Many of us can’t get rid of things we don’t need any more. Or things we didn’t need to begin with. We clutter up our closets, because we are not always able to identify what is absolutely necessary and what our home is better off without.

The same is true for many websites out there. Sure, the web design industry has – thankfully – waved good-bye to neon colors, Comic Sans, and flashing banners, but clutter still ruins too many good websites. Some owners cram their web pages with third-party ads, others want everything their business has to say to be right there on the homepage. In both cases, the clutter is sure to kill even the most talented design.

How Does Website Clutter Harm Your Business?

Not only is a cluttered website tasteless and gaudy. It’s not just about the beauty and the design, it’s about your sales and profits, too. When a website visitor is overwhelmed with information, they get confused and don’t know what to do next. And the thing they usually do next is leave, instead of buying your product or ordering your service. Making your homepage scream about your products isn’t bringing your more sales, especially if this message is lost in the rumpus of sign up’s, subscribe’s, and follow me’s.

How to Keep Your Website Uncluttered?

First and foremost, identify the primary goal of your homepage (and every other page, for that matter, but the homepage is the one that suffers from clutter most often). If the primary goal is to get the visitor to buy your product, don’t make the page shout out dozens of other messages. That doesn’t mean you can’t include social media buttons or company news there, but make sure you’re not highlighting each and every element of the page as the prominent one.

Secondly, learn to say “no” to things that are unnecessary. There are hundreds of elements you can place on a page – news, testimonials, blog posts, customer lists, and what not – but try to identify the ones that will truly serve the primary goal of your page. Just because you don’t put excerpts from the blog on your homepage doesn’t mean visitors will not find it – it’s right there in the navigation.

Finally, give the design of your website some space. Look at the page with a fresh pair of eyes: is it comfortable to look at? Is there enough space, or is it suffocating you with information and images?

Many great websites fall victim to clutter, and the worst thing is that it’s the business that ultimately suffers from it. So if you don’t want your hard-won visitors leave the website in confusion, make sure you get rid of clutter once and for always.

Now, does your website make this fatal mistake? How do you make sure your web page is uncluttered?

Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments.