Small businesses can easily over-complicate their business websites. Without proper planning, small business websites can overwhelm their visitors with the enormous (unorganized) content. The trick? Keep it simple!

Keep it simple, stupid (KISS) is something to keep in mind when dealing with web design. Time and time again, we’ve seen businesses over-complicate their website by adding too many options and too many unorganized information.

Their reasoning is always that they have a lot to offer their customers and they want to express that on their website. While this isn’t necessarily a bad thing, all the extra information is likely to distract your target audience away from what’s really important.

In Web Design, the Trick is to Keep It Simple Stupid

When you give customers too many options on your website, they get confused. Instead, your website should be like a road with several exits. The goal is to lead customers down the road, showing them the most important things first. They can opt to keep going if they’re looking to dig deeper.

A recent Marketing Land article explains why businesses should keep their web design simple. According to the article, it’s easier to overwhelm consumers than you might think:

“Complexity and ambiguity are two of the brain’s biggest enemies. Offering visitors too many options can actually stifle their decision-making process and cause them to abandon your site simply because the decision seemed too overwhelming at the time.”

Take the screenshot below as example: although it looks extremely well-designed, it’s almost impossible for users to navigate the site – not without spending a few minutes of familiarization with the website.

Example of Busy Web Design

Keep your objective focused

So how exactly can you keep things simple while still getting an effective message across?

The trick is to focus on your competitive advantages. What makes your business different from competitors? Why must consumers buy your product or service?

The idea is to show them the most important information first.

Remember, your objective here is to sell. Be it a standard business portfolio website or an e-commerce store, the most important goal of your website is to help you get more customers.

And by focusing on certain content, you need to let go of some. If you really need to choose, focus on benefits not features. What it means is you should tell your prospects “the immediate effects if they choose you” rather than “the hard facts about your products / services”.

Selling cars? Tell them your car can run faster than Ferrari (instead of telling them it can go up to 240 km/h).

Selling clothes? Tell them how nice they look when they put on your clothes (instead of telling them how many buttons there is on the piece of cloth).

Conclusion – Make good use of limited resources

Small businesses often overwhelm consumers by providing them with too much information on their website. You can avoid this by keeping things simple and telling them why your brand is so special. Remember, small businesses have very limited resources, so focus on utilizing your resources to help you gain the most effects.