More Is Not Better – It’s Just More
So I picked up a new client last week – an attorney. I’ve always wanted to do a really cool attorney’s website, and this guy definitely needs help. So, one of the things I start with is researching his competition – let’s see what the other attorneys in his area are doing on their websites…
This guy is a criminal defense and family law attorney, so I start searching Google using keywords like “ventura attorney”, “ventura dui defense attorney”, “ventura criminal defense attorney”, “ventura family law attorney”, and a few other keywords that I felt would be relevant. I found quite a few, but I was kinda surprised at what I found.
Aside from the totally stomp-able low page rankings (more on that later), most if not all of these websites not only looked rather cheesy (sorry, don’t mean to disrespect but there it is), but they also had a lot of text on their websites. I mean… A-L-O-T!
Now, I don’t know about you, but if I’m gonna go find an attorney, chances are I’m not in the frame of mind to read all this stuff on their website trying to convince me that they’re good at what they do. If we’re talking about criminal defense or family law websites, I’m probably either 1) pissed off at someone, or 2) scared of something. I’m not really going to be in the mood to read all the various miscellaneous long-winded legalese and cudos and stuff that’s on this guy’s website. I wanna know a few very important details, and I wanna know them fast.
When I see a website like this -ignoring the horrible colors and layouts and lack of content and color separation – I get a headache. I think to myself, “wow… I gotta read 30 essays written by 30 different attorneys to figure out which one is going to be able to help me?” I’m not going to read the vast majority of the content on their website, simply because I don’t have the time and I’m not in the proper frame of mind.
We live in an information-saturated age. We’re constantly bombarded by information all the time and are forced to filter out what we need from what we don’t. We don’t have time to read all that stuff.
I’ve chosen a minimalist layout for my client – one that gets to the point and lets the layout, imagery and aesthetics do the heavy lifting of convincing the user that they are a reputable litigator, instead of throwing as much text out as I can in order to try to make the case. I make sure I break up the content into smaller pages and SEO each page to a particular set of keywords. That way the user can find the information they’re looking for quickly, and also from a visual standpoint their brain will tell them, “gee this is a really beautiful website – this guy must be a really good attorney to have such a nice website!”
In the past, the trend was towards “more is better”. But that was when there was less information to disseminate. Now there’s way, WAY too much information out there, so we our information quick and to the point – with the OPTION of drilling down and researching in more detail.
More is not better. More is just more stuff we have to read, filter, process, understand, select and visually burn into our tiny little monkey minds. While this works on news outlet and blog-style websites, for an attorney, doctor or other professional of this ilk, you gotta keep it clean, simple and to the point.
Now.. If I could just apply that same thought process to my blog posts…