk about the most important rule of Internet Marketing – Keep It Simple.  This rule is something that, through my observations, has been largely overlooked.   What this rule means is that the sites that are the easiest to use and the least complex as possible tend to do the most business.

Consider Google, arguably the most successful website in history. Look at its homepage – it’s a simple white background with a couple of easy to understand links and an entry field.

That’s all – and that’s why it’s so successful. It loads quickly, it’s easy to use and people understand it right away. The truth is that the main reason people fail to go to a site, or if they do end up there fail to make a purchase, is that they become confused or the site takes too long to load or it’s just too complicated.

Jesse Willms - Internet Marketing: Keep it Simple

Yet, time and time again, business owners get attached to the idea of complex websites, not knowing that the complexity hurts sales.  Sure, the site may end up looking beautiful – but if it confuses customers or turns them away it’s not doing any good.

My personal pet peeve are sites that have Flash intros before you can get to their web site. How many people do you think really want to have to sit through a pretty little movie before they get to your sales message? How many people are using slow Internet connections that force them to wait for a long time for the Flash to load before they can even see it? How many of those people do you think click away before they even get to your home page or any of your marketing material?

Yet, Flash intros cost a fortune, even though what they are doing is killing your business.  It’s basically costing you more to make less… very counterproductive.

Another problem is when a web site has too many links to inside pages. This can confuse the heck out of your customers. Most of the information they need to decide if they want to make a purchase should be clearly spelled out on the homepage.  If they have to click through a lot of links to find out what makes your product or service special, then they will click away and you’ll lose the sale.  In general, never have more than five links off of your home page and always have a simple “buy now” button that will take them directly to the order page.

If you keep simplifying your site and the purchase process, you should see more sales and higher quality, less confused customer.

So, rather than trying to fill your site with quantity, try focusing on quality.