Do you think that creating a beautiful website is all about adding things?
There are things on your website that are making it look dated and are sabotaging your conversions and your SEO.
In today’s article, I’m going to share nine things that you should remove from your website immediately to get your visitor to stick around for longer and improve your conversions.
These nine things are:
- Remove sliders
- Remove clutter
- Remove sub-menus from your navigation
- Remove unoptimised images
- Remove text from images
- Remove social icons from your header
- Remove dates from your blog posts
- Remove your email address
- Keep your contact forms simple
So, let’s look at these in more detail…
1. Remove sliders from your website
The first thing to remove is any sliders you have on your website.
Sliders were really trendy a few years back, but now they instantly make your website look dated and they force your visitor to have to make a decision really quickly.
With a slider, you’re throwing all this information at your website visitors and they have to choose what they want to do. Whereas if you choose for them, you can direct them to the most important things on your website, and that will be far more effective for conversion.
Another reason to get rid of slider images is that they are generally quite large, full-width images and so they can take a lot of time to load on your website. That can slow down your site, which is bad for your visitor’s experience and also for SEO.
- Related content: 9 ways to make you website look more professional
2. Remove Clutter from Your Website
Next, you need to remove any clutter from your website.
A cluttered website screams “I’m outdated” and it confuses your user.
Take a look at everything you’ve got on there and remove what you are able to.
Have you got multiple images that say the same thing?
Is your text bloated, or saying the same thing more than once?
I use a great writing tool called Grammarly for this, which is a total lifesaver, and it’s improved my writing no end.
Fewer, more powerful words will make a massive difference to your website.
3. Remove Sub-menus from your Navigation
Third, you should remove sub-menus from your navigation bar, unless you are a massive resource such as a University or you’ve got a tonne of products that all need to have different categories to make it easier for users to navigate.
If this isn’t the case, then you probably don’t need sub-navigation or a dropdown list.
I often see people using a lot of sub-menus for services, and you’ve got to click in to see what those services actually are. So, that means that your visitors have to click twice to find what they are looking for, which doesn’t make for a good customer experience.
If you have room, then put all the names of your services in the navigation menu so that your visitors can see them all at a glance.
Another top tip is to make sure that any links are clear, straightforward and easy to understand. So choose names like ‘about’ and ‘contact’ where possible.
4. Remove Unoptimised Images
Large images are going to take a long time to load and will really slow down your website and affect SEO.
However, images that are too small or resized incorrectly will look blurred and make your website look dated, so they are equally bad for conversions.
You should really resize each image to fit the container that it’s in on the website. If your container’s 200 pixels by 200 pixels, you don’t need a massive 3,000-wide pixel image to go in there and so it will need to be resized.
5. Remove Text from Images
I see a lot of websites where images have been saved with text over them. For example, someone has created an image from a template in Canva and then uploaded that to their website.
The issue with this is that a screen reader can’t read the text inside the image, and neither can a search engine.
So, if you have a really important quote, or if you’re using it as your title then you need to be aware that no one can read it unless you can physically see the page.
The other issue is that an image with text over it is not responsive, so when it’s resized onto a tiny mobile people might not be able to read the text anymore.
If you’re struggling, then you can use a page builder like Elementor, which makes it super easy to add text over an image. But what you want is you to do is add your images as a background, and you want the text overlaid onto it.
- Related content: What is Elementor for WordPress?
6. Remove Social Icons from your Header
Next is that you should remove your social icons from your header.
This might be quite controversial, as I know that a lot of people have their social icons in their header. However, it’s really quite hard to get people to your website, so the last thing you want to do once you’ve got them there is send them away again.
I’m not saying that there isn’t a place for social media icons on your website, but they should be in your footer on every page.
Once your visitors get to the bottom of the page they’ve got to make a decision, and if they want to go and follow you on social media, then that’s better than nothing. But, if you have the icons at the top then you’ll lose people before they even have a look around.
Keeping people on your website for longer is great for conversions, but it’s also great for SEO because the longer they stay on there, the lower this thing called bounce rate is, and search engines love a low bounce rate. So you want to keep your visitor as long as possible.
7. Remove Dates from Blog Posts
Number seven is to remove dates from your blog posts.
On the majority of websites, the date of the blog post is irrelevant. For example, it doesn’t matter whether I’ve created this blog post today or last year. The information is evergreen and it’s still relevant a year from now. If something changes then I can edit it, but it’s still the same blog post.
If people see that you haven’t created a blog in a while, then that makes it feel outdated, even if the content in it is still very relevant.
So I tend to tell people to just remove the dates and then it avoids confusion, and avoid people searching for a newer one.
8. Remove your Email Address from your Website
If a visitor clicks on your email address and it’s a mailto link, it can potentially lead to big issues.
For example, it might open in the wrong email program and confuse them. Or even worse still, they might send you a message from a program that is not connected up.
Another issue with having your email address on your website is that bots can scrape it, which will lead to you getting lots of spam.
And if you’re using a WordPress website, then listing your email address will give a hacker half of your username and password combination. So, that really not going to be a good idea either.
Instead of using an email address, you need to use a contact form, which is going to look much more professional, and it enables your visitor to get in touch without leaving your website and the possibility of being distracted by their inbox.
9. Keep Your Contact Forms Simple
And, so this leads me to my final point which is to keep your contact forms very simple.
You should only ask for vital information, as your visitors may feel really uncomfortable giving away certain information such as home address. Asking them for irrelevant information might stop them from filling out the form altogether.
You only need a few simple fields like:
And then a nice button that entices people to fill in the form and click send.
If you do need more than that for your business purposes, then just make sure the first contact doesn’t have to be all that. So for example, if you need someone to fill in a medical questionnaire, don’t get them to do that the first time they’re getting in touch. Do that after they’ve filled in the form and they’ve agreed to sign up. Then send them the long-winded forms that they have to fill in for legal reasons.
So, those are the nine things that you need to remove from your website right now to make it look more modern, professional and to increase conversions.