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Less is More, Streamlining Your Site

By Kevin Nunley
Posted Monday, September 27, 2004

Some time back I beefed that too many web sites didn't have enough words to explain their offers. "Some sites are all pictures with very little copy. It's hard to figure out what the site is selling and why you should buy it," I complained.

Now it looks like a lot of sites have gone the other direction. In an effort to maximize sales, they put dense copy about all their offers on the opening page of their site. Did we overdo it?

The latest thinking among advertising experts is a page filled with lots and lots of copy is jarring. People click to the page and think "Gee! I don't have time to read all this."

It's often better to trim your opening page offers down to just your most essential elements. Some big corporate sites are moving to this philosophy of "less is more." See ( for an almost extreme example.

Bottom line: the customer is pressed for time. Many are surfing the Net while on their lunch break or between office chores. If they can't figure out your offer quickly, they may click elsewhere.

So keep your paragraphs SHORT. Sales copy should rarely use paragraphs longer than three sentences. One and two sentence paragraphs work great. Short chunks of copy separated by white space immediately say "get this information fast." You can use these shorter paragraphs not only for high-impact web copy, but sales letters, email, and ad copy.

And it's not just customers who shorter copy: recently an editor of a major national magazine told me he favors articles with two and three sentence paragraphs. The look of the article is almost as important as what it is about.

Once your copy is lean and mean, what to do with your graphics? As browsers get more sophisticated and modems download faster, web sites are getting fancier. My old advice about "put a logo at the top of your web page and keep the rest `text'" is looking out-dated.

On the other hand, MANY of your web site visitors have slow phone lines with no improvement in the near future. With web design expectations higher but lines still slow, it puts many of us between a rock and a hard place.

Some ways to jazz up the look of your pages without making them slow loading:

1. Use one to three SMALL gif or jpeg graphics on a page, but don't go overboard. Try to repeat graphics when you can from one page to the next. Once a graphic has loaded into the visitor's computer, it doesn't have to load again.

2. Create an interesting page by formatting your text into headlines, bold, indented blocks, and limited colored text. You can also set off important points with small graphic balls or arrows. These don't take much time to load and can add interest to your page.

3. Put parts of your page in a cell and give it a different background from the rest of your page.

4. When you find a logo you like, email the owner and ask who created it. I find that many site owners create their logo themselves and don't mind making one for you at low cost.

5. Plenty of white space is good. Rather than having a batch of graphics on the opening page, you might focus on one larger more powerful graphic that unifies the page.

Great sites are easy to use and full of just the kind of information you're looking for. Include content that makes your best customers and prospects say "Wow!" Respect the limited amount of time they have to spend on your site and make it easy for them to figure out how to buy from you.

About the Author
Kevin Nunley provides marketing advice, copy writing, and promotion packages. See all his free marketing tips at ( Promote your web site with a press release or ezine article to thousands of media. Reach Kevin at


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