It’s not just the Information Age. It’s the Age of Information Overload. The Era of Multitasking.
Everyone is trying to juggle a thousand things as a thousand more things compete for their increasingly declining attention.
If you want more sales, you need to eliminate your website distractions.
Anything that distracts your visitors is hurting your sales.
If you look at every aspect of your website as something that either attracts or distracts, what might you eliminate?
Let’s take a look…
Why Eliminating Your Website’s Distractions Is Important
In today’s digital-first economy, it’s your job, as an outdoor business owner, marketer, or sales manager, to focus your visitors’ attention on the next step.
The digital world is full of distractions.
Think of yourself as a guide for wayward explorers — you need to point them in the right direction.
Yet, so few of us do this effectively.
Instead, many brands — especially in the outdoor industry — pack websites full of photos, banners, products, calls-to-action… the list goes on.
Our brains just aren’t meant to process a bunch of information at once.
We can, but your goal is to tap into your visitors’ basic, emotional desires and needs.
Forcing them to figure out your puzzle of a website is the wrong move.
The more visual cues and options your visitor has to process, the less likely they are to make a buying decision.
You need to minimize distractions to drive engagement that ultimately converts visitors into customers.
“Okay, I get it,” you say. But if I pointed to distractions on your site, I’m betting you’d be surprised by what’s diverting visitors’ attention.
Common distractions include unnecessary product options, links, and irrelevant information.
Minimizing or even straight-up eliminating these elements will likely increase your conversion rate.
Focus Your Visitors On Your Most Wanted Action
One of the biggest problems with many websites is that each page tries to do too much. I understand the concern. If someone lands on your page, you want to be sure they have options.
Believe me, this is counter-productive.
Here’s the hard and fast rule: one page, one goal.
We’ll call this goal your most wanted action.
Because there are likely multiple actions you’d like your visitors to take, but you must focus on one per page.
Ask Yourself Two Questions to Identify Your Most Wanted Action:
- What action do you want your visitors to take most?
- What action do your visitors want to take most?
The second question will ensure you’re being realistic.
For example, on your homepage, your most wanted action wouldn’t be to “add to cart.”
Visitors may not know enough about your product or that’s too big of a commitment for them right now.
Your most wanted action should be:
- Distraction free
Your goal is to focus your visitors’ attention on your most wanted action.
Now, here’s an example from a fantastic outdoor brand that I look up to…
But they’re just trying to do a bit too much on their homepage.
Remember, our hard and fast rule: one page, one goal.
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Protect Our Winters
I’m willing to bet that POW’s most wanted action is to “Donate”.
Because it’s immediate money in the bank that helps them save the outdoors.
However, by making the Donate, Act, Sign Up, and Watch buttons the contrasting yellow color, they’re directing attention to it.
And now you don’t know which to choose.
When presented with too many options, our brain’s default is to shut down because we have a hard time choosing.
As a result, the most wanted action (in POW’s case, making a donation) is either postponed or never happens.
Distraction Is Anything That Prevents (or Slows) Your Visitors From Taking Your Most Wanted Action
Everything that does not contribute to your most wanted action is a distraction.
- Large navigational elements that take up a lot of screen space
- Distracting fonts and colors
- Rotating image banners
- Additional calls to action with high contrast colors
How To Identify Distraction Points on Your Pages
It can be hard to look past your blind spots and see the elements that may be hurting rather than helping you.
Here’s the process I recommend:
- Review your top 3 pages (i.e. checkout page, landing page, homepage)
- With a small group of friends or colleagues, look for anything (design, copy, colors, etc.) that might be distracting visitors from your most wanted action. Have them work through the site quickly. Remember, your visitors aren’t going to be hanging around trying to figure things out.
- Record your findings and take note of the biggest issues. Could simple font or color changes minimize distraction? Can you eliminate these distractions altogether?
Distraction Has a Lot To Do With Visual Hierarchy
Visual hierarchy refers to the arrangement of elements in a way that implies importance.
For example, try ranking these circles in order of importance.
Purple, green, yellow, and orange…
That’s visual hierarchy.
Your brain is taking the overall size into consideration because that is the main difference among the circles.
Certain parts of your site are more important than others.
This is why you need to keep visual hierarchy in mind as you try to improve customer engagement, retention, and lifetime value.
Visual hierarchy is what draws your attention to your call to action.
It’s why the headline is always bigger and bolder than the subheadline.
When Trying To Identify Distractions, Ask Yourself These Questions
- What’s on the page that’s not helping the visitor take action?
- Is anything unnecessarily drawing attention?
- What can I remove without compromising performance?
- Are there any navigation elements that could be removed?
- Is the top header taking up too much screen space?
- Is there any unrelated copy here?
Now, let’s dive into three examples…
Outdoorsy is a peer-to-peer RV rental marketplace.
The most wanted action for Outdoorsy’s landing page is to get people who are interested in renting their RV to click “Get Started”.
Everything from the simple design, visual hierarchy, and single call-to-action is built to keep you moving through the sales funnel.
Outdoorsy has done an excellent job of removing distractions that take visitors away from their most wanted action.
ROAM Media is an online course platform specializing in the outdoor industry. It’s Nat Geo meets Masterclass (love that positioning btw).
The most wanted action for ROAM’s pricing page is to “Get Started” on their annual plan.
Because the annual plan helps boost their cash flow immediately.
The problem is there are a few distractions in this one section alone, such as the rotating banner images on the left and very little visual affordance placed on the annual plan.
To drive more annual sign-ups, ROAM should consider:
- adding a “Best Value” banner to their annual plan because it’s simple, effective attention management. Visitors’ eyes will be drawn to the banner.
- changing the button color to black for the monthly plan to focus more attention on the most wanted action (the annual plan). While the word “annual” is in a different color than “monthly,” the CTA stacks are still too similar.
Kuju Coffee offers delicious pour over coffee.
The most wanted action for their shopping cart page is to click “Check Out”.
69.57% is the average e-commerce shopping cart abandonment rate (Fundera, 2020).
And when we examine Kuju’s checkout page, there are 12 clickable links in the top navigation menu (when “shop all” is fully expanded).
Digital experiences that have distractions like these are what can lead to high cart abandonment rates.
To help reduce distractions Kuju should consider minimizing the navigational menu.
Navigation that makes sense for your homepage, may distract on your cart page.
Now, let’s put it all together…
Here’s How to Eliminate Website Distractions and Boost Your Sales
- Identify your most wanted action.
- Review your top 3 pages (i.e. checkout page, pricing page, homepage)
- In a group setting, look for anything (design, copy, etc.) that might be distracting visitors from your most wanted action
- Review your visual hierarchy. Move your most wanted action to the top
- Record your findings
- Start testing your ideas
Now It’s Your Turn
I hope this growth tip gave you some ideas for your outdoor brand.
If you’re feeling generous (and a little smarter), please share it with your friends. 🙌🏽
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