In today’s busy world, when it comes to Internet marketing, the best practice is to keep it simple. Web sites have three seconds to catch and keep a visitor. If those three seconds are lost because the lack of simplicity confuses, disorients, or overwhelms a visitor, he or she will go elsewhere.

Simple language is of paramount importance

Studies have shown that website visitors read only 20-28% of the words on a page. This total drops dramatically when the verbiage is cumbersome, aimed at too high a reading level, or the print is too small. When a visitor to your site has to stop and figure out what a word you have used means, which takes up part and sometimes all of the three seconds you have to connect with your visitor.

Literacy has been, is, and will likely continue to be a problem for the United States. The Literacy Project Foundation estimates that 50% of adults in this country cannot even read at the eighth-grade level.

In order to reach both readers whose comprehension exceeds the eighth-grade level and the 50% who cannot read at that level, internet copy needs to be kept simple. There are free Readability tools available on the internet for use in testing your copy. They will give you the reading level of your copy, so you can be assured of keeping it simple.

Keeping your digital space clean

Many digital experiences (including social) pack so much on a page that visitors have a difficult time not only finding what they seek, but focusing on it after they find it. Clutter diverts a web person’s mind from its intended purpose.

A study by researchers at the Neuroscience Institute at Princeton University found that when we see a cluttered environment such as a web page with many things competing for our attention, the clutter interferes with our ability to focus. When this happens our brains are unable to sort out what we are seeing, and we are incapable of processing and storing the images we have seen properly.

When many things on a web page compete for our attention, we end up overusing our mental resources trying to process them, and as a result we get tired and irritable. Tired and irritable visitors are not good for business, so we need to streamline our experiences.

The experience determines a return visit

Complex digital experiences with a lot of layers and directions are difficult for shoppers who either have time constraints or who prefer simplicity. We can test website pages by using the well-known Five Second Test. This test give the user five seconds to identify the focal point of a web page, and helps determine whether your landing pages and calls to action are being seen.

Appeal to human emotion

Our brains have three distinct areas that govern thinking, emotion, and instinct.

Experiences that interact with and appeal to all three parts of the brain must include the following:

  • Appeal to the emotional part of the visitor’s thought processes by associating things we offer with a positive memory.
  • Provide enough information about services or products without offering an overload on the initial page. Make supplementary information available via clickable links that open separate pages, leaving the initial page open.
  • Offer choices, but keep in mind that too many choices equates with overthinking a decision.
  • When asking for information be sure to clarify what is wanted.

KEY TAKEAWAY: The basic function of marketing is to sell products or services. Keeping your approach simple and human in function, design, experience, and language will guarantee increased sales and repeat visitors.