Cut the Clutter. What Clutter?

The Marketing clutter.  All the stuff on that coveted piece of real estate at the top of each Web page. Everything above the cut? Above the fold.  Above the bottom of the screen.

You can’t cram everything you know about yourself, your product, or your company into that one space. If you’re expecting your Visitor to warm up to that, it ain’t gonna happen!

Now .. this is where it gets interesting
The latest research says you have exactly 4 seconds to convince your visitor she’s in the right place.  Four seconds until this person makes the critical decision to stay for awhile … or head on down the highway.

So, what do you do?  A number of things too numerous for this post (… planning on covering that later).  Just let me throw out a couple of observations.

It’s all in the Editing
I remember someone very wise once told me that good copy writing is in the editing.  I think I believe that because I’m one of those boring, continuous improvement guys people tell to get a life.

I just have a penchant for redoing stuff. And as far as I’m concerned, there is only one place to start cutting clutter on a Web page.

With the words
Remember “Content is King?”  Some are disputing that, but let’s face it … we sell with words.  Yet, too many words and they can get in the way of the message.

That’s why I prefer the brief and direct approach to copywriting.

You’re flying down the highway at 70 mph and a billboard flashes by with a single sentence on it that really grabs you (“I hope you fully understand that my Ten Commandments were not suggestions.”  Signed, God).

No Time & Patience
People don’t read the Internet. They scan it.  A habit they most likely picked up from the morning newspaper.  Those are the people who, decades ago, invented the “Headline.”  If the headline grabs you, you’re going to read the rest of the story.

So here’s your challenge: take a good hard look at every page you post on the Net. Think of it as that billboard on the side of the road as you travel the virtual SuperHighway.  Is there a headline, a sentence, a phrase strong enough to give a Visitor pause long enough to register your message? Long enough to peak their interest?  Putting that “Can’t wait to read this one” gleam in their eye?  Powerful enough to entice them to stay awhile and, what’s more important, keep coming back for more?

If there is, that’s a good start. But, remember. It’s only the beginning.  We’ll discuss that later.

I’m sure you’ll let me know what you think. Have a wonderful whatever!