Fortunately, the days of packing a website with images, random functions, and animations are (mostly) gone. In today’s environment, minimalism rules – and users expect an intuitive experience. As such, the question for many site owners is: How can I remove clutter from my website?
Fortunately, there are a number of things you can do. For starters, you can remove anything on your website that does not serve a specific purpose. Next, there are several actions you can take to make your site as easy to navigate as possible.
In this piece, we’ll discuss what we mean by a ‘cluttered’ website and why decluttering matters. We’ll then offer some tips to remove clutter from your website to improve its overall user experience (UX). Let’s get to work!
Why decluttering your website matters
Simply put, a cluttered website is one with too many pages and overly-busy design elements. It may have distracting images or too many ads. Sites such as these make it hard to know where to look or what to interact with. However, they’re not uncommon, and chances are good you’ve encountered a cluttered website at some point.
Too much clutter on your website can lead to a negative user experience (UX), which is obviously less than favorable. Users who are overwhelmed may not come back. What’s more, this can increase your bounce rates and hamper conversions.
It’s easy to think of your website as a physical storefront. If it’s cluttered and messy, it will reflect on your business.
On the other hand, a clean and fast presentation (such as Apple’s online and physical presence) can leave a positive impression. Users may find it easier to interact with a site that has as few distractions as possible. Simple navigation makes it easier to explore your content, follow your sales funnel, and click your call to action (CTA). By decluttering your website, you could see a boost to your conversion rates.
How to remove clutter from your website (4 key tips)
In short, removing clutter can improve your site’s UX. With this in mind, let’s discuss some actionable steps you can take to declutter your website!
1. Do some ‘spring cleaning’
It may help to look at your website’s ‘cleanliness’ as you would your house. Spring cleaning sees you taking stock and getting rid of stuff you don’t need or use anymore. You can do the same with your website. Just as you would with each room, go over every page of your site and remove unnecessary elements. Doing this can improve navigation, not to mention your website’s performance.
To begin, think about the purpose of your website and what you want visitors to do. Now, remove everything that does not serve this goal. To help you better define the purpose of your site, consider if you are selling, educating, or engaging. For example, if your goal is to get people to sign up for your newsletter, all content on your site should somehow point to your signup page.
It may also help to cut down on the number of pages on your site, either by combining or getting rid of them altogether. Focus your website to do one thing well. Once you’ve done that, you can begin to look at other elements, such as your web links.
2. Have a clear linking strategy
Including both internal and external links on your website is an important strategy that improves search engine optimization (SEO). However, too many links (especially external ones) can be distracting for users. It’s important to analyze each link you’re using and ask yourself what purpose it serves.
A quality link that aligns with your goals is a keeper. If it doesn’t, you may want to take it out. The objective here is not to have as many links as possible on your site, but to use them to enrich your content and add value. Each link should have an obvious purpose, either by pointing the user to further information, answering a question, or offering a how-to guide to success.
Internal links are especially important. In other words, links that connect to another page on your site. These types of links should be incorporated into your content as naturally as possible. For instance, Neil Patel recommends three to four internal links for each of your posts, depending on their length. Then, with your linking strategy in place, you can start considering the real meat of your website: its content.
3. Improve your content and site readability
Understandably, the reason users come to your site is for its content. After all, it’s how you hope to engage them and keep them coming back for more. As a result, if your content is difficult to read or not very interesting to your audience, users may not stay on your site — which means they certainly won’t convert.
Quality content is always important. The right content that employs solid SEO techniques can make your site a destination for your audience. The important thing to remember is that you don’t necessarily need a lot of content, as long as the quality is strong.
In fact, underperforming content may be distracting from pieces that are most effective. It may help to remove what you don’t need and make what you keep easy to read. Consider the flow of your entire site and get rid of the content that is dragging it down, which may just help with our final tip.
4. Use more negative space
Hopefully, at this point, after doing some ‘spring cleaning,’ tightening your linking strategy, and removing unnecessary content, you’ll be better able to open your website up a bit and use more negative space. This design technique can do a lot to improve the quality of your site.
Negative space helps draw attention to what matters most: your content. When pages are too busy, users may not know where to focus their attention. You can help visitors to comfortably read everything on your site by including lots of open space between each element.
Additionally, by using negative space, you can make it as easy as possible for users to find things on your site. After all, you want them to discover certain things, such as your CTA — why not make the process a simple one? In addition, you may help put users’ minds at ease as they are navigating.
Removing clutter can help you to improve your website’s performance and navigation. Using the techniques outlined in this article may make it easier for users to explore your content, follow your sales funnel, and click your CTAs. As such, a relatively ‘free’ approach such as this is well worth exploring.
This piece has looked at four tips to help remove clutter from your website. Let’s quickly recap them:
- Carry out some spring cleaning.
- Have a clear linking strategy.
- Improve your content and site readability.
- Use more negative space.
Do you have any questions about how to declutter your website? Ask away in the comments section below!