We hear with our eyes. When you land on on a web page, what you read in your mind is what you are hearing.
All too often, we arrive at a website that feels like its screaming at us with its multiple imagery, multiple buttons and multiple messages. The eye noise is overpowering. Although you are silently sitting in front of your computer reading a screen, the effect of a poorly organized and overwhelming home page can cause your eyeballs to say, “shhhhh.”
Why do we create eye noise on home pages?
There are three troubling causes of a growing epidemic we like to call home-page-eye-noise-obia.
- Turfismo – Every department wants to be on the home page.
- Featuritis – Inexperienced communicators believe that more is better.
- Stickitism – Occurs when a company has not refined its Value Proposition so they are throwing up stuff to see if it sticks.
(No. 3 is the worst in our opinion because they rarely measure anything to confirm if anything did.)
Simple Eyetracking Test
Heat map studies have shown these are the hot spots that people look at and absorb when they land on the home page of a website. (check out Marketing Experiments for eyetracking tests.)
And what our brain is cycling through is:
- Where am I?
- What can I do here?
- Why would I do it?
As the brain reads and processes information, it is actually hearing the content being read and the more clutter and confusion on the home page, the more noise it creates. Test your home and see it in action.
So what can you do?
We have all experienced websites that overwhelm with eye noise. So what can B2B companies, with limited budgets, that rarely change their websites, do about it? (Because everyone suffers from it.)
- Figure out where people are landing, what they are clicking and how long they are staying. This information is all available in Google Analytics and shame on you if, A) you don’t have Google Analytics installed, or B) you don’t look at it before you change your website.
- Take away 50% of the content on your home page and see what happens. Where would people click next and is that the action you want them to take. If so, clear everything else away and let them take it.
- Test it with your best prospects and see what they see. They are the definitive voice how just how noisy your home page is.
Here’s Our Top 5 List:
We thought we would offer some examples of websites we think have done a great job of toning down the noise and improving the clarity of their message and website. We didn’t pick Apple, (although every marketer points to that company as the best example). We picked companies that have complex solutions and likely limited budgets. We wouldn’t be doing our job as small business marketing consultants if we focused on big brands.
- TechValidate – Simple home page that gets you to take a next step. This product is complicated and its not cheap but everything you need to start the buying journey is right there in a very logical way.
- Jan-Pro Canada – Most cleaning companies, like real estate agents, want you to call them so they can get your name before they offer up pricing. Sadly, most don’t call you back. Jan-Pro put their pricing right there on the home page and they make it easy to get a real quote online.
- ET Group – Again, another B2B complex sale that requires high level consulting, but they pass the simple eyetracking test with flying colors.
- Freshbooks – They’ve actually made accounting interesting.
- Campus Living Centres – For a group that builds and manages student housing, they avoided the obvious; shiny, happy stock shots of students and focused on the message.
Do you need help toning down the eye noise on your home page?
If you need help testing your home page, we have new testing packages we have developed to actually sit with your prospective customer to determine, what they see when they land on your home page and what content they need to take a next step in the buying process.